When living in an intentional farming community in North Carolina, Carmen fell in love with farm life and food production, especially enjoying bee-keeping, food preservation & fermentation, hand-milking goats & cows, and making dairy products. Over the course of her career, she has worked as a middle school English teacher, yoga instructor, head of the kitchen for various events, and principal organizer for the Southeastern Permaculture Gathering.
Inspired by Sonoma County’s thriving, diverse agricultural community, Carmen is passionate about supporting local farmers and working to preserve farms forever. She oversees Farm Trails operations and events, from budgets to band selection, and is most interested in cultivating community, bridging gaps, building resilience, and fulfilling Farm Trails’ mission to instill an appreciation of ag as a vital part of our lifestyle.
Carmen serves as Treasurer of the School Garden Network of Sonoma County and sits on the advisory board of Colorado State University’s Western US Agritourism Project. She is also the Producer of the Gravenstein Apple Fair.
A longtime member of Farm Trails, Ellen joined the staff in September 2019. As Program Manager, she is the primary contact for our members; handles all the Farm Trails social media, newsletters, website, Map & Guide, marketing, and publicity; coordinates the seasonal tours and marketing campaigns; and participates in various ag advocacy meetings and groups including as a member of the Sonoma County Food System Alliance.
Ellen is also co-owner of Tilted Shed Ciderworks, which she founded with her husband, Scott Heath, in 2011. They grow more than 120 varieties of cider apples; source organic apples from Sonoma County family farms; and make ciders that have earned international acclaim for Sonoma County terroir. Ellen lives on a 5.4-acre Sebastopol farm with Scott, their son, dog, cats, chickens, sheep, and too many apple trees to count.