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Conference Instructors

Jim Adkins, Sustainable Poultry Network

For over 35 years Jim’s passion for heritage breed poultry has ignited local and regional food movements. He is the founder of the Sustainable Poultry Network, committed to “breeding, growing, and marketing poultry that can naturally reproduce, and be genetically maintained.”

Alison Arnold, NC Cooperative Extension

Alison has more than 30 years of public horticulture experience. She is responsible for education outreach to Buncombe County residents as well as training and coordination of the Extension Master Gardener Volunteer program. She also worked at the NC Arboretum for 16 years as gardener, volunteer coordinator and Director of Horticulture.

Abby Artemisia, Mighty Oak From Little Acorn

Abby is a botanist, herbalist, and forager. She is the owner of Mighty Oak from Little Acorn, which inspires health empowerment and nature (re)connection. She loves teaching about the plants and mushrooms growing in our backyards and the woods down the street, making botany accessible to everyone.

Cyndi Ball, National Ladies Homestead Gathering

Cyndi Ball is a homesteader of 25 years, wife of 30, and mother of six. She runs an educational homestead, the Lazy B Farm, in Statham, GA and is the Founder of the National Ladies Homestead Gathering. Cyndi began making soap in 1991.

Byron Ballard, Mother Grove Goddess Temple

Byron Ballard is a ritualist, rootworker, teacher, energy healer, urban farmer, and author of two books on Appalachian folk magic. She offers workshops on traditional mountain culture, earth-based spirituality, and herbal wisdom. She is a founder and elder priestess at Mother Grove Goddess Temple.

Matt Bennett, Sundance Power Systems

Hailing from Athens, Ohio, with 21 years of solar experience, Matt joined Sundance Power Systems as Operations Manager in 2014. He previously founded Dovetail Solar & Wind and has installed 100’s of solar systems of all types and sizes throughout the Midwest and southeast. He now resides on a homestead in Madison County.

Becky Beyer, Student Appalachian State University

Becky Beyer is a teacher of spoon carving and all aspects of organic farming. She is a practitioner of natural horsemanship, a burgeoning illustrator, and musician. Becky is currently studying for a Masters Degree in Appalachian Studies and Ethnobotany at Appalachian State University.

Natalie BogwalkerFirefly Gathering

Natalie Bogwalker practices and shares skills she considers vital to humanity’s future. She is the founder and director of Wild Abundance, a school focused on skills empowering adults and teens in using permaculture, primitive skills, organic gardening, wild foods and medicine, and farmsteading. Natalie also coordinates the Firefly Gathering.

Jack BrittWNC Brewers Grain LLC

Jack was raised on a dairy farm in Kentucky and has taught animal science and veterinary medicine at several universties. He has worked with farms of all sizes and is currently working with WNC Brewers Grain LLC to provide brewing byproducts to farmers for livestock feed and other uses.

Andrew Goodheart Brown, Orchardist

Andrew, a 40 year resident of WNC, is a passionate home orchardist with over 46 varieties grown ecologically. Andrew is an international consultant in small scale sustainable agriculture projects, an endangered species observer, field biologist, naturalist, permaculturist, gourmet natural food cook, educator, gardener and beekeeper.

Brant Bullock, King Family Farm

Brant Bullock, his wife and two kids operate the King Family Farm in Piney Flats, TN where they breed and raise poultry, swine, and beef. After being frustrated with the direction of industrial farming, they decided it was their mission to engage in traditional and sustainable farming methods.

Vanessa Campbell, Full Sun Farm

Vanessa Campbell, along with her husband, has been growing vegetables, cut flowers, and strawberries in the Asheville area since 1996 and has been a board member of the Organic Growers School since 2010. She uses natural growing methods and sells her bounty at two farmers markets and through a small CSA.

Luke Cannon, Astounding Earth

More than a botanist, Luke Cannon is an avid naturalist, long-time learner, and teacher of our astounding natural world. Luke offers regular classes in WNC on plants, birds, insects, lichens, and fungi. He has great enthusiasm for building closer relationships with the wilds around us.

