We create and perfect new ways to connect food makers and eaters. We teach, we challenge, we encourage.
Ran Goel, Founder
Ran is an activist and founder of Fresh City. He believes city farming can change the world by re-introducing all of us to how real food is made. Some of his formative childhood experiences include his grandmother’s stories about growing up on a Kibbutz, feeling democracy awaken in South Africa where he grew up and his mom’s stuffed peppers. Before founding Fresh City, Ran practiced investment law in New York for several years. He holds a business degree from the Schulich School of Business, York University, a masters in political economy from the London School of Economics and a law degree from the University of Toronto.
Phillip Collins, Co-Founder & Farm Manager
Phil is owner, and principal of HighRes Design and co-founder of Fresh City. He is excited to be raising awareness of the benefits of organic city farming at a community level, and believes that sustainability is an ideal that society needs to embrace as an infinite goal. He holds a bachelor of landscape architecture from The University of Guelph, and is a fully licensed member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects, and Canadian Society of Landscape Architects.
Abra Snider, General Manager
Abra holds a Certificate in Food Security from Ryerson University, with a focus on urban agriculture, and a B.A. from the University of Toronto in architectural design and fine art history. Abra has extensive experience within city farming, having worked on such projects as Carrot City: Designing for Urban Agriculture, and the Metcalf Food Solutions paper “Scaling Up Urban Agriculture in Toronto: Building the Infrastructure.” Her personal mission is to reconnect people to food, field, and farmers.
Chen Goel, Operations Manager
Chen is our operations and logistics specialist and makes sure your order arrives on time. Its his voice you’ll hear answering the Fresh City phone. Chen holds a bachelor of arts from the International Disciplinary Center in Herzliya, Israel and has also studied at York University. He really likes carrots.
Connor Desjardins, Assistant Farm Manager
Connor is Fresh City’s assistant farm manager — he is the point man on growing seedlings and working with member farmers to ensure an amazing growing season. Connor grew up in Sault Ste. Marie where he first fell in love with organic farming on his mother’s five acre farm. He holds a Diploma in Agriculture from University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus.
Luis Ruis, Workshop Facilitator
Luis was born in El Salvador. He holds a bachelor in Sustainable Agriculture from the Catholic University of El Salvador. Trained with a “hands on “ approach, Ruiz is a highly passionate Agronomist with extensive experience in rural-urban planning and delivering a broad range of community programs for helping farmers to improve productivity and quality of life in alliance with NGO’s, universities, government, and international bodies. He moved to Alberta in 2005 and worked as a Horticulturist; until he came to Ontario in 2011. His emphasis is aimed to develop sustainable strategies that meet human, ecological and profitable standards as well strengthen the core link between people, researchers and the farming community. He is currently volunteering at Mc Vean Organic Farm in Brampton and pursuing a professional designation at the Ontario Institute of Agrologists.
Paul-Antoine Trompette, Assistant Farm Manager, Black Creek
Paul grew up in a small village between the famous Beaujolais wine area and Lyon, worldwide known as the gastronomic capital of France. He therefore always enjoyed nature and good food. He quickly realized that farmers were the most important people on Earth; then it was obvious that farming would be the most valuable and rewarding job he could do: working with nature to produce food.
Paul is finishing the Agroecology Master program from the Norwegian University of Life sciences in partnership with ISARA-Lyon (after graduating an agronomy certificate and a country planning degree). Agroecology is the science of the food and the farming systems, an holistic approach encompassing all levels from dirt to dish. Thus, being an intern at Fresh City from March until August enables me to investigate the agroecological performances of an urban farm through action-learning process. During those 6 months, he will also be carrying out a research on the Black Creek community farm project, dealing with the challenge to get the community involved as well as the access to healthy food at affordable price in deprived areas.