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Our Team

Paula Sirola, Executive Director

Paula, whose garden name is Ms. Peppermint, is experienced in organizing communities, developing programs, and building grassroots organizations in Los Angeles and Latin America.  Her work revolves around helping people build community and access healthy foods, be it through street vendors, community and school gardens, or community-based agricultural projects.  Paula is a UC Cooperative Extension Master Gardener and has a M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA, where she also did her doctoral research. Contact: pmsirola@gmail.com

Patty Kestin, Founding member 

Patty Kestin, or Ms. Poblano, is a UC-CE Master Gardener and a School Garden Educator connecting food and the natural world with academic curriculum, healthy communities and experiential learning at Mark Twain since 2010.  She has over 25 years experience as a community volunteer, activist and fundraiser working to secure equal access to health, education, food and the courts for low-income individuals and families in Los Angeles.  Patty holds an M.B.A. from U.S.C. a J.D. from New York Law and has worked as a volunteer attorney, Vice-President and Director of the Harriett Buhai Center for Family Law for 10 years and with the Saban Free Clinic.  She is a member of the LA Food Policy Committee, the Venice School Green Team, former board member of The Seed Saving Library of LA (SLOLA), and a founding member of Slow Money. Contact: pattykestin@gmail.com 

Renee Meshul, Founding member

Renee Meshul, also known as Ms. Raspberry, has been a garden educator at Mark Twain Middle School since 2010. Before coming to Mark Twain, she spent 25 years as a child development specialist working with high risk populations and 25 years running her own successful land use consulting business.  She has a MEd in Counseling Psychology and became a Master Gardner in the UC Cooperative Extension Program in 2013. Contact: rmeshul@gmail.com.

Our FAll 2018 volunteers

Parent Volunteers

  • Jennifer Kitchen

  • Alyssa Moffitt

Student Volunteers from UCLA

  • Monica Habashy

  • Elza Hayyat

  • Torie Oishi


[At Seeds to Plate], students are supported by a caring group of individuals who have made a commitment to their overall well-being, something our kids can never get enough of.
— Kerry Olinger, Special Education Teacher