Our Staff

Mariya Strauss, Executive Director

We are pleased to have Mariya Strauss as the Executive Director of the Farm Alliance of Baltimore. Mariya comes to the Farm Alliance from a career in advocacy journalism and in grassroots organizing work on a national level. She is an advocate for justice throughout the food system and supply chain, and is committed to helping Baltimore’s urban farms prosper in a changing world. A native of Oak Park, Illinois, she has lived in Baltimore since 2009. If you or your organization is interested in finding out more about the Farm Alliance of Baltimore, or if you would like to explore opportunities to partner with us, please contact her at: mariya@farmalliancebaltimore.org

Denzel Mitchell, Jr., Deputy Director

Denzel Mitchell Jr. is an educator, farmer, cook, and beekeeper. Born and raised in Guthrie, Oklahoma; he and his wife planted themselves in Baltimore in the fall 2004 and soon got active in Baltimore’s urban agriculture. Denzel went on to found the Greening and Nutrition program at Baltimore Montessori Public Charter School and while there, heard the call from the land. On six vacant lots, various back yards and with the help of a chef and food historian, he brought a nearly-forgotten heirloom, Baltimore’s Fish Pepper, back to the Chesapeake region’s culinary palette. He left the classroom in 2010 to pursue dreams of vegetable farming and operated Five Seeds Farm until 2015. Denzel currently serves as the Deputy Director of the Farm Alliance. He is a part-time “biscuithead” at Blacksauce Kitchen. Denzel loves to eat, cook and play with his family and friends. He loves capoeira angola. He also enjoys books, music and movies. He lives in Union Square with his wife and 5 kids.