Dr. Lanette Sobel, M.S., D.P.M, Founder and President Fertile Earth.

Known as "Miami's Queen of Compost," Dr. Lanette Sobel founded Fertile Earth Worm Farm in 2009. She brings a depth of knowledge and experience in both business and science. Born in
Washington, D.C., she earned a business degree at the University of Virginia in 2000 and became a serial entrepreneur, first in real estate and then in sustainability consulting for the hospitality industry. While in the latter, several waste audits for her clients led her to discover the massive impact food waste is having on the ecosystem.


Upon realizing that the only commercial option for disposing of surplus food
in South Florida was to landfill, she decided to create an alternative, and Fertile Earth Worm Farm (FEWF) was born.

To date, Fertile Earth has diverted tens of millions of pounds of food away from the landfill, transforming food scraps into animal feed and compost. Dr. Sobel is a certified permaculturist and a certified commercial composter. In 2018, she earned a master’s degree in forest pathology and a doctorate in plant medicine (University of Florida), and in early 2020 she established a state-of-the-art earthworm farm.

In 2021, Dr. Sobel joined the faculty at Earth & Life University in Mexico, teaching the world's first Spanish-language doctoral-level course on circular economies. In 2022, she was appointed to the board of the South Dade Soil & Water Conservation District, a quasi-governmental non-profit.

As of 2024, Fertile Earth continues to expand its large-scale food-waste disposal service in the commercial and residential sectors; while producing the highest quality compost, vermicompost, organic fertilizers, teas and soil blends in South Florida.

Dr. Lanette Sobel is the co-founder of Fertile Earth Foundation, South Florida’s
only environmental non-profit organization focused on compost education.

Our Team

Backing up Dr. Sobel is a relentless team dedicated to making South Florida a leader in composting and soil regeneration.

Chief of Staff- Anisa This 'Daddy's Girl' grew up in a diverse family in Chicago, and is now the glue that holds Fertile Earth together.  With 27 years of corporate experience working at McDonald's (17 in Operations and 10 in Human Resources), Anisa has returned to her roots as a tree hugger and health guru; and is driven by a passion to live in an off-grid sustainable community surrounded by great people.

Lead Driver - Paul

Before moving to Florida in 2016, Paul DeJesus drove buses in NYC for almost nine years, which sounds like sufficient experience for dealing with Miami traffic.

The courteous and ever dependable Paul sets the standard for our drivers. In the years that he has been our lead driver, Fertile Earth has picked up millions of pounds of compost, all while maintaining a spotless record and zero missed pick-ups.

Master Grower and Farmer - Wolfgang has 10+ years experience as a Master Grower and Farmer.  One of his
hundreds of duties includes curating the food scraps that we pick up, and overseeing the process as it all turns back into organic soil.

He graduated out West Las Positas College (Livermore, California) where he studied Computer Science and Network Theory. Today he enjoys working with plants and animals, and often tells friends how grateful he is for his daughter....and for the joy of working outdoors every day. 

Plant Relations - Sumoonah
(Pronounced "sun-moon-ah") can often be found at the Pinecrest Farmer's Market on Sundays, teaching the community the ins and outs of our pilot residential composting program with the City of Pinecrest. 

She is always happy to share the lessons learned in her relationship with the land (through garden tending, nature-based artistry, herbal medicine and intuitive plant care). And she integrates herself with kids to share with them plant, soil and worm wisdom on a tangible sensory level. She is also in charge of tours and bringing the community to Fertile Earth to learn its lessons.

Sales Director - Art has more than 20 years of experience across Fortune 1000 and small start-up firms.  After receiving his MBA from the University of Chicago,
he worked across a variety of food manufacturers and food service providers.

Art joined the sustainability movement as a kid. The first item on his resume: His attempt to introduce recycling to his elementary school in
the 1970's.

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

Our team of professionals and volunteers is always growing. Feel free to reach out to us!