As sponsors, we publicly identify with, exert appropriate influence on, and provide various levels of support to these ministries. In so doing, we fulfill our responsibility of stewardship for our heritage, mission, and resources.
During her early years in the congregation, Sr. John Celeste Weitzel ministered in education but later studied to be a physical therapist. When she moved from Baltimore to the Aston area in November 2015, she came with a dream—to work with our sisters at Assisi House who were not getting PT for a specific problem.
Meet the Farmers cogency
Margaret Lilley is the farm manager. Simply call her “Lilley” – everyone does. Born with a green thumb, she has had a lifelong love for horticulture. “I’ve been fortunate to have the support and encouragement of my family and friends to pursue my love of horticulture,” she said.
Lilley spent several years working in a family greenhouse business followed by 15 years with a corporate landscape company based in Aston, Pennsylvania. There she learned and developed a deep respect for the business side of the agricultural industry. She was fortunate to tour the country with the business owner, studying other landscape companies to learn their best business practices.
Lilley’s green thumb finally led her to farming where she managed a local organic farm for six years, developing their CSA program. “I take great pride in farming and being a good steward of the land,” she said. “I love being part of a community supported agriculture farm and connecting with the members. Knowing that their families are sitting down at the dinner table and enjoying the food that I have grown is extremely rewarding.”
Joanne Rosenbaum is our farm education coordinator. She is a Philadelphia native who has lived in Middletown Township for the past 19 years. Her background is in healthcare and she has worked at several area hospitals. Joanne got her start at Red Hill Farm working as a workshare for four years, which is where she fell in love with farming.
Joanne is passionate about working in her own community and making a difference in people’s lives. Sustainability—especially local organic food—is very important to her. She also enjoys working with children and teaching them the wonders that nature has to offer.
Her responsibilities at the farm include planning events and lectures for our CSA members and community. She leads age-appropriate tours at the farm for community groups, local schools, and universities. Joanne also teaches third-grade nutrition and science and a sixth-grade cooking class at Drexel Neumann Academy in Chester. During the CSA season Joanne helps out on harvest days and you can find her on pick-up days in the children’s garden where she is teaching organic farming to our member’s children. The kids all call her “Farmer Jo” and so can you.
Dylan DeVlieger is our field supervisor. He is a Pennsylvania native with deep knowledge and experience in horticulture, making him a valuable asset at Red Hill Farm.
Aside from farming, Dylan is an artist, forager, and event organizer with the Wild Foodies of Philly. He leads workshops and plant tours in and around Philadelphia, teaching people how to identify and use wild plants in their daily lives.
You will typically find Dylan in the field supervising our work shares and volunteers with a smile on his face amidst all weather conditions.