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Meet the Team

Since its inception, Minneopa Orchards has expanded its horizons, inviting a diverse group of writers and gardening experts who share a common love for growing their own food.

Our blog is an outpouring of the diverse experiences and rich knowledge of our passionate team members, each contributing their unique perspective to our collective wisdom on cultivating, pruning, and harvesting the most luscious fruits from nature’s bounty.

With hands perpetually soiled in earth’s goodness, our authors are the roots of our blog, drawing up nutrients of know-how and insights to nurture every reader’s green thumb. Delve into their backgrounds, explore their gardening journeys, and find inspiration in their shared commitment to tending both soil and soul. Get to know the minds behind the Minneopa Orchards, where every word is sown with love for the leaf and the limb.

Matt Cunningham

Matt Cunningham, co-founder of Minneopa Orchards alongside his brother Ryan, is a steward of the land with roots deeply embedded in the farming life. Raised on a farm with both parents imparting their love for agriculture—his father a farmer and his mother a gardener. Matt’s orchard and vineyard journey has blossomed into Minneopa Orchards – dedicated to sharing the joy of growing food with a community of like-minded enthusiasts.

I can be reached at

Ryan Cunningham

Ryan Cunningham, the tech-savvy half of the Minneopa Orchards founding duo, brings a fusion of technological expertise and horticultural experience to the digital landscape of gardening. Ryan’s experimental approach to backyard gardening enrich their shared vision.

Liv Headley

With a bachelor’s in Communication Studies and months spent working in kitchens around the world, Liv Headley joined the Minneopa Orchards team ready to share recipe ideas that are sure to have you coming back for more.

From what ingredients can help tenderize that tough cut of meat to choosing the perfect plant variety to cater to your tastebuds, Liv’s passion for all things food-related will bring new and exciting angles to your cooking experience!

Hope Schwartz-Leeper

Hope is an avid reader, writer, and lover of all things nature with degrees in English and Philosophy.

In addition to tending her bees, Hope loves growing her own food and plants and is always trying to grow something new. She’s hoping her apple trees will one day bear fruit, but for now she’s excited about anything that comes from the garden.

Stephanie Lamberth

Stephanie Lamberth is a writer who gained most of what she knows about gardening from summers spent on her family’s farm tending, picking, and storing the produce they grew.

Her family started and ran a thriving farm that fed hundreds, if not thousands, of people in the community with fresh, naturally grown produce. She learned the effort and the reward of growing your own food!

Jalin Coblentz

Jalin was born and raised in northeast Ohio in the heart of farming country and grew up working in the family garden growing corn, tomatoes, potatoes, and a wide range of vegetables.

Canning and preservation were also a way of life for Jalin growing up, and he spent countless hours helping his mother, grandmother, and aunts with these duties. It’s now his passion to share his skills and knowledge with others to help them achieve their own growing goals.

Margherita Bassi

Margherita Bassi is a freelance writer, journalist, and editor. She grew up between the US and Europe, and nurtured her love for nature and the outdoors in both countries.

In the US, she went on dozens of RV trips with her family, scouted out the best restaurants in every city she visited, and learned how to grow herbs and veggies of all kinds by watching her mother.

In Europe, she experimented with gardening in small spaces, like the small balcony of her apartment in France. With an MA in International New Media Journalism, Margherita is also a skilled researcher in a wide range of topics, and has extensive experience interviewing both individuals and experts.

Sadie Teh

She lives on 5 acres near Nashville, Tennessee, where she enjoys growing fruits, vegetables, and flowers (there’s always room for one more plant!)

Sadie’s writing is driven by a genuine desire to help people grow beautiful, thriving gardens while sharing the joy and satisfaction that gardening brings. With a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s in education, Sadie’s background not only adds depth to her writing but also allows her to effectively communicate with a wide range of readers.

Sadie’s favorite things to grow are flowers (especially sunflowers) and tomatoes. When she’s not writing or working in the garden, you can find Sadie substitute teaching at her kids’ school, curled up with a good book, or poring over seed catalogs.

Cassidy Eubanks

Cassidy Eubanks is a proud Michigander, an avid reader, and lover of colorful gardens!

After earning her bachelor’s in Creative Writing, gardening gave her an excuse to get outside and get away from all the screens. With a particular love for decorating with colorful flowers, using herbs grown in her own garden, and finding creative ways to build big gardens in small spaces, Cassidy enjoys helping others learn about growing their own food, flowers, and trees through Minneopa Orchards!

Max Loel

Max Loel is a seasoned writer with a unique life journey that spans across diverse landscapes.

Beyond the realm of words, Max has carved out a different kind of haven — a 15-acre homestead in the Midwest. This sanctum represents their testament to resilience and commitment to sustainable living.

Max brings a fresh perspective to the literary world, blending the experiences of a global wanderer with the grounded roots of a Midwest homesteader.

Lauren Juarez

Lauren has three main passions: her family, writing, and gardening! Lauren has spent countless hours in her garden tending to different plants, whether those be beautiful flowers, vegetables, or different perennials.

Rest assured that if it concerns plants and gardens, Lauren has got you covered. So, when needing advice or looking for the best new gardening gadget, you have come to the right place and the right author.

Bree Ewers

Bree began gardening when she became a homeowner — whenever she moved into a new home, a garden was one of her first priorities. She enjoyed creating beautiful outdoor spaces in whatever growing zone she lived in and says her southwest gardens were the most challenging!

Bree currently lives in a downtown urban setting, so she’s making good use of indoor gardening methods. Writing for Minneopa Orchards also inspires her to experiment in the kitchen with fresh herbs and seasonal produce. Infused oils, fruit syrups, and dried fruits are some of her recent successes.

Renee Dugan

A Midwest girl who’s been in the garden since she could first hold a hand trowel, Renee’s love of growing things has bloomed into a passion for healthy living, holistic lifestyle, and knowing where our food comes from.

Now a mother and maturing gardener herself, Renee is passionate about channeling everything she knows and continues to learn about gardening into lessons for her son and others. Her excitement for sharing this knowledge is only superseded by her excitement about being able to finally grow her own citrus plants in pots.

Nicole Kinkade

Nicole Kinkade considers herself blessed to have grown up with fresh garden vegetables and fruit readily available. Both sets of grandparents were avid gardeners, and she spent many hours helping them collect the fruits of their labor.

She is passionate about healthy living and loves learning and sharing about nutrition facts. She is also always experimenting in the kitchen and finds joy in writing about what she’s been cooking.