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Meet the Instructors

Workshop Speakers

September 11th, 2015
Lindsay Wilson

Lindsay Wilson

Teaching: Restoring Digestive Health: Nourishing Herbs, Foods, & Ferments for Vitality

Lindsay is a wellness coach, community herbalist, public speaker, yoga teacher, naturalist, and “alewife”, keeper of the mysteries and recipes of the sacred ferments. Lindsay’s travels around the world for 16 years has exposed her to the traditional foods, botanical medicines, and fermentation systems of people’s worldwide.

As the leader of her local Weston A Price Foundation chapter in Mississippi, Lindsay is passionate about integrated healing through fresh whole foods including ferments, wild foods, and herbs.

Tradd Cotter

Tradd Cotter

Teaching: Myco Magic: Mushrooms for Food, Medicine, and Remediation

Tradd is a microbiologist, professional mycologist, and organic gardener, who has been tissue culturing, collecting native fungi in the Southeast, and cultivating both commercially and experimentally for more than twenty-two years. He is the author of Organic Mushroom Farming and Mycoremediation, and in 1996, he founded Mushroom Mountain to explore applications for mushrooms in various industries and currently maintains over 200 species of fungi for food production, mycoremediation of environmental pollutants, and natural alternatives to chemical pesticides.

His primary interest is in low-tech and no-tech cultivation strategies so that anyone can grow mushrooms on just about anything, anywhere in the world. Mushroom Mountain is currently expanding to 42,000 square feet of laboratory and research space near Greenville, South Carolina, to accommodate commercial production, as well as mycoremediation projects.

Jon Christie

Jon Christie

Teaching: Beginner Beekeeping & Beyond

Jon, of Wild Mountain Apiaries, first pursued beekeeping over ten years ago as a compliment to a homestead lifestyle and another step toward self-sufficiency. What began as a backyard endeavor grew into 180 colonies and more than a full time business.

Wild Mountain Apiaries has since provided pollination services for farmers, produced 1000’s of nucleus colonies for sale, produced queens for sale, and over 2 1/2 tons of honey in a season. Jon is an active member of several local bee associations, owner of Wild Mountain Bees, a local beekeeping supply store, makes value added bee products, sells honey, and teaches beekeeping  classes.

Ceara Foley

Ceara Foley

Teaching: Healing from the Hive

Ceara is the director of Asheville School of Holistic Herbalism (ASHH) and since 2001 has taught thousands to reconnect with their inner and outer environments, both through ASHH, and at a variety of colleges and conferences throughout the Southeast.

Ceara has been powerfully attuned to nature at an early age. lives in an off-grid, solar powered home, and has served as president of the North Carolina Natural Products Association, founder of NC Plant Savers. Co-founder of the NC chapter of the American Herbalists Guild, she is also the land steward of Soulflower Botanical Sanctuary.

Marc Williams

Marc Williams

Teaching: Wild Food Forage

Marc is an ethnobotanist, teacher, naturalist, herbalist, and culinary creative. He is the Executive Director of Plants and Healers International and Board of Directors’ member of the Appalachian Institute for Mountain Studies. He has taught hundreds of people about the marvelous world of plants and has recently worked with over 50 organizations to help improve our global ecological crisis.

Marc’s training includes a BA in Environmental Studies from Warren Wilson College and an MA in Appalachian Studies focused on Sustainable Development from Appalachian State University. Marc’s passion is teaching people to employ botanicals for food, medicine, and beauty.

Will Hooker

Will Hooker

Teaching: Building with Bamboo

Will is a registered landscape architect and currently an Emeritus Professor in the NC State Horticulture Department where he taught landscape garden design for 35 years.  In 1988 while on a sabbatical study leave riding his bicycle across the continent, Will became concerned with the lack of people actually out on the land. In searching for a stronger message about the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems, he discovered permaculture, and has been practicing and teaching the tenets of this sustainable living methodology ever since. Will is known for the colorful ephemeral bamboo sculptures that he has created around NC and the surrounding states, useful, in his estimation, for injecting fun in our lives while also being a tool in helping to create a sense of community.