Shannon Carroll, Suncatcher Greenhouse

Shannon has 30+ years of experience providing leadership and support for instructional technology in the K-12 arena as well as providing technical assistance, recording keeping, and gardening support for SunCatcher Passive Solar Greenhouses. She retired from Watauga County Schools in 2013 and is currently dividing her time between a part-time educational technology consultant position, working part-time as the Lettuce Learn garden coordinator for Parkway School, and helping with SunCatcher monitoring and automation projects, website updates, office management, communications and testing of the SunCatcher Jr. prototype.

Terry Carroll, Suncatcher Greenhouses

Dr. Terry Carroll has been involved with solar energy research and design for nearly four decades and holds advanced degrees in physics and science education. He retired from teaching in 2009 to devote himself full time to the development of SunCatcher Passive Solar Greenhouses. Shannon Carroll has 30+ years of experience in leadership of instructional technology. They currently live in the Boone, NC area.

Ali Casparian, Bounty and Soul

Ali is the Founder and Executive Director of Bounty & Soul, a non-profit providing fresh, healthy food, nutrition literacy, and wellness resources to people in need in Buncombe and McDowell Counties. She is a certified Holistic Health & Wellness Coach and a certified Food Healing Instructor.

Callie CasteelAnimal Welfare Approved

Callie Casteel is a Mississippi native, currently living in Tennessee. She has a background in sustainable food and has worked to incorporate food studies into academic curriculums. Passionate about connecting Certified AWA farms with new markets, Callie loves teaching consumers about the connections between animal, human and environmental health.

Tom CelonaNutty Buddy Nurseries

Tom Celona has been planting and maintaining perennial food installations in Asheville for five years through the Buncombe County Fruit and Nut Club. The club operates exclusively under volunteer effort and without grants. He is an owner of Nutty Buddy Nurseries and the Nutty Buddy Collective.

Janelle Lucido-Conate, Our Daily Kraut

Janelle is an author, mother, mystic and master home cook. Her e-book, Food Without Fear, is full of practical inspiration and everyday mindfulness in the kitchen. She believes food is only hard if we feel like it’s hard so she’s decided to feel like it’s easy. For more go to JanelleLucido.com

Clint Corley, Living Earth School

Clint is a Certified Wilderness Guide through Teaching Drum Outdoor School in Wisconsin. He is a Coordinator for the primitive skills event, Earthskills Rendezvous, and has worked extensively with children as a lead instructor at the Living Earth School and The Institute for Wild Intelligence.

Tradd Cotter, Mushroom Mountain

Tradd Cotter is a microbiologist, professional mycologist, and organic gardener who has been studying native fungi in the Southeast for more than 22 years. In 1996 he founded Mushroom Mountain, which explores applications for mushrooms in various industries and currently maintains over 200 species of fungi for food production, mycoremediation, and alternatives to pesticides.

David CozzoRevitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources

Dr. Cozzo is an ethnobotanist specializing in the relationship of the Cherokee to their botanical world and is the Project Director for the Revitalization of Traditional Cherokee Artisan Resources. He teaches on the nutritional and medical ethnobotany of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians.

Ken Crouse, Peaceful Valley Gardens

Ken has spent over 30 years studying fungi in the Southern Appalachians and Mexico. He is a longtime member of the North American Mycological Association as a Regional Trustee and Chairman of the Cultivation Committee. He currently lives in Wilkes County and leads many mushroom programs throughout the region.

Ken Czarnomski, Architect

Ken is an architect from Waynesville, NC with four decades of experience throughout the country. He has received several design and construction certifications, including reduction of carbon footprint. He advocates for natural, sustainable design and environmentally conscious construction.

Jeanine DavisNC State University

Jeanine Davis is a researcher and extension specialist with NC State University where she runs a program dedicated to organic agriculture and alternative crops (e.g., hops, truffles, stevia, herbs). She is the lead author of Growing and Marketing Ginseng, Goldenseal and co-owner of Our Tiny Farm.

