Caretaker Bios

Shannon O’Toole
Newsletter Editor 
Storehouse Manager
Community Outreach
Gardener
Grant Team

Hi, I’m Shannon! I was born in Baltimore, Maryland and grew up in Catonsville, spending summers in Ocean City, learning how to pick crabs, and pronouncing “wash” with an R in the middle. I attended Catholic school my whole life, but it wasn’t until college that I really dove into my faith, discovered my love of service, and realized how the two inherently go hand-in-hand. I went to Villanova University (#gocatz), where I graduated with a degree in Liberal Arts in May 2016, learned a ton about Catholic Social Teaching, and witnessed firsthand our basketball team’s incredible run to the 2016 NCAA National Championship. I may have graduated, but I still throw up my Vs whenever I get the chance. It was actually through a Villanova service break trip that I first came to Bethlehem Farm, in October 2015. I fell in love and couldn’t stay away, returning as a Summer Servant and then applying to be a caretaker — and now here I am! I’ve always loved big cities, so moving to this serene spot is a weird, but welcome, change. My favorite season is fall, and I am in awe of the way the mountains look when the leaves change color. At the Farm you can usually find me drinking a cup of coffee or tea, talking about something nerdy, singing to myself, or watching the sunset from my favorite hammock on the second-floor porch.

Audrey Kolde
Animal Wrangleroodrey
Gardener
Grants Team
Facilities Maintenance Team

She grew up in the heel of the boot Lake Charles, Louisiana, the fifth most humid city in the USA. During her attendance at Louisiana Tech University she hoped to learn how to attain the super power of saving the planet with a degree of Environmental Science. She saw the world of God’s nature and awesomeness and depth of her faith and rejoiced. She found she could share the joy by just wanting to talk about it one on one, in small groups, while singing, while leading retreats, and while leading liturgy committee at the Newman center. She loves sustainable agriculture because of how it connects environmental science to wonderful people and communities. Wanting at the same time to view those connections through the eyes of faith has led her to a wonderful find of Bethlehem Farm where the four cornerstones of prayer, community, simplicity, and service along with the West Virginia mountains and rivers has captured her heart. Her mission is to learn to live out her faith in an extraordinary way and share the joy of it.

You should be warned she enjoys singing, tea, space operas (she love love loves scifi), hiking, pickles, spicy food, bugs, cats, being an INTP and a member of the Ravenclaw House.

Tim Shovlin
hayProject Coordinator
Community Facilitator
Auto Maintenance

Hey, I am Tim Shovlin, T-Puff, T-Shov, or Tim Shov-e-lin (shout-out Isaiah Fitts). I hail from Ohio and am a graduate of The University of Dayton and The Ohio State University where I received a Bachelor’s and Master’s respectively both degrees in Sports Administration and Kinesiology. I first came to Bethlehem Farm as a high school volunteer in 2010, and was a summer servant from 2012-2015. I am an avid sports radio listener and big supporter of the Arsenal Football Club, All Things Cleveland/ Columbus, and Ohio State Football. I have a passion for service to higher education, particularly in collegiate recreation and student development. Some of my favorite things to do are exploring the outdoors, watching shows and movies, and gathering with friends to watch a game. I hope to continue my knowledge of carpentry and home repair as I serve as the Project Coordinator. I look forward to continue making West Virginia my second home state.

Jarusha Lang
Hiring Coordinator
Web Manager
Facilities Maintenance Team
Grant Team

Hello hello, my name is Jarusha and with me is Blue one of the Farm dogs that I have adopted as my child. I was born and raised in the suburbs of Chicago (Go Blackhawks) and went to Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame Indiana. After I graduated in 2014 with a Bachelors in Business Administration, I moved back home and got a job in clinical research. Almost two years later I decided it was time to do something different. My very first exposure to Bethlehem Farm was during a high school week the summer of 2010, right before I went off to college. I enjoyed every minute of it and knew I had to come back. When asked to chaperone another high school trip in 2013, I instantly accepted. Even though it was three years later I still felt like Bethlehem Farm was “home”. Keeping with the trend I decided to apply and moved in three years later. Two of my favorite things about living at the farm are meeting so many wonderful people and exploring the natural beauty of West Virginia.

 

Isaiah Fitts
2016-03-27 16.47.08Cutest Toddler

I arrived at the Bethlehem Farm community on September 22, 2013 and have been charming everyone since. I specialize in giggling, bouncing balls, and calling Carley by the wrong name. My parents, Eric and Colleen, think I’m pretty cute.

 

Miriam Fitts
Chief HelperMiriam

Explorer

Hi, I’m Miriam. I was born October 6, 2010. My mama and dada are Colleen and Eric– can’t you tell by my good looks? I like wearing lots of colorful clothing and I’m very good at being cute. Hiking around the Farm, singing Canticle of the Turning, making sugar cakes and catching slugs for the chickens are some of my favorite pastimes. I also enjoy planting cover crop in the garden.

Colleen Fitts
Co-House Manager
Facilities Maintenance Team
Development Officer

My husband Eric and I have been living at Bethlehem Farm since May 2007. I went to college at Loyola University Chicago, then spent two years working at Nazareth Farm (Bethlehem Farm’s sister farm) as the Project Coordinator. Eric and I got married in 2005, moved to Morgantown, WV, and I graduated with a Master’s Degree in Social Work from West Virginia University. I love working with my hands, whether it’s working on the farm vehicles, framing walls, or creating unique quilts. Some of my favorite Farm activities are tending the honeybees, canning and preserving food, and learning about growing fruit on the Farm. In the meantime, I love raising our kids on the farm, trying to live authentically, and continuously growing from the experiences we have and the people we meet here. Our children Miriam and Isaiah bring great joy to life at the Farm.

Eric Fitts
Director
Gardener

I grew up in Wauwatosa, WI, graduated from Loyola University Chicago in 1999 with a degree in biology and was involved in the Encounter and Search retreats, as well as service trips to Nazareth Farm, Guatemala, and inner-city Chicago. After college, I volunteered and worked at Nazareth Farm in Doddridge County, WV, from 1999-2002, and worked as the mentor of the Mother Jones House Christian service community at Wheeling Jesuit from 2003-2005, where I also studied theology. I married my lovely wife Colleen in 2005 and we both attended West Virginia University, where I earned a Master of Public Administration and Certificate in Nonprofit Management in May, 2007. I enjoy working in the garden, running, hiking and stargazing.