I'm Nina - a gardening teacher & plant nerd who believes you've gotta have your hands in the dirt to really have a good time.

I was a shy little girl that was more interested in identifying bird songs and planting flowers with my sassy Colombian grandma than hanging with the cool kids. 

Growing up in South Florida made it possible to explore outdoors all year round. When I grew out of my awkwardness and discovered my Latina flare, I got a little braver. Thankfully, my adventurous parents brought my brother and I along on some eye-opening experiences like shadowing real deal cattle drives on horseback in Colorado and doing mission work for Christmas in Costa Rica. 

Fresh air is a common thread
to all of my favorite memories.

When I moved to Nashville to start college (AKA chase my brand new touring musician boyfriend.. who is now my farmer husband), I didn't know what to expect. Made some new friends who kept inviting me to the farmers market Tuesday afternoons and voila - the fascination began. I saw people intimately connected with nature, eating the most beautiful produce, eggs, and meat on earth that they grew themselves... and they wanted to share all that goodness in their life with me, across their table. 

health and joy Are worth sharing... Right!?

Never without

Denim & Optimism 

favorite TRAVEL memory

Hiking in New Zealand

probably listening to

A Birth Story Podcast

favorite veggie to grow

Tomatillos - hello verde salsa!

Favorite child

River! (well, she's my only one)

Brendon grew a garden and would mail produce to me when I went home to Florida to visit my family. That basically sealed the deal. ;)

After we got engaged, I moved to a farm in Indiana to spend the summer living the agricultural lifestyle and farming full time. Memories of intentional communal living and abundant harvests that growing season still inspire me almost every day.

Back in Nashville, I interned on a non-profit farm called "Nashville Food Project". Our Garden Team grew produce for the Kitchen Team to turn into hundreds of meals per week to feed local homeless communities. Every week, I managed volunteer crews to maintain the gardens throughout the season.

2015 was a beautiful year- Brendon and I got married and I scored a job at the most productive organic farm in town called Delvin Farms. We harvested blackberries, tomatoes, watermelon, etc for 10 hours a day and I learned to keep up with the experienced crew. I almost lost my marbles working that hard in the Tennessee summer sun,
but I gained grit and would do it again in a heartbeat.

A little gem of a farm tucked in the rolling hills of Nashville served a wedding venue on-site. I worked in the fields AND with the chefs to curate a farm-to-table menu. Feeling like part of the kitchen staff as a farmer was incredible. 

All the while, I helped every friend in town build a garden with a borrowed pick-up truck.

Brendon and I cherished our time in Nashville touring with his band, working on farms, and building gardens for friends and clients, but we knew we wanted to move closer to family to start our own family.

Now we live on ten acres in South Florida with cows, chickens, a Great Pyrenees named Olive, a garden, a tropical fruit orchard, and our 2 year old little girl named River Lu. I teach my online course, install custom gardens for my clients, and film TV shows every once in a while - all mostly with Riv on my hip.

The Dirt Academy isn't just my business, it's my heart. I've found deep joy and robust health from growing my own food at home and becoming connected to the beautiful seasons of Mother Earth.

And now I'm here to help you do the same.

let's do this thing

Did We Just Become Best Friends?

I'm here to help you get a garden started or boost your existing gardening game. Sometimes all you need is a little help from a friend.

schedule a consult