Pam DawlingTwin Oaks Community

Pam Dawling is the author of the book Sustainable Market Farming: Intensive Vegetable Production on a Few Acres. She also writes for Growing for Market magazine and manages the growing crew at Twin Oaks Community in central Virginia. You can find Pam’s blogs at www.sustainablemarketfarming.com and www.facebook.com/SustainableMarketFarming

Mark Dempsey,Carolina Farm Stewardship Association

Mark Dempsey is the Farm Services Coordinator at Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, helping farmers implement conservation practices and transition to organic production. His background is in soil microbiology, weed science, and cover crop research.

Suzanna DenisonWNC Farm Link

Suzanna Denison is the land access coordinator for WNC Farm Link, a partnership facilitating successful relationships between farmers looking for land to farm, and landowners aspiring to keep their farm and forest land in agriculture.

Joel DufourEarth Tools Inc

Joel Dufour grew up on a 5-acre organic vegetable farm, using hand tools almost daily. He owns Earth Tools Inc, one of the leading suppliers of high-quality garden tools in the USA. Joel still gardens on a 1/4 acre for home use and is excited to share his passion for good tools.

Todd Elliott, Naturalist

Todd Elliott is a naturalist, ecologist, photographer, performance artist, primitive skills instructor, and homesteader based in WNC. Todd’s interest in fungi has led him to researching, studying, lecturing, and documenting on six continents. He is currently writing a field guide to southeastern mushrooms for Timber Press.

Tom Elmore, Thatchmore Farm

Tom Elmore is co-owner and operator of Thatchmore Farm in Leicester NC. He has grown certified organic produce since 1987 for retail and wholesale markets, serves on the Board of the Organic Growers School, and is active in CRAFT.

Ashley English, Small Measure

Ashley English is the author of seven books, including four books in her Homemade Living Series. She has been featured in major publications and is a repeat guest on Martha Stewart Radio. Ashley lives in Candler, NC and blogs about her adventures in homesteading.

Stephens Smith Farrell, Architect

Stephens Smith Farrell is an Asheville Architect with a strong focus on sustainability and resilience in the built environment. Stephens is on the Board of the WNC Green Building Council and is an Accredited Professional of the US Green Building Council’s LEEDS Program.

Kifu Faruq, Southeast Wise Women

Kifu Faruq is staff at Southeast Wise Women and co-founder of Solutionary Apothecary, whose mission it is to increase access to herbal and nutritional remedies for healing to all humans, end racism and oppression in our lifetime, and shift our current economy towards a resource based one.

Zev Friedman, Living Systems Design

Zev Friedman is a leading permaculture designer, researcher, teacher, and writer in western North Carolina. He grew up in a patch of kudzu in Sylva, NC and received his B.S. in Human Ecology from University of North Carolina Asheville. Zev specializes in hands-on, in-depth education in permaculture and earthskills.

Melissa Fryar, French Broad Food Coop

Melissa Fryar is an Appalachian born herbalist focused on foraging for wild edibles and utilizing the diverse plants of our region for more than two decades. She teaches at herb schools locally, works at the French Broad Food Coop, and lives, grows, and keeps chickens, near Mars Hill, NC.

Pat Foreman, The Gossamer Foundation

Pat Foreman has kept poultry for about 25 years, taught extensively and has written several books including City Chicks, Chicken Tractor, and A Tiny Home to Call Your Own. Her commercial poultry operation includes managing breeder flocks, incubating eggs, pasturing poultry, finished processing, and direct marketing.

Josh Fox, Fox Herbs and Acupuncture

Josh Fox is a licensed acupuncturist and herbal clinician at Fox Herbs & Acupuncture, incorporating Chinese medicine and Western herbal studies into his practice. He is a core faculty member of the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine and Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts.

Edmund FrostCommon Wealth Seed Growers

Edmund Frost managed Twin Oaks Seed Farm in Louisa, Virginia from 2008-2015, producing vegetable seed crops and produce on six certified organic acres. Edmund is a founder and director of Common Wealth Seed Growers, a new Virginia-based seed company and seed growers cooperative.

