Village Roots Farmers

Ellen Denny has grown and sold her own produce and flowers since 2003. Prior to this she had apprenticed and farmed on a number of diversified family farms. Ellen has an MS in Environmental Studies (with a concentration in Education) from Antioch University New England. She has been a farm educator since 2001, and currently is a lead preschool teacher at The Orchard School, where food and farming are at the forefront of her education. She also teaches farm and forest based camps during the summer. Ellen is very interested in heirloom and perennial varieties of herbs and flowers, and enjoys maker tinctures and cordials from her fresh fruit, syrup and herbs. She lives and works on the Orchard Hill Community with her husband Marty.

Marty with Chez and Boss at 6 months old

Ellen with California poppies, lavender and valerian

Marty Castriotta grew his first potato when he was 12 year old on a worn out piece of ground behind his parents’ house. He’s been attracted to the idea of growing food and building soil ever since. He started growing seriously in 2001 with Ellen’s guidance and has worked on several organic farms prior to moving to Orchard Hill. His passion is in integrating all aspects of the farm; the gardens, animals, buildings, water systems and so on. Marty has been raising heritage farm animals since 2003, and is focused on building soil through careful management of grassland ecosystems using grazing animal rotations as his primary design strategy.  Marty has a BS in Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and also graduated from Antioch with an MS in Environmental Studies.  He has been teaching at The Orchard School since 2003 and has been the Facilities Director there since 2006.