In Memoriam: John Carr, the SIFAT Gardener

It is with heavy hearts and our deepest sorrow that we announce that our beloved gardener, John Carr, passed away unexpectedly on March 26, 2021. John made an impact on every person’s life who came on our campus from the beautiful landscaping he created to the delicious vegetables he grew. He will be greatly missed, and we join his family in our grief.

Thank you for your outpouring of love and support. We received so many social media comments, emails and phone calls from around the world as the news spread among friends, former staff and SIFAT graduates. We will never know how many were touched by the wealth of knowledge John passionately shared during the classes he taught in our trainings, the tours he gave to visitors and the countless conversations held all over campus.

We hope you will join our SIFAT family and the Carr family as we celebrate John’s life on July 31 at SIFAT. Time to be announced.

John Andrew Carr May 20, 1960 – March 26, 2021

John loved giving tours to our campus guests, sharing his passion for gardening methods to improve food production for our SIFAT training graduates.


John spent countless hours in the garden: watering and weeding crops, protecting the plants from freezes and harvesting delicious produce.


John was well known for his sweet potatoes and promoted using the leaves of the plants, as much as the root!


John’s research brought many unusual varieties of plants to our campus, and he was always sharing cuttings and transplants with those interested in trying to grow these plants.


So many of our graduates, summer Learn & Serve staff, interns and staff have memories of John that will last a lifetime. We will miss you, John, but we are so thankful for the time you spent with us.