Prior to 2014, The Lord’s Acre functioned with only one paid staff member, our Garden Manager/Executive Director Susan Sides. Susan successfully and tirelessly managed the garden, which delivered over 40 tons of produce in those years, trained interns, ran garden tours, managed 100’s of volunteers delivering literally 1000’s of hours of volunteer service and became a significant source of information for similar projects throughout the area.

It should be added that in those first critical years, Susan’s husband Franklin also worked tirelessly with her on a volunteer basis and was a significant factor in our success.

In 2015, the Board of Director approved the hiring of 2 part time staff to support Susan in order for her to be more available for supporting other programs as well as overseeing all aspects of our programs.

Susan Sides, Executive Director

Susan Sides has been passionate about gardening organically for forty years. As a teenager, she read everything she could find on the subject and turned a portion of her backyard into an experimental garden.

Her love of the interconnectedness of living things led her to acquire a BS in biology in the 70s. From 1984 to 1990, she worked for The Mother Earth News magazine at their eco-village gardens, the first year as an intern, and thereafter, as their Research Gardener and Garden Writer. While at the Eco-Village, in addition to writing gardening articles, she was given the task of writing The Healthy Garden Handbook, which the magazine published under Fireside.

When the magazine moved from its Hendersonville headquarters to NYC, she and her family declined to follow. Instead, she remained active in the field of food sustainability, taught beginning gardening classes, raised small livestock, home schooled her sons and studied primitive gardening methods. Today, she resides with her husband Franklin in Fairview where they co-manage The Lord’s Acre Garden, a dream garden that brings together research, beauty, community and compassion.