Cha Cha small BIO copy        


Cha Cha BIO copyFrancesca Longtin-Cabraser (Cha Cha):

Larkfield Garden Coordinator & Educator

— Born and raised in Sonoma County and grew up a few miles from the Larkfield Community Garden site.

— Volunteer teacher at New Life orphanage in Nakuru, Kenya. — A graduate of The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. Studies included public health, botany, and community development.

— Youth counselor at Garden Raised Bounty (GRUB) a high school dropout prevention program for at-risk youth on a 2-acre farm in Thurston County, Washington.

— A fellow at Urban Adamah, a practice in urban farming in Berkeley, CA. — Garden teacher intern at Hoover Elementary in Oakland, CA.

— Attended the garden teacher training at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center in Occidental, CA.

— After-school teacher at the Jewish Community Center of the East Bay. Where I taught art, writing, yoga, and gardening to students ages 4 through 11.



Jeff Shields:

Co-founder of Community Soil Foundation

— For over 4 years, Jeff managed the kitchen garden and 80-acre landscape at Mayacamas Ranch in Calistoga

— Co-founded Community Soil, an edible/restorative garden design and install business

— Coordinated community gardens with the San Francisco Department of Public Works — Researched urban forestry with the organization SF Environment

— Learned and performed natural building at Emerald Earth

— Taught environmental education with The Center for Social and Environmental Stewardship

— Former Co-Chair for the Sierra Club Redwood Chapter’s Climate and Energy Division

— Received Master’s in Public Administration from San Francisco State University

— Participant in the Leadership Course for Community Gardeners through the Sonoma County Community Garden Network


Paolo Tantarelli:

Co-founder of Community Soil Foundation

— Completed 1-year garden internship at the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center (OAEC) — Achieved Permaculture Design certificate at the OAEC

— Completed 1-year internship with the Solar Living Institute — Helped manage Golden Nectar Farms, overseeing their orchards, livestock, apiaries, and vegetable gardens

— Managed the kitchen garden and landscape at Mayacamas Ranch — Co-founded Community Soil, an edible/restorative garden design and install business

— Obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Cultural Anthropology at CSU Chico


Mel Struzzo:

Pro-bono Consultant, Public Health Expert

— Over 15 years experience in a high-level managerial role in the non-profit sector

— San Jose State University Lecturer for the Master’s in Public Health Program

— Public Health Contractor for the Sonoma County Department of Health Services

— Clinic Director and Programs Director for an Oakland, CA Public Health Non-profit agency for over 3 years. Includes managing the on-site food pantry for low-income residents

— Over 5 years experience as an educator for homeless and runaway youth in Santa Clara County that included courses on nutrition

— 2008/2009 Acterra Environmental Leadership Program Member

— Developed and instituted an environmental sustainability grant making program for a Fortune 500 Company with both a local California and International focus

— Received a Master’s in Public Health with Honors with an emphasis in Community Health Education


Yarrow Sandahl:

Volunteer Grant Writer

— For over two years Yarrow consulted with Sonoma County Conservation Action on their fundraising strategy

— Previous to moving back to Sonoma County, Yarrow worked on the east coast fundraising for women’s rights and has over 14 years of experience in the nonprofit sector

— Received a Master’s in Public Administration with an emphasis in nonprofit management from San Francisco State University

— Former board president of the national Young Nonprofit Professionals Network