Our People

The Needham Community Farm (NCF) is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization comprised of a very active volunteer Board of Directors, a Farm Manager, part-time Assistant Farm Manager, and part-time Development Director.

Liz Perkus, Farm Manager

Liz received her BS in Plant Sciences from Cornell University and a Master of Science in Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture from the University of Minnesota.  Her work experience includes time in an organic agriculture lab studying soil health and fertility and time working for a pollination ecology group in California.  She is also a Teaching Fellow at Boston University.  Liz joined the Needham Community Farm in 2019 as our Farm Educator, served as our Assistant Farm Manager in 2020 and now leads all farm operations in 2021.

Ceilidh Peden-Spear, Assistant Farm Manager

Mary Helen McCollister, Development Director

Board of Directors

Ed Anderson, Board Member

Nancy Berger, Treasurer

Erica Bond, Board Member

Steven Clark, Board Member


Jane Evans, Clerk

Jane began helping at weekly harvests and got hooked!  She's involved in many behind-the-scenes farm projects.

Kevin Keane, Board Member

Michelle Keefe, Board Member

Joe Leghorn, Liaison to Board of Selectmen

Joe’s favorite childhood memories are gardening with his grandfather. After spending 40 years inside an office, his passion now is his garden in Orleans on the Cape. His grafted tomato plants were featured on The Local Food Report on WCAI radio. A leading fundraiser for his alma mater, Joe is also active in service to the community in Needham. He strongly believes that nobody should go to bed hungry and that growing foods in an environmentally sustainable manner will ensure that there is healthy nutritious food for all. Joe’s experience as a lawyer is a welcome addition to the Board of Directors.

Jennifer Meyerhardt, Board Member

Debbie Schmill, Founder

Debbie became interested in environmental activism over 10 years ago after watching a movie about Climate Change.  Her concern for her children’s future led her to join local environmental groups and ultimately to found the Needham Community Farm as a hands-on way to educate children and adults.


Susan Shaver, President

Susan brings over 20 years of professional experience to her work on the Board, having worked in a variety of management and marketing positions.  She is passionate about supporting local, organic farming, healthy eating, education about nutrition and serving the community food needs.  She has served on other Needham non- profit Boards.  One of Susan’s fondest memory as a child is working on an organic vegetable farm in South Glastonbury Connecticut.

Gayani Weeraratne, Board Member