Ernesto hails from New York City. He initiated his journey into higher education at a small community college in the middle of a rain-forest in Southeast Alaska, and completed his first degree (Associates of Science in Massage Therapy) from SUNY Columbia-Greene. His interest in Eastern Medical Massage led him to completing a Bachelors of Science in Chinese Medicine from Empire State College, while doing fieldwork in China. He is currently working towards his Masters in Health Arts and Sciences, focusing on the medical lexicon and traditional medical cultures of China, India and Tibet with a Medical anthropologist at Goddard College. Ernesto enjoys his general house maintenance duties just as much as he does restoring the old neglected cape house he inherited in the small mountain village of Worcester Vermont. His position as Therapeutic Mentor is as fulfilling to him as is raising his own family and he uses his knowledge of traditional/holistic forms of healing to guide the residents on their own individual healing journeys. He has shown great ingenuity in helping residents look at their challenges from fresh and unique perspectives. Ernesto’s kind nature and positive attitude have a calming/grounding effect on those around him. His ever present smile and good sense of humor spreads joy and laughter any day of the week.
In Ernesto’s free time you will find him with his family camping, hiking, working on his handyman’s special home and generally just enjoying life to the fullest.
Co-founder / Resident Director
Deborah has been passionately driven by her dream to create a healing farm community for individuals who need support and encouragement to grow beyond their mental and emotional life challenges. She is committed to a healthy and wholesome lifestyle and believes that balance is discovered and sustained for longevity when there is a direct connection to the earth, animals, expressive art and a nurturing environment that promotes a feeling of home. She embraced this concept while raising her two children, Mariah and Evan, on an organic homestead in Northern Vermont.
Deborah’s enriched 35 years of professional work experience have been primarily in the field of Human Services with a strong focus on Early Education, Family Advocacy and Developmental Disabilities. However, for the past eighteen years, she has had the privilege of working in the mental health field; committed to helping others learn life skills that will enhance their independence. It is by Deborah’s design that Hundred Acre Homestead remains small in size, so that she can be personally involved in its Family Embracement ~ Healing Steps Recovery Program.
She had the good fortune of studying privately with Wesleyan Professor of Art, May Griswald, in West Hartford, Connecticut. A designer of silver and gold jewelry, Deborah entered the craft market in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom and later, for private sale, in Camden, Maine. Art still remains an instrumental healing tool at The Homestead because Deborah believes that within the safe place of artistic self expression, the outer world melts away and honest healing work from within can evolve.
Hundred Acre Homestead has grown from the union between one family’s need for quality care for their loved one and Deborah’s deep desire to share her life’s work with extraordinary and gifted people.
Deborah is an active member of ARTA (American Residential Treatment Association) and NAMI Vermont (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
Therapeutic Mentor/Sous Chef
Karen works closely with the Vermont Foodbank as a network partner. She coordinates the ordering and receiving of donated foods to fill the local food shelf. Karen’s volunteer efforts help feed the locals each week at the Community lunch in Worcester and here at The Homestead. Karen is trained in food safety preparation and storage.
Along with her much beloved volunteer work, Karen also works part-time at the Hunger Mountain Coop and Hundred Acre Homestead. Karen enjoys the atmosphere and principles of the Coop, as well as, the organic products and locally sourced organic meats, cheeses, dairy and produce. Equally, Karen finds joy with her work at The Homestead, bringing her knowledge of fresh, local, organic ingredients to our kitchen. Karen appreciates being able to walk side by side with The Homestead’s clients on their journey toward healthier, independent living and spending time with them in the kitchen.
Erin joined the Homestead’s team in 2016 as Therapeutic Mentor and Horticulturalist. Holding an AA in Resource Management and a BA in Wildlands Ecology, from Sterling College, Erin organizes and plans our gardens and cares for our fruit trees and bushes.
Erin enjoys facilitating yoga, leading hikes and snowshoe adventures around our hundred acres where our clients can learn about local vegetation and wildlife. Living off the grid with her family, raising both vegetables and meat, she brings a background of farming to the Homestead, highlighting the importance of daily chores and routine for all the residents.
