Forest Farming Intensive, September 20 thru October 1 at Warren Wilson College in Swannanoa, NC

Meet Our Forest Farming Teachers

Meghan Baker

Meghan Baker

Marketing 201

Meghan Baker is a horticultural professional working to support sustainable agriculture in the Asheville area.  After completing her Masters of Science degree at Clemson University, she began working for the NC Cooperative Extension Service and has developed a broad foundation of agricultural and natural resource expertise.  An avid naturalist and outdoor enthusiast, Meghan also holds certifications as a North Carolina Environmental Educator, a Southern Appalachian Naturalist and an Interpretive Guide. A native of Western North Carolina, Meghan is deeply committed to sustaining the agricultural heritage and farmscapes in the region.

Margaret Bloomquist

Margaret Bloomquist

Harvesting & Processing 101

Margaret Bloomquist is a Research Assistant with Dr. Jeanine Davis’ Alternative Crops and Organics Program of NC State – Primarily working with medicinal herbs, woodland botanicals, organic vegetables, the Eastern broccoli project, and other specialty crop research and extension efforts. When outside the fields and forests of Western North Carolina, Margaret serves on boards with the NC Natural Products Association, NC Ginseng Association, Azalea Mountain Waldorf School, and other community groups. Margaret has studied and worked in three countries with sustainable agriculture and rural community development. She is constantly continuing education and wisdom through her research and personal interests; including topics in soil ecology, plant medicine, biodynamic agriculture, homeopathy, communication, education and more.

Rolando Boye

Rolando Boye

Harvesting & Processing 201, Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Your Forest Farming Operation

Rolando Boye is a certified herbalist and laboratory manager at the US Botanical Safety Laboratory in Candler, NC where he specializes in botanical identification, and is involved with a variety of quality assurance and laboratory functions in a cGMP environment. As a botanical identification specialist, product formulator and former natural products educator, he has consulted with leading companies on numerous herbal and nutritional formulations, from crafting the ideal formula and procurement of raw materials, to scale-up in manufacturing, developing botanical identity methods, and package design. Rolando is passionate about the healing power of herbs, and has made it his life’s mission to help companies, manufacturers, and growers craft effective, safe, and innovative herbal medicines.

Osker Brown

Osker Brown

Owner/Operator of Glorious Forest Farm

Silvopasture: Animals & Tree Crops

Osker manages Glorious Forest Farm, where he is working to develop wild staple foods, silvopasture, and coppice systems in rural Madison County.

Eric Burkhart, PhD

Eric Burkhart, PhD

Propagation 101, Growing Woodland Medicinals 201

Dr. Eric Burkhart is an ethnobotanist who works on production, conservation and trade areas surrounding native medicinal forest plants originating from the eastern United States. He holds degrees in Economic Botany (B.A, Idaho State University), Horticulture (M.S., Penn State University), and Forest Resources (Ph.D., Penn State University) and is currently plant science program director for Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center and faculty instructor for the Penn State Ecosystem Science and Management Department. His research program in Pennsylvania is focused on developing sustainable wild crop management and production systems for American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius), goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis), ramps (Allium tricoccum) and other native forest plants through the use of
agroforestry cultivation and plant husbandry.

Jeanine Davis

Jeanine Davis

Growing Woodland Medicinals 101, Marketing 101, Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Your Forest Farming Operation

Jeanine is a researcher and extension specialist with NC State University. She and her staff run a program dedicated to organic agriculture and alternative crops (e.g., hops, truffles, stevia, herbs) at research stations in Mills River and Waynesville. She is the lead author of the book Growing and Marketing Ginseng, Goldenseal and Other Woodland Medicinals and co-owner of Our Tiny Farm in Etowah.

Dave Ellum

Dave Ellum

Propogation 201, Shadehouse Propogation & Nursery Production Demonstration

Growing up in southern New England, Dave always had an affinity for forests and a curiosity about how they functioned. Dave now works with students at Warren Wilson to understand how to best protect forests while maintaining their ecological, economic and social values. Through his classes, research and the Forestry Crew, they investigate management practices focused on non-timber forest products — especially medicinal plants, agroforestry techniques and maintaining biodiversity through natural regeneration methods.

Jennifer Flynn

Jennifer Flynn

Certifications & Verifications 101

Jennifer Flynn, Business Consultant, Educator and Program Specialist. Jennifer is a former owner of a natural products company, current Brand Manager for the North Carolina Natural Products Association‘s Blue Ridge Naturally program, Program Director for the Grass To Greens Program of Bountiful Cities, consultant to Accelerating Appalachia, ecopsychologist and permaculturist with 15+ years experience in working to connect people to their place through community development, one on one advising, and small business consulting in rural WNC. She is also an artist and an herbalist by training and loves connecting with plants for healing.

Justin Holt

Justin Holt

Establishing A Fruit & Nut Orchard

Justin Holt is a Nutty Buddy (co-founder of the Nutty Buddy Collective and Nutty Buddy Nurseries), a Fruit Nut (member of the Buncombe Fruit and Nut Club), a fruit explorer (serves on the board of the North American Fruit Explorers), a kudzu cowboy (wrangles kudzu vines and roots for fiber and food) and works to facilitate hands-on, ecology-connected learning in Asheville-area schools with The Roots Foundation. Justin has been working in and learning about the wondrous world of tree crops for roughly a decade.

Elena Rogers

Elena Rogers

Rules and Regulations Pertaining to Your Forest Farming Operation

Elena Rogers is the Area Specialized Agent in Food Safety – Fresh Produce out of the Department of Horticultural Sciences at NCSU. Her programmatic focus is providing educational programs, training and technical support on fresh produce safety to produce growers in the Piedmont and Western NC.  This includes assistance with FSMA’s Produce Safety Rule implementation and food safety audits. Elena was an Agriculture Extension Agent with the University of Florida/IFAS Extension for 11 years prior to starting in this position.

Shawn Swartz

Shawn Swartz

Non-Timber Forest Product and Agroforestry Tour of Warren Wilson
Shawn Swartz is a Registered Forester in NC, an SAF Certified Forester, and ISA certified Arborist. He holds degrees in Forest Management and Natural Resource Management from Haywood Community College and Oregon State University. At Warren Wilson College Shawn is the Forest Manager, Timbersports Team Coach, and Advisor to the Student Chapter of the Society of American Foresters. His professional interests include the restoration of forest species including American chestnut and eastern hemlock; non-timber forest products such as American ginseng, goldendseal, ramps, tree syrups, and woodland mushrooms; and woody perennial crops such as American hazlenut, black walnut, and pawpaw. When not working, he enjoys hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, and riding his motorcycle.

Questions about this program? Contact Sera, Farmer Programs Associate, at farmer-programs@organicgrowersschool.org.

OGS Farmer Programs are made possible by our farmer network and funding in part by Carolina Farm Credit, Community Foundation of WNC, CLIF Bar Family Foundation, French Broad Food Co-op, New Belgium Brewing, Organic Valley - Farmers Advocating for Organic Farming, Simply Organic 1%, and by the USDA-NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, Grant #2016-70017-25341. Read more about Farmer Programs' Funding Partners here.

OGS

OGS

Organic Growers School is a non-profit organization providing organic education since 1993. Our mission is to inspire, educate, and support people in our region to farm, garden, and live organically.