Dylan Ryls-HamiltonTransition Asheville

Dylan Ryls-Hamilton teaches permaculture theory and techniques throughout the Southeast. He is an advocate for solutions-based community activism and has worked on many local-food and food justice initiatives. Dylan is also a member of the Transition US Training Team and he loves teaching and facilitating co-creative group processes.

Jonathan Hartsell, Blue Ridge RC&D

Jonathan Hartsell is the Executive Director of Blue Ridge RC&D and has been the project manager for two Hemlock Restoration Initiative awards since 2014. Blue Ridge RC&D has been active in hemlock bio-control since 2003 and supports restoration efforts using native predatory beetles.

Chad Hellwinckel, University of Tennessee

Chad Hellwinckel studied at the Land Institute with Wes Jackson from ’91 to ’93. In 2008 he received a Permaculture Design Certificate, and in 2015 he completed Advanced Permaculture Teacher Training. He has a doctorate in geography from UTenn where he is an assistant professor. He and his wife founded the Knoxville Permaculture Guild in 2008.

Ronnie HolmanHardrock Beef Cattle

Ronnie Holman is the owner of Hardrock Beef Cattle, a red angus based grassfed cattle operation in the western foothills of North Carolina. Hardrock Beef Cattle consists of up to 100 brood cows and operates on over 300 acres of land leased from 10 different land owners.

Justin HoltThe Roots Foundation

Justin Holt is a permaculture designer, activist, and grower. He is a founding member of the Nutty Buddy Collective, a perennial farming collective; co-owner of Nutty Buddy Nurseries; and director of The Roots Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to growing edible landscapes and a culture of outdoor learning.

Patricia Kyritsi HowellBotanoLogos School of Herbal Studies

Patricia Kyritsi Howell, a practicing herbalist with more than 22 years of clincial experience, is the director of the BotanoLogos School of Herbal Medicine in the north Georgia mountains. Her book, Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians, is an essential reference for regional herbs.

Shawn Jadrnicek, Clemson University Student Organic Farm

Shawn is the author of The Bio-Integrated Farm: A Revolutionary Permaculture-Based System Using Greenhouses, Ponds, Compost Piles, Aquaponics, Chickens, and More. He has nourished his interest in sustainability as an organic farmer, nursery grower, extension agent, arborist, landscaper, and now as the manager of Clemson University’s Student Organic Farm.

Becki Janes, Becki’s Bounty

Becki Janes runs Becki’s Bounty, a large urban garden in Black Mountain, NC which utilizes permaculture features and organic practices. There Becki offers on-site skills training for the backyard gardener, educational activities for local schools, work exchange internships, and agritourism activities.

Karen Johnston, Sustainable Poultry Network

Karen is a Certified Breeder with the Sustainable Poultry Network. She is a city girl, having grown up in the suburbs of Chicago, but is quickly adapting to farm life. Karen got her first chickens in 2013, fell in love with them, and currently breeds Black Australorps, Rhode Island Reds, and Welsummers.

Sydney Klein, Polk County Ag Center

Sydney Klein is a gardener, educator, and community organizer. She currently serves as the Grow Food Where People Live Program Coordinator in Polk County, NC. From health departments in rural Illinois to eco-villages in Jamaica, Sydneyhas taught others to garden, cook, and reconnect with community worldwide.

Tyler Lavenburg, Forest Floor Wilderness Programs

Nose to the grind stone, sometimes literally, Tyler lives for the skills and has been traveling, learning, and teaching in a variety of settings. He has worked with hundreds of children and adults at events such as the Living Earth School, Roots School, Forest Floor Wilderness Programs, and Earthskills Rendezvous.

Meredith Leigh, Living Web Farms

Meredith Leigh has, over the past 13 years, worked as a farmer, butcher, chef, teacher, executive director, shop owner, co-op founder, and writer, all in pursuit of sustainable food. She is a single mom, raising two boys, and is the author of The Ethical Meat Handbook.