For the last decade a main passion for Erin has been running. She is currently training for a 50 mile foot race in March 2019. She is always happy for anyone to accompany her for a few miles around the Homestead.
Emma Manion has been a Therapeutic Mentor with Hundred Acre Homestead since June 2016 and is passionate about the wellness aspect our program encourages. Drawing from her expertise in health and fitness (she’s a Personal Trainer and Dance Instructor for a handful of studios and clients in the area), Emma mindfully coaches HAH residents through behavioral change. She sees great value in our practice of setting daily intentions and gratitudes, checking in with mind and body through regular movement practices and plenty of time outdoors. While Emma has reveled in city life, and for the past decade in San Francisco, she’s elated to return to her native Vermont and reside in a summer cabin just down the road from HAH.
Kristin trained at the New England Culinary Institute in Vermont and did her internship at Canyon Ranch- a resort in Tucson, Arizona- specializing in Spa Cuisine. Back home she honed her skills for four years working in some of Stowe, Vermont’s finer restaurants. She credits her interest in cooking to her Grandmother, who inspired her while growing up in Jeffersonville, Vermont on the other side of Mt. Mansfield from Stowe.
Kristin’s desire to integrate her love of a nutrition-centered lifestyle with food preparation led her to become part of the Hundred Acre Homestead team, which she considers “the best job ever!” Kristin excels at offering healthy, organic meals that nurture and satisfy on every level. She is especially talented at creating unique and flavorful seasonings which make every bite a complex and many-layered experience.
Kristin easily caters to each resident’s food preferences and sensitivities, serving a variety of tasteful options at every meal. She also bakes wonderful bread and cookies, and makes fabulous desserts for special celebrations, like birthdays and holidays.
Lauré Murphy has 25+ years experience as a Business Manager with a strong focus in Human Resources and Bookkeeping. Lauré joined The Homestead’s team in October of 2014 by handling the facilities, program scheduling and human resources needs. When not at The Homestead you can find Lauré spending time with her family and friends, working in the organic gardens, baking, yoga, hiking, Crossfit, kayaking, mountain biking and skiing.
Lauré also enjoys volunteering within the community. She serves on the Vermont Suicide Prevention Coalition, she volunteers with the PTN at her children’s school, serves as a Sunday school teacher at her local church. Lauré is an active member of ARTA (American Residential Treatment Association) and NAMI Vermont (National Alliance on Mental Illness).
Lisa joined team HAH in August of 2017. A passionate and gifted artist, who studied Psychology at the University of Hawaii, Lisa brings talent and a desire to provide care and support to individuals dealing with life’s mental and emotional challenges. Lisa is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Art Therapy at Goddard College. She routinely leads Art groups, meditation, journaling and morning meetings at the Homestead.
Along with being passionate about the arts, Lisa enjoys working with our clients in caring for the animals at The Homestead.
Therapeutic Mentor / Yoga Instructor
Johannah is happy to be back living in the North Country after spending the past 10 years traveling abroad and around the country. She studied fine arts at Pratt Institute which has led to an overall curiosity to explore and live on the creative side of life. She has spent extended time in South America where she worked as a traveling portrait artist and studied traditional indigenous crafts and ways of living. These travels led her to continue her studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia WA where she graduated with a BA in Art and Social Change. Since graduating from college, she has dedicated herself to a daily yoga practice and lifestyle, recently receiving her 200 hour Teacher Certification from Yoga Vermont. She enjoys connecting with people through movement and has recently begun to teach in the community. She is also invested in interacting with the natural environment and has spent the past several seasons working to grow organic vegetables and medicinal herbs. One of the ways she is currently directing her many interests is through studying herbalism and healing arts. She hopes to deepen her understanding of how to use daily practices such as diet, herbs, creative expression, and movement as a means of healing. She is excited to share these skills and intentions of living in a healthy, creative, and balanced way with the residents at Hundred Acre Homestead.
Nancy Van Dine, RN, BFA