RICHARD ANDRES is a farmer, philosopher and former carpenter who has developed the largest and most successful certified organic CSA farm in Michigan. Richard’s background includes employment on a farm as a teenager and 5 years at the Ann Arbor and Toronto Zen Buddhist temples. During Richard’s early career, he worked as a timber-frame carpenter. In 1993 he purchased the original 40 acre Tantré Farm property while continuing to work as a carpenter. He achieved organic certification that year and began growing staple crops like potatoes, peppers and melons for market. Richard turned to work as a full-time farmer when he and his wife, Deb Lentz, transitioned Tantré Farm into a full-fledged Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farm with 30 members in 2001. Now with nearly 400 members, Richard and Deb grow over 100 different types of organic fruits and vegetables annually, along with herbs, mushrooms, and flowers. Deb and Richard have expanded Tantré Farm to 150 acres, with a community of 6 employees and 10 interns every season. In addition to their CSA members and several weekly farmers markets, Tantré Farm regularly supplies more than a dozen restaurants and grocery stores, along with numerous farm-to-table events throughout the year. Tantré Farm is known nationally and internationally through coverage in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, GQ, Imagine, and Rich Horan’s book “Harvest.”
DEB LENTZ is an educator, farmer and organizer who grew up on a 160-acre farm in Lake City, Minnesota. She graduated from the College of St. Benedict in Minnesota with a BA in Elementary Education, and taught grades 1-6 throughout her 16 years as a school teacher. Deb is co-owner of Tantré Farm in Chelsea, Michigan, where she manages the communication and outreach for the farm, handles the finances, and develops educational programs. Deb is a board member of The Agrarian Adventure, a non-profit organization which partners with K-12 schools to enrich students’ connection between the foods they eat, their health, the health of their communities and the environment. Deb is also a parent organizer of the Wellness, Farm-to-School, and Edible School Garden committees at the Honey Creek Community School in Ann Arbor where she runs the “farmer in the classroom” program. Deb is also on the governance board of the Chelsea Farmers Market.