Laura LengnickCultivating Resilience, LLC

Laura is an award-winning soil scientist who has explored agricultural sustainability for more than 30 years as a researcher, policy-maker, educator, and farmer. Her new book, Resilient Agriculture, examines issues of climate change and resilience through the adaptation stories of 25 award-winning sustainable producers growing food across the U.S.

Michael Lewis, The Growing Warriors Project

Michael Lewis began full-time farming in 2010 and in 2012. He founded America’s first veteran-oriented food security organization, The Growing Warriors Project, which has helped over 65 veteran families grow more than 18,000 pounds of organic food. Michael was voted as one of eight people who “Made our World a Better Place” in 2014.

Chris LinkSouthern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy

Chris Link manages operations at the Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy Community Farm, working to grow the infrastructure and Beginning Farmer Incubator Program. He holds a degree in planning & landscape architecture from Clemson University.

Eliza LordSC Upstate Permaculture Society

Eliza is certified as a Master Naturalist, Master Gardener and Permaculturist. She manages the SC Upstate Permaculture Society and maintains a 1/4 acre urban farm in downtown Greenville. She also consults for GrowJourney Heirloom Seeds Club, teaches classes, and writes for various publications. Her blog is www.appalachianfeet.com.

Jean-Marie Lunginbuhl, NC State University

Professor of Crop Science and Animal Science at North Carolina State University, Jean Marie has been leading the Meat Goat Research and Extension Program since October 1995. He is responsible for conducting research and providing statewide leadership in the development of the expanding meat goat industry.

William Lyons, Bluebird Farm

William owns and operates Bluebird Farm with his wife, Marie, in Morganton, NC. Their passion is feeding folks wholesome foods and managing a healthy farm ecosystem. They are exploring and refining management styles and decision making tools that create an economically sustainable farm with long term stability.

Sonia Marcus, UNCA

Chuck Marsh, Useful Plants Nursery

Chuck Marsh is a pioneering Permaculture teacher, designer, community organizer, and horticulturist. He founded Useful Plants Nursery and is a senior partner at Living Systems Design. He works locally with Grow Food Where People Live and internationally with the Jamaican Sustainable Farm Enterprise Program.

Annie Martin, Author

Annie Martin, aka Mossin’ Annie, is a moss rescuer, farmer, researcher, landscape contractor, artist, educator, field guide, and author of The Magical World of Moss Gardening. She is a WNC native and nationally-recognized expert on moss gardening.

Inga MeadowsNC Cooperative Extension

Inga Meadows is the Extension Vegetable Pathologist for WNC where she provides disease management recommendations for growers and conducts research for cultural and chemical management of vegetable diseases. Inga served as the ornamental and tree pathology researcher at Clemson University and has taught plant disease diagnosis for agriculturalists worldwide.

Shona Jason-Miller, Slow Food Asheville

Shona is a chef, wellness expert, and board member of Slow Food Asheville. She has a B.A. in Mass Communications, an AA in Culinary Arts, and a Masters in Food Culture. Shona is passionate about the history of heritage foodways, cooking techniques, and merging traditional ethnic food knowledge into modern understanding.

Ryan MiltAsheville Wild Foods

Ryan Milt is a forager by trade and Southern Appalachian native. He owns Asheville Wild Foods, a local company that offers native wild foods to Asheville area chefs and local Farmers Markets. Ryan enjoys leading others to nature’s bounty in a way that will enable foraging indefinitely.

Elizabeth Murphy, Author, Farmer

Elizabeth “Ea” Murphy is a soil scientist and author of Building Soil: A Down-to-Earth Approach. She has worked as an organic farmer, urban gardener, Oregon Small Farms Program instructor, and agroecological researcher. She shares the simple truth that to grow more, we need to do less.

Alan Muskat, No Taste Like Home

Alan is a leader in the mushroom and wild foods movements and has been taking people “out to eat” for over 20 years. “Wild foods,” says Alan, “are a way of feeling at home in the world: that we are continually provided for and never alone.”

Becca Nestler, Balsam Gardens

Becca, along with her husband Steven Beltram, started with a market garden in 2008 and have been growing their business and family ever since. They now farm over 10 acres of certified organic vegetables and pasture raised meats in Asheville.