2015 Harvest Conference Instructors

September 12th, 2015

Byron Ballard

Byron Ballard

Teaching: Appalachian Folk Medicine

Byron is a freelance writer, ritualist, rootworker, teacher, energy healer, urban farmer, and a native of the Southern Appalachians. She offers workshops, lectures, and a year-long curriculum on traditional mountain culture and earth-based spirituality, and herbal wisdom. She one of the founders of Mother Grove Temple in Asheville, NC.

Pat Battle

Pat Battle

Teaching: Year-Round Growing

Pat developed intensive cover cropping systems at Sparkling Earth Farm, Highland Lake Inn, and Mountain Air Community Organic Garden. In his current role as director of Living Web Farms, part of his job description is to refine and share this experience. His thoughts on the subject have been shared previously in both local and national publications, on local public radio and national public television, and at numerous local and national conferences.

June Ellen Bradley

June Ellen Bradley

Teaching: Wild Pharmacy

June is an herbalist, naturalist, artist, educator and chef, at Beneficial Food’s commercial kitchen, where she creates culinary delectables for the Deli. She teaches primitive skills, including cooking, teaching how to make a variety of meals in a Cherokee oven, ground oven feasts, wood stove and cobb oven cooking skills. She also offers hands on classes in edible and medicinal plants for camps and college curriculum. She is also a clinical practitioner at Adawehi Healing Center in Columbus, NC and a member of the NC boards of both the AHG and UpS.

Rod Bowling

Rod Bowling

Teaching: Root Cellaring: Design, Construction, and Use

Rod, along with his wife Cindy, are homesteaders in Madison County where they cultivate two acres and grow a wide variety of organic fruits and vegetables. They are certified beekeepers, raise free-range poultry, make value-added product, and run a pottery business and an Air B&B. Rod teaches workshops on shiitake mushroom production, fermentation (wine, krauts), small flock poultry management, introduction to homesteading, and more.

 

Andrew Goodheart Brown

Andrew Goodheart Brown

Teaching: Organic Orcharding

Andrew, a 40 year resident of Western NC, is a passionate home orchardist, with over 46 varieties of fruit grown ecologically on his one-acre Urban Oasis in Asheville. In addition to being an orchardist and arborist, Andrew is an international consultant in small scale sustainable agriculture projects, and endangered species observer, field biologist, naturalist, permaculturist, gourmet natural food cook, educator, gardener, and beekeeper.

 

Janelle Lucido-Conate

Janelle Lucido-Conate

Teaching: Pickle Your Harvest

Janelle is a self-taught cook, fermenter, and garden enthusiast. She believes that if it tastes great it will get eaten again and again. Janelle has been fermenting for 8 years. During a one year trade group, when she fermented 16 quarts of veggies for 5 families monthly, she gained a sense of mastery in her ferments. She has countless fun and delicious ferments that even kids love! She regularly converts haters, skeptics, and junk foodies to loving ferments.

Christopher Fielden

Christopher Fielden

Teaching:Growing Great Garlic

Christopher is a gardener, goat herder, and lover of garlic.  He lives and works with his partner Beth at Red Wing Farm in Swannanoa where they’ve been growing garlic and saving their own seed for the last 9 years.  They grow a big garden, keep a dairy goat herd, raise chickens, and grow and sell heirloom plant starts.  Christopher also likes to play ping pong.

Melissa Fryar

Melissa Fryar

Teaching: Homemade Immune Boosters

Melissa is an Appalachian born herbalist whose focus includes foraging for wild edibles and utilizing the diverse plants of our region. She teaches at the Appalachian School of Holistic Herbalism, as well as many other herb conferences in Western NC.  She currently works at the French Broad Food Coop in Asheville, NC and lives, grows, keeps chickens, and dreams of a permaculture haven near Mars Hill, NC.

Ruth Gonzalez

Ruth Gonzalez

Teaching: Pollinator Gardens

Ruth is a former market farmer, current gardener, and local food advocate. She has written numerous local food and gardening articles, blogs about local food here and writes the“Ask Ruth” Gardening Column for Organic Growers School. As a Horticulture Consultant at Reems Creek Nursery, Ruth offers advice on all sorts of gardening questions, and benefits daily from the shared wisdom of local gardeners.

