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Nadja's Transition

Wonderful partners and friends in gardening,

After six amazing years at Gardening Matters and working with each of you, I have accepted a contract position with Terra Soma, working as the Healthy Comprehensive Planning Coordinator. This position will allow me to focus my attention on policy and planning, with promise and opportunity for continued growth.  Those of you that know me well know that policy work has long been an area of passion.

In this new role, I will serve as a liaison between elected and appointed officials, planners, and food and health supporters, advocating to include health and equity language in local comprehensive plans. While urban agriculture won’t be the sole focus of work in my new position, it is one of the components I will continue to work on. In fact, I very much hope that I will continue to work with many of you and your organizations, just in a different capacity. There is a lot of important work to be done to continue to strengthen our local food system.

This was a very difficult decision to make for many reasons. Gardening Matters has played an important role in my personal and professional development. In the past six years, the field of urban agriculture and the "good food movement" has changed and grown in monumental ways.  I credit much of what I have learned and take with me to the people, values, and community that make up Gardening Matters and the Twin Cities’ network of mission-driven people and organizations. I will continue to serve on the Saint Paul-Ramsey County Food and Nutrition Commission, be active in my neighborhood community garden, and support Gardening Matters as a volunteer.

So what's next for Gardening Matters? 

The program is in very capable hands. Executive Director Susan Phillips, has built a strong values-based program that is positioned to serve the Twin Cities gardening community in innovative ways. You can contact her at for all questions regarding Gardening Matters after June 1st.

Thank you for the personal support, guidance, and encouragement you have provided me during my time at Gardening Matters. I am looking forward to the challenges of this new position and to starting a new phase of my career.

After June 1st, you can reach me at nadjaberneche (at) (personal) or at nadja (at) (work).

See you in the garden, or in a conversation about healthy comprehensive planning, very soon!

Warmest wishes,