Christina Newhouse, Smoky Mountain High Tunnel Initiative

Christina lives on a four-acre farm in Murphy, NC alongside numerous animals and lots of green things. In 2014, she started a microgreen farm business called MIGHTY Greens Microgreens. Her goal is to foster small farm viability that caters to a local market and bring innovative techniques to our area.

Annie Novak, Author

Annie cofounded America’s first fully landscaped green roof farm – The Eagle Street Rooftop Farm in Brooklyn, NY- and is the author of The Rooftop Growing Guide. A passionate educator, she has spoken at conferences around the country and internationally on the connections between people, food, ecology, and the benefits of urban agriculture.

Tim Ormond, HydroCycle Engineering

Tim Ormond is an Asheville-based environmental and water resources engineer with over two decades of experience. In 2009 he founded HydroCycle Engineering, a consulting firm which focuses on sustainable and regenerative design that is mindful of the interconnections of the water cycle, ecosystems, and people.

Joel Osgood, Osgood Landscape Architecture

Joel Osgood is the founder of Osgood Landscape Architecture, Inc., a landscape architecture and land planning firm in Asheville. During the past 11 years he has exhibited a strong commitment to innovation, a rigorous dedication to technical design details, and an inspired reverence for nature.

Sunil Patel, Patchwork Farm

Farmer, permaculturalist, and food thought-leader, Patel has studied natural farming methods throughout the U.S. including 4-season biodynamic vegetables, managing a grass-fed dairy, making artisanal raw milk cheese, natural building, and helping maintain permaculture sites. Hailing originally from Pittsburgh, PA, he now lives in Asheville where he’s launched Patchwork Urban Farms.

Elizabeth Pavka, Nutritionist

Elizabeth Pavka is a wholistic nutritionist with 30+ years’ experience and helps her clients prepare meal plans with whole foods. In addition to being a gardener, a grandmother, and a singer, Elizabeth writes articles for various publications and presents programs for professional and lay audiences.

Marissa Percoco, Fermentation Enthusiast

Marissa Percoco is an avid fermentation enthusiast who spent the last eight years exploring fermented cultures, local plants, and their synergy. Traveling throughout the US, with her four amazingly adventurous children, Marissa has gathered cultures and recipes from far & wide.

Jeff Poppen, The Barefoot Farmer

One of the greatest success stories from the hippie movement is the ever-relevant teacher, Jeff Poppen, also known as The Barefoot Farmer. In 1974 Jeff took his college fund to buy a farm in Red Boiling Springs, Tennessee and became a certified organic farmer in 1987. He has been employing biodynamic methods for 25 years and has written several books.

Dov ShonemanDaoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts

Dov Shoneman has a master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Medicine, is a licensed acupuncturist and an herbalist with a background in both Western and Eastern herbs and treatment. He serves as Academic Dean at Daoist Traditions College of Chinese Medical Arts and has a practice in Asheville, NC.

Rachel Shopper, Forest Floor Wilderness Instructor

Rachel has lived and traveled extensively and studied permaculture design in Nicaragua and Asheville, NC. She is an instructor at Muddy Sneakers and Forest Floor Wilderness. Rachel’s passion is connecting people with the natural world and all its wonders, and with themselves on a deeper level.

Joseph Simcox, The Botanical Explorer

Chris Smith, Sow True Seed

Chris Smith is an enthusiastic grower and permaculturalist from a green-thumbed family. As Community Coordinator for Sow True Seed, he has immersed himself into the world of seed and southern growing. On his urban homestead, Chris is experimenting with landraces, selective seed saving, crop trials, and grow outs.

Jeramy Stauffer, Nanostead

Owner of Nanostead, a small scale living company, Jeramy has been building green homes in WNC for 12 years. Along with his wife and 2 children, he lives on a small farm in the Shelton laurel community of Madison County where they raise sheep and have a large garden.

