For reservations, contact the
VSDB Foundation at 540-332-9039
AMI offers a 2 phase, 18 month long Fellowship Program. During Phase I of the AMI Fellowship, a cohort of passionate individuals committed to revitalizing our food shed, live and study together for six months at a farm in the Highlands of Virginia. Here they grow most of their own food while developing a deeper understanding between diet and optimum health.
Full Season Organic Gardening
Small Animal Husbandry
Cooking, Preserving & Fermentation
Nutrition & Wellness
... and much more!
Tom was trained in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Ecology at the University of Michigan. He went on to manage environmental work for electric and gas utilities in Michigan and New York, believing that it would be easier to influence corporations to behave responsibly from within.
He later founded a computer, software and services company to promote the advantages of the newly introduced personal computers. He also created an organization to heal ailing businesses, eventually traveling the country to help businesses get back on their feet.
He moved to Kaua’i and helped government leaders and the island utility to explore various sustainability issues, including local food, renewable energy, housing and transportation issues. As a faculty member he was able to facilitate student learning at the high school and college level.
A lifelong organic gardener, he hopes to promote the training of a new generation of farmers and local food advocates to build greater physical, social and financial health in our local communities.
Sarah grew up in Nelson County in the mountains of Virginia, so she felt right at home when she moved to Highland County in 2011 to participate as one of the founding Fellows at the Allegheny Mountain School, now Allegheny Mountain Institute. While there, she became a member of the Highland County community and has lived there since.
Sarah is the Orchardist and Cellar Master for Big Fish Cider, Co. based in Monterey, Virginia. She is also on staff at The Highland Center. In addition to being a board member for the Allegheny Mountain Institute, she serves on the Highland County Economic Development Authority, Highlanders for Responsible Development, and the Highland Tourism Council.
Growing up, Sarah first learned to care for plants from her parents in their garden and yard. After going to the University of Virginia to study architecture and environmental science, she discovered landscape architecture and went on to get a Masters Degree in that field from the University of Georgia.
Sarah is married to Joshua Simmons, a Highland native, and the County Building Official as well as a general contractor. Together, they enjoy spending time outside, hiking and camping with their two dogs. They also caretake a small farm while they make plans for their own farm. Sarah also enjoys making pottery, jewelry, baskets and working with wood.