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I was raised in a family who practiced urban homesteading, although they probably would not have called it that. When I moved out on my own, I kept trying to garden and compost, but wasn't able to actually put that in practice until I ended up in rental house with an indulgent landlord and housemates. I kept feeling that just practicing organic gardening was leaving out a lot, and some exploring led me to Gaia's Garden, Toby Hemenway's book.
I started up my own organic gardening business, which led quickly to taking 4 Seasons 1 at RDI. After that, I was hungry for more depth work in permaculture, and started shifting my business over to following the permaculture ethics and principles. It already was headed that way, but they gave me a language to use when talking to clients.
Other courses I’ve taken at RDI include the water harvesting and food forest design courses with Geoff Lawton (separate courses); two keyline design and soil building courses with Darren Doherty; the Water Wizards workshop that Penny did with Art Ludwig and Brock Dolman; and an advanced permaculture design course with Robyn Frances. I also took Ecology of Leadership 1, in 2006, and was very active in its leadership circle for a while after graduating.
Through a desire to read landscapes more effectively, I participated in the Integral Awareness Training Series for four years, and have worked very hard to bring nature awareness and permaculture together. I think they are inseparable, greatly enhancing and deepening each other. I have also taken the advanced bird language training a couple of times, maybe more, and have been acorning in the 4-seasons courses for years.
Currently, I work as the chief steward at Arastradero Preserve, doing, among other things, perennial grassland and oak woodland restoration, water harvesting, and soil conservation. I freelance doing permaculture design and consultation, volunteer in the transition movement, and do some environmental education on the side. I have recently become involved with the transition movement, and am part of the steering committees for both Transition Palo Alto and Transition Silicon Valley. I am also on staff for the Santa Cruz 4 Seasons course, starting later in the spring.
In the future, I plan to continue practicing and teaching permaculture design, and I hope to see it incorporated into the broadacre restoration work being done throughout this state and the rest of the world. I think incorporating permaculture ethics and principles into everything we do is critical, going into this next phase of our relationship with the world outside of our species. That is probably a lot of what is drawing me into the Transition movement. That and reskilling. I want to see permaculture practice become financially sustainable for a wider audience, and to see a web of transition towns and permaculture communities creating a resilient network that will help heal the world and its peoples.
Before, during, and after that, I'll be dancing, singing, playing music, eating fresh fruit, listening to birds, and watching creatures, wind and water moving on the landscape.
I am always looking for clients and collaborators, and am best reached via e-mail at: email@example.com, or by phone at 650-380-7030. Both are intermittently reliable, so it's best to try both and to follow up if you don't hear back right away, as I might not have received the message!