Warm Valley Farm Team
moved to Orcas Island in 2001 and has over a decade of experience farming and doing food system work in San Juan County. After farming throughout most of his twenties, in 2013 Learner moved away from the farming lifestyle in order to spearhead the formation of the Orcas Food Co-op. As the General Manager, Learner has helped the Co-op to grow into a successful business and thriving community hub. While he still manages the Co-op full time, in 2016 Learner moved to Warm Valley Farm with the hope of striking a balance between his many passions and getting his hands “back in the dirt”. Learner’s roles at Warm Valley Farm include business planning/development, grant writing, facilitation, and broader food system networking and collaboration.
has spent the last few months learning about life as a puppy on the farm. There are a million things to smell and taste, but really playing fetch in the hayfield is one of the best things EVER! Lira happily shares her home with Rollo and Archie, known to the rodents in the vicinity as the Ferocious Felines. They are all happy to share Warm Valley Farm’s beauty, as well as all the wonderful adventures to be had. Lira’s roles at Warm Valley Farm is official greeter (she’s still learning), pest chaser, and best friend of just about everyone, even the cats.
Annie fell in love with Warm Valley Farm, the moment she stepped on to the land, it just sang with possibilities. Annie’s experience with growing started at a very young age. Annie’s lineage has a host of women growers, her great grandmother, born in the 1880’s was a landscape artist in Texas, her mother shared her love of gardening, and her stepmother is a master gardener. Annie has spent a lot of time with her hands in the soil, or wrapped around a pair of pruners. Becoming one of the stewards of Warm Valley Farm is an honor, a challenge and a labor of love. She has happily dedicated herself to learning farming, as opposed to gardening, and growing in all ways possible as a person of the soil. Annie’s past work history includes 20+ years of interior and functional building design, as well as a 10 year career in music, as singer and songwriter for the AnnieMac band. Annie’s roles at Warm Valley Farm include stewardship management, teaching, design and planning, restoration and building, marketing, events, sales, cut flowers, and Farmstand management.
Joel grew up with a rich family history of farming and orchard work in southern Oregon. Farm chores were part of his daily childhood experience. Joel’s father is a Master Gardener and at 87, is still king of the tomato growers in the Rogue Valley. Joel’s first paying job was within the famous pear orchards of the Rogue Valley. Since the 1980’s he has been concerned about and focused on Co2 emissions and climate change. Joel has dedicated the last 28 years to being a ships Captain for Greenpeace International. His passion for food security and sovereignty, sustainability and local food, helped him focus on the search for this farm, and it’s potential. Joel is working towards Warm Valley Farm becoming an example of a regenerative, carbon neutral farm. Stewarding a farm in the San Juan islands is a lifelong dream. Joel’s roles at Warm Valley Farm include managing and stewardship of Warm Valley Farm and it’s orchard and cidery, seed production and sales, infrastructure, and teaching.