Meet our team

The backbone of our farm

Staff

Salt City Harvest Farm Jacob

Jacob Gigler-Caro

Executive Director

Jacob has been growing food in different capacities over the past 16 years, first finding his love for food in Chicago community gardens. Since then, he has worked alongside communities in California, Wisconsin, and North Carolina growing food and managing farms at a variety of scales.

He is on a continuous quest to share what he has learned with others; with the intention of breaking down stereotypes, bringing people together, and deepening our relationship with the cosmos.

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Manika Gautam

Farm Manager

Manika has been growing food her entire life. She was born and raised in Nepal. In Nepal, she farmed and owned a food business selling produce and prepared food with her family. She moved to Syracuse, NY in 2013 and shortly later got involved with Salt City Harvest Farm.

She is a seed saver and her favorite crops to grow are Dalle Khursani (डल्ले खुर्सानी) and pumpkin stems. When not farming, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her family and friends.

In the past few years, the want for more independence and self-sufficiency has led to an increase in urban farming. Through Refugee Agricultural Partnership Program (RAPP) grant program, New Americans have the opportunity to learn how to farm within the Northeast American climate. Through partnerships with RISE and CCE we conduct classes for New Americans to learn skills such as record keeping, use of farming equipment, and general crop maintenance through the incubator program.

We have now found the best way to integrate Deaf New Americans into the farm (there are around 50 deaf refugees in Syracuse). A Deaf Bhutanese New American, Monu Chhetri, interprets from Nepali sign language—and sign from other countries as well as the informal sign—to American Sign Language (ASL). A hearing interpreter translates from ASL to spoken English. And so the conversation flows through a zig-zag of interpreters.

Now that the Deaf farmers are fully integrated into the rhythms and practices of farm work. Farm Staff interact directly with the Deaf farmers or through Monu or her husband Jay Regmi, who facilitate communication.

Board of directors

Matt Pottieger, President
Duane Groesbeck, Vice president
Fred Mahan, Secretary
Dennis Brady, Treasurer
​Theresa Letcher
​Daryl Files
Michael Marrero
Grace Carlic

Want to be a part of our community?

We're looking for additional committee and board members to assist our efforts of growing food, culture, and community.