Walter Harrill

Walter Harrill

Teaching: Grow Berries

Walter, along with his family, runs Imladris Farm a seventh-generation family-owned farm practicing sustainable agriculture. Their products are nostalgically produced using historically accurate methods to provide their customers with the enjoyment of a quality, handmade product. Walter was the heir to his grandfather’s 50 year-old commercial orchard, and has spent the last 15 years learning to grow and market small fruit. Returning for his sixth OGS teaching engagement, he looks forward to your always challenging questions!

Chip Hope

Chip Hope

Teaching: Self-Sufficiency? You Can Do It!

Chip started the Sustainable Agriculture program at Western Piedmont Community College. Chip is an Instructor in the Sustainable Agriculture and Horticulture programs. He earned his Master’s degree in Plant and Environmental Science from Clemson University. For many years he owned Appalachian Seeds Farm and Nursery, specializing in growing and selling open pollinated and heirloom herbs and vegetables, and edible landscape plants. He is well known for his work with heirloom tomatoes, and is passionate about growing food and medicine and sharing his experience with others.

Kristi King

Kristi King

Teaching: Make Your Own Pet Food

Kristi, owner of Green Earth Pet Food, is committed to the environment and believes that we, both humans and our animal companions, need to treat our planet with care and respect. She has run her own pet food company for over 11 years, and has been feeding her own dog and cat menagerie a raw diet for over 15 years. Kristi believes in the old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” and that the foundation of good health is a healthy, species-appropriate diet.

Kelli Elizabeth Kuhn

Kelli Elizabeth Kuhn

Jennifer Lapidus

Jennifer Lapidus

Teaching: Discover Sourdough

After fourteen years as owner and operator of Natural Bridge Bakery, driven to revive the Old World trifecta of stone burr gristmill, natural leavening, and the wood-fired brick oven, Jennifer stepped out of the bakery with an expanded vision to close the gap between farmer, miller, and baker. She now runs Carolina Ground, a small flour mill in WNC connecting large-scale organic growers in NC (and surrounding states) and bakeries throughout the southeast with high-quality, cold stone milled, regional flours. Jennifer holds an MFA in Creative Nonfiction and a Certificate in Forklift Operation and Safety.

Laura Lengnick

Laura Lengnick

Teaching: Cover Cropping for Home Gardens

Laura has explored agricultural sustainability through more than 30 years of work as a researcher, policy-maker, educator and farmer. Her new book, Resilient Agriculture, tells how award-winning sustainable farmers and ranchers across the U.S. are successfully adapting to the increased weather variability and extremes associated with climate change.
Meredith Leigh

Meredith Leigh

Teaching: Decoding Meats-Sourcing & Using Local, Grass-fed, & GMO-Free

Meredith is a die-hard advocate for good food. As a farmer, founder of a butcher shop/restaurant, and writer, she has worked on many angles of real food for over a decade. She currently teaches farming and cooking classes, consults for food and agriculture non-profits, and is writing a book about meat. Contact her at mereleighfood@gmail.com.

Chuck Marsh

Chuck Marsh

Teaching: Backyard Economics

Chuck is a permaculture elder, teacher, designer, consultant and nurseryman with a lifetime of experience working with the communities, people, plants, soils, water and climate of Western North Carolina. He brings his experience to bear on the cultivation of abundance for present and future generations of humans and for the regeneration of natural systems on our beautiful garden planet. Marsh is the founder of Useful Plants Nursery, a permaculture plant nursery and senior partner of Living Systems Design.

Diana Schmitt-McCall

Diana Schmitt-McCall

Teaching: The Must Have Basics

Diana has managed the Dr. John Wilson Community Garden since 2007, helping to grow food for donation,educate the public and expand annual and perennial gardening throughout the town of Black Mountain. She is versed in permaculture, biointensive and biodynamic techniques. Known by many as “The Goddess in the Kitchen,” she has been teaching classes and nourishing folks with food in Western North Carolina since 1999.