James Geoffrey Steen, Raven Ridge Farmscapes

Geoffrey Steen is the founder of Raven Ridge Farmscapes, an agro-forestry experimentation, education, and consulting design firm. He is an agro-forester, educator, farmer, orchardist, designer, and installer. He graduated in 2008 from Warren Wilson College with a Bachelor of Science in forestry & agriculture.

Asia Suler, One Willow Apothecaries

Asia Suler is a writer, teacher, energy worker, and herbalist who lives amongst her gardens and large apothecary in the Blue Ridge Mountains of WNC. She is the creator and concoctress of One Willow Apothecaries, an Appalachian-grown company that offers lovingly handcrafted medicines. Asia teaches locally and nationally.

Brad ToddLucky Clays Farm

Brad Todd designs, builds, implements, and manages the sustainable Aquaponics systems at Lucky Clays Farm and has continually operated the 4800 square foot commercial, year-round project since 2012. Planned for 2016 is a 42,000 square foot facility, one of the largest Aquaponics facilities in the US.

Cindy Trisler, Mudluscious Pottery and Gardens

Cindy and her husband, Rod Bowling, own and operate Mudluscious Pottery and Gardens in rural Madison County. Gardening since the ‘70s, they began a commercial egg and vegetable operation in 2007. Committed homesteaders, they use a variety of food preservation techniques, including a large root cellar.

Eric Walker, University of Tennessee

Eric Walker was born and raised in Middle Tennessee on a tobacco and beef cattle farm. He has an Extension and research appointment with the University of TN and University of KY in the areas of tobacco and specialty crop production, including industrial hemp.

Ira WallaceSouthern Exposure Seed Exchange

Ira Wallace, author of Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast, is a Master Gardener and a worker/owner of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange. She serves on the boards of Organic Seed Alliance, Virginia Association for Biological Farming, and Organic Seed Growers Association, who are the lead plaintiffs in a lawsuit against Monsanto.

Margot WallstonHemlock Restoration Initiative

Margot Wallston is the Statewide Coordinator for the Hemlock Restoration Initiative and has a background in land conservation, plant ecology, outdoor and environmental education, and experiential learning. Her goal is to bring everybody who is passionate about hemlocks together to share existing resources and inspire us to take action.

Kevin WardSouthEast Ecological Design

Kevin is the owner of SouthEast Ecological Design, a green design and building company that approaches land use, building, and site development holistically and sensibly. He is a certified permaculture designer and educator and lives on a homestead farm in the Shelton Laurel community of Madison County.

Karl WarkomskiProta Culture, LLC

Karl has worked in the field of composting since 1994 and is currently the Director of Prota Culture, manufacturing insect-rearing technologies in the Triangle region of North Carolina. He also owns a 68 acre permaculture farm in Franklin County specializing in orchards, perennials, photovoltaics, and chickens.

Jane WeaverEarth & Spirit Design

Jane Weaver was trained by Elaine Ingham in compost management and biological analysis of soils and composts. In her consulting and teaching work, she utilizes principles of Biodynamics and intensive grazing appropriate for restoring carbon, minerals, microorganisms, and growth forces in agricultural soils.

Rodney WebbSalamander Springs Garden

Rodney Webb owns and operates Salamander Springs Farm where he cultivates shiitake mushrooms. With a careful eye, Webb nurtures and shares the fungi with Farmers Market, grocery stores and restaurants in Asheville, NC. Cultivating shiitakes entails a complicated process and Webb has developed tried and true methods that work.

Bill Whipple, Nutty Buddy Collective

Bill Whipple began his agricultural career as an apple picker at the age of 18, which has led to lifelong passion for growing fruits and nuts. He orchards in WV and Asheville and teaches horticultural skills to new enthusiasts through the Buncombe Fruit Nut club, Barkslip’s fruit school, and the Nutty Buddy Collective.

Kelley Wilkinson, Laughing Frog Farm

Kelley has been farming for 35 years and grows nearly all her own food on her organic 285-acre mountain property near Asheville. She has spent much of the last decade in a small rural village in the mountains of central Mexico, restoring a 450-year-old hacienda and working with local villagers.