Staff Directory

phil-compost-tea-brewing-2PHIL FORSYTH, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

CONTACT: phil@phillyorchards.org, 215-724-1247

Phil has led POP’s orchard design and development since our first plantings in the spring of 2007. As Executive Director, he works with POP’s board and staff to design and plant orchards, coordinate volunteers, lead educational programs, write grants and organize fundraising activities. Phil has over fifteen years experience in urban farming, gardening, and landscaping. He holds a BS in Horticulture and Landscape Design from Colorado State University and a Certificate in Permaculture Design & Teaching from the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute. Phil previously owned and operated an edible landscape design business in Philadelphia and also blogs on urban farming, edible landscaping, and food growing and has written articles for GRID, the Permaculture Activist, and Urban Farming magazine.  In 2017, Phil received the first ever Mary Seton Corboy Award from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society.


ALYSSA SCHIMMEL, EDUCATION DIRECTOR

CONTACT: alyssa@phillyorchards.org

Alyssa Schimmel was hired to serve as Education Director in winter 2017 following two years interning with POP. In this role, she’ll oversee the school orchard pilot program and expand educational opportunities through curriculum and workshop development, network building, event planning, and POP publications. A Master Gardener and herbalist with a clinical practice, Alyssa also serves as co-farm manager of Cloud 9 Rooftop Farm, where she cultivates medicinal plants on the rooftop of senior resident facility, Guild House West.  Her past experience also includes volunteer teaching with Awbury Arboretum’s Teens Leadership Program and an apprenticeship at Mountain Gardens, a botanical garden of useful plants in Burnsville, NC. She graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. in Communications & Media Studies from the University of Maryland and is currently pursuing advanced study in clinical herbal medicine with David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies.


MICHAEL MUEHLBAUER, ORCHARD DIRECTOR

CONTACT: michael@phillyorchards.org

Michael Muehlbauer was hired as POP’s Orchard Director in January 2018 and brings together a background in sustainable and urban agriculture, edible landscaping, social permaculture, fine gardening, construction, engineering and experience gained from volunteering with a large number of organizations. In addition to his work with POP, Michael also currently farms with youth in Germantown while serving as the operations manager for Grumblethorpe historic house and gardens. Founder of Sustain-a-culture consulting and design, former co-owner of the sustainable and edible landscaping company Contemporary Homestead and core member of the Beacon Food Forest in Seattle, WA, Michael enjoys the practice of social farming and aims to bring community powered food forestry to public land in Philadelphia with the Fair-Amount Food Forest initiative. He began farming with F.H. King Students for Sustainable Agriculture in 2009 and worked as a research farmer in organic and no-till agricultural experiments for two years at the University of Wisconsin-Madison where he received a Bachelor’s of Science in Agricultural and Biological Systems Engineering.


ALKEBU-LAN MARCUS, ORCHARD ASSISTANT

CONTACT: alkebulan@phillyorchards.org

Alkebu-Lan Marcus was hired as POP’s Orchard Assistant in February 2018.  He is a Philadelphia native, born and raised in West Philadelphia. Alkebu-lan first got involved with food justice and urban farming in 2015 and previously served as POP’s Orchard Apprentice in 2016.  He has presented at the Black Urban Growers Conference on Biochar and Indigenous Microorganisms. Alkebu-Lan is also currently the farm director of Mill Creek Urban Farm in West Philadelphia, where he provides the 19131 & 19139 community with locally grown produce.