Ryan Milt

Ryan Milt

Teaching: Cultivating Wild Medicinals

Ryan is a Smoky Mountain native, runs Asheville Wild Foods (a wild-crafted only restaurant supply and market stand.)  AWF also offers wild edible and medicinal plants and seeds.  Growing up working at his families plant nursery, Mountain Willow Nursery, owning his own landscaping company, and apprenticing under Master medicinal plant growers such as Joe Hollis (Mountain Gardens) have taught Ryan timeless techniques to ensure abundant plant medicine at his feet and fingertips.

Ea Murphy

Ea Murphy

Teaching: The Down and Dirty: Soil Building Secrets for Greener Gardens

Elizabeth (Ea) Murphy is a soil scientist and author of Building Soil: A Down-to-Earth Approach (Cool Springs Press, 2015). She shares her experience as a former Oregon Small Farms Program instructor, soil science researcher, and organic gardener to help people bring soils to life.

Marissa Percoco

Marissa Percoco

Teaching: Mead Making

Marissa is an avid fermentation enthusiast who spent the past seven years exploring fermented cultures, local plants, and how the two come together. Travelling through the wild places of TN, FL, CA, CO, UT, OR, WA, and HI, with her four amazingly adventurous children, Marissa has gathered wisdom from cultures far and wide.

Randal Pfleger

Randal Pfleger

Teaching: Grow Year Round-Easy & Affordable Systems for Season Extension

Randal is the Program Director for Grass to Greens, an edible landscaping social enterprise affiliated with Bountiful Cities. He has worked as a gardener, landscaper, carpenter, and community organizer throughout the Americas. In latitudes ranging from Asheville to Ecuador, Randal has managed forests and community gardens through the principles of permaculture, aquaculture, poultry, rain water catchment, cob building, and dry stack stonewalls as well as season extension using cold frames, row covers, hoophouses, and greenhouses.

Jeramy Stauffer

Jeramy Stauffer

Teaching: Tiny Houses

Jeramy has been working in the green building industry since 2001 and in 2004 Jeramy and his wife Dana built a 384 sq. ft. cabin in the rural community of  Madison County N.C.  During the building process they lived in a Yome made by Red Sky Shelters.  They still reside in Madison county (though not in 384 sq.ft.) and  raise Old English Southdown Sheep among other livestock and grow food on their small farm with their two children. Jeramy has also worked as a Project Manager and has been withSouth East Ecological Design for 11 years , and is a member of the Western North Carolina Green Building Counsel (WNCGBC)and The Asheville Tiny Home Association.

Shawn Shwartz

Shawn Shwartz

Teaching: Small Scale Forestry

Shawn is a NC Registered Forester, college forest manager at Warren Wilson College, adviser for the Student Chapter of the Society of American Foresters, a builder, and a naturalist. He works with and teaches traditional forestry techniques such as mapping, inventory, chainsaw work and lumber production and also enjoys making medicines and producing food from the forest; carpentry and making furniture with hand tools; and recreating in the forest through hiking, camping, hunting, and fishing. Shawn believes that forests are well-cared for when humans feel dependent on them for their well-being.

Doug Sharkey

Doug Sharkey

Teaching: DIY Food Dehydration

Doug is the Built Environment Lead Trainer at Green Opportunities (GO). He holds a Master’s degree in Sustainable Development from Appalachian State University, where he spent two years working at the ASU Teaching and Research Farm. He has taught several classes on solar food dehydrators and continues to build them with students at GO.

Chris Smith

Chris Smith

Teaching: Save Your Own Seeds

Chris is an enthusiastic grower and permaculture student from a green-thumbed family! As Community Coordinator for Sow True Seed, Chris has launched himself into the world of seed and seed saving since moving to America. On his ½ acre homestead, Chris is experimenting with landraces, selective seed saving, crop trials and seed grow outs. He loves the story of seed and is active in promoting good quality, regionally adapted open-pollinated seed.

 

Dianne Palmer-Quay

Dianne Palmer-Quay

Teaching: Backyard Chickens for Eggs & Meat

Dianne grew up in NY state where she received her BS in Nutritional Sciences from Cornell University. After working seven years as a nutrition educator with the Extension service, she and her family moved to Columbia, SC, for further education and eventually filled their one acre backyard with chickens, turkeys, guineas, ducks, dairy goats, rabbits, bees and wool sheep. Dianne has taught