SEEDS runs day-to-day with the support of an energetic staff dedicated to Durham and to building a healthy, sustainable community.

Meet the Staff

pic144 compressed for web

Emily Egge

Executive Director

Emily started as a volunteer, weeding at Southside. She doesn’t get out in the garden as much as she’d like anymore, instead working behind the scenes and out in public to promote the great work going on here – and to make sure we continue to thrive.
You can often see her picking weeds out of the paths at the Garden of Eatin’ on Saturday mornings – especially when the weather’s nice! Join her anytime – and help this public garden grow!


Phone: 919-683-1197 x 8


Laurel Shulman

Operations Manager

Originally from Florida, Laurel has long had an interest in eating, growing and sharing food. She studied at New College of Florida and her undergraduate thesis was entitled “All Organic Food is (Not) Created Equal.” A cheese maker in a previous life, she has worked with numerous local food and sustainability organizations throughout the Triangle. She is fascinated by systems theory, and permaculture. As nerdy as it is, she loves talking about databases as a tool to help organizations get better at doing what they do. Laurel  is thrilled to be the Operations Manager at SEEDs and hopes to help spread the word on what SEEDS is growing, eating and sharing with the community.


Phone: (919) 683-1197


Jody White

Development and Outreach Coordinator

Growing up on a farm, Jody knows how much hard work and resources it takes to grow quality food and how important food is to the culture and quality of life in a community. She has found Durham to be just the kind of place she likes, where food, friends, and family is in focus and the greater community fosters creativity and healthy living. At SEEDS, Jody works to find the resources the SEEDS’ programs need to help their programs and the gardens grow.  Her favorite foods include hummus, grape leaves and eggplant, although she has many more she’d like to add to that list. Jody loves meeting new people and figuring out where there is overlap between a volunteer’s personal mission statement, a company’s values, or a group’s intentions with SEEDS’ priorities so people can work together to learn, grow, and do for others.


Phone: (919) 683-1197 x 5


Kareemah Abdusamad

Children’s Program Manager

Kareemah Abdusamad comes to SEEDS as Summer Camp Manager after years of experience with Durham Public Schools Before and After school programs.  She is a master gardener volunteer and is an activist for agriculture in general and food justice in particular. Her specialty is home gardening.


Hilary Nichols

Garden Manager & Volunteer Coordinator

Hilary can’t wait to taste new foods, especially picked straight off the plant and popped in your mouth. Loquats are her favorite fruiting plant for their cheerful scent. Hilary loves gardening, and believes that dirty hands are happy hands! Hilary is a horticulturist. She gets excited teaching about gardening, and bringing people closer to plants and each other through growing together. Hilary is the one to talk to about edible and pollinator gardening in Southside, the SEEDS community garden program, workshops, plant sale, and the Garden of Eatin. She is committed to collaboratively honoring human work and creativity, while maintaining sound ecological practices through permaculture. Take care of the Earth. Take care of the People. Share the Surplus.


Phone: 919-683-1197 x 3