DSC01746Kelly Owensby; Project Director: Kelly began working in sustainable agriculture in 2005 after graduating from UNC-CH with a degree in cultural studies. She worked on eight vegetable and flower farms in N.C. before shifting her work towards community development and starting Transplanting Traditions Community Farm in 2010.  Over the past eight years she has grown Transplanting Traditions from ½ acre to 8 acres and helped the project grow to national recognition.  She is particularly interested in how Transplanting Traditions is a platform to uplift and share cultural traditions around farming and food, foster community and psycho-social well-being and provide a space for the refugee community from Burma to re-create home and meaning after the difficult upheaval of re-settlement.  Outside of Transplanting Traditions, she plays the surdo drum in Batala Durham and loves building, cooking and creating.

[email protected]  (919) 967-9091 ext 6






IMG_1416Nicole Accordino; Programs Director: Nicole hails from the tropics of South Florida and came to North Carolina in 2003 where she earned her B.A. from Warren Wilson College. She has been with Transplanting Traditions since 2012.

She has worked with numerous community based food projects, public school gardening programs and Horticultural Therapy initiatives throughout the state of North Carolina. She is a registered Horticultural Therapist.Her favorite thing about the farm is learning about new plants and alongside the farmers, discovering new ways of growing tropical plants in a temperate climate. Her other favorite thing about the farm is the beautiful bamboo structures and tucked away gardens that make the farm a beautiful space for respite and community. She also developed and runs TTCF’s youth program and is endlessly inspired by the youth team she works with all summer.

[email protected] (919) 967-9091 ext 6






Eh Tha Pwee and Bottle Gourd

Friday Lumu; Cultural Liaison and Interpreter: Mr. Friday is the Transplanting Traditions Interpreter and Cultural Liaison and a refugee from Burma.  He works with the project because he is happy to help refugees get access to healthy vegetables and fruits, both those that they already grew in Burma, and also those typical in the United States.  He is glad to support refugees getting a better place to grow food, which leads to fresh, healthy vegetables and better nutrients.Mr. Friday is also the organizer of Karen Community of North Carolina (KCNC), a nonprofit, refugee managed organization.  The mission of KCNC is to strengthen the Karen community in North Carolina and to improve the quality of life of Karen people living in North Carolina.  The objectives are to a) preserve the Karen culture, language and history; b) to provide services to the Karen community in promoting literacy, education, health and social welfare; c) to assist Karen refugees arriving in North Carolina with access to services and integration into North Carolina while retaining Karen culture and d) to collaborate with other organizations to better serve the Karen community.






IMG_2822Vera Fabian, Farm Manager: A Chapel Hill native, Vera graduated from UNC-CH in 2007 with a degree in Anthropology and International Studies.

For five years she worked as a Garden Educator, first at The Edible Schoolyard in Berkeley, CA and then as a founding member of the Edible Schoolyard NYC team, where helped start a half-acre school garden and cooking program for Pre-K-5th grade. In 2012, Vera left NYC to learn to farm at Bob Cannard’s Green String Farm in CA and at Eliot Coleman’s Four Season Farm in ME, where she gained experience in season extension and greenhouse management for year-round vegetable production.

Vera and her husband, Gordon, decided to settle and start their own farm in NC (Ten Mothers Farm). She hopes to continue to share her love of food with the community through farming and teaching. She currently divides her time between her own farm, teaching cooking classes, and Transplanting Traditions and feels incredibly lucky to be a part of a project that gives so many people a farming home and the chance to grow their own food.

[email protected] (919) 967-9091 ext 6





Ku Khu; Landscape Crew Manager: Ku Khu loves plants, gardening, and thinking about how to make places beautiful and inviting. She loves helping to make Transplanting Traditions a beautiful place for people to visit and to learn about the culture of refugees from Burma. She likes to involve friends in her work by asking for gardening advice or seeking out special and beautiful plants to bring to TTCF’s Garden of Tropical Wonders; that way, everyone can contribute to her work. Her favorite things to grow are spicy peppers because they are delicious, and the flowers and peppers look very beautiful together.










Nora Htee; Supplies Crew Manager: Nora does an amazing job keeping the farm organized, and making sure everyone can access and purchase the supplies, like seeds and chicken fencing, that they need. She likes being able to interact with all the farmers in the course of her work. Sometimes, her husband and three daughters come to help her on the farm. Her favorite things about TTCF are the people, and getting to work outside. It is a place that makes her happy. She loves to grow Asian greens like mustard, pennywort, water spinach, and na ga wah.










Paw Moo; Greenhouse Crew Manager: Paw Moo loves being Greenhouse Manager because she gets to help TTCF staff and other farmers by getting seeds and plants ready for them. She gets to work outside on beautiful days, and inside the greenhouse when it’s not so nice out. Sometimes her father, mother, husband, and niece come to the farm to visit and to help. Her favorite thing to grow is spicy peppers. She loves them very hot! Her friend gave her some special seeds and they are the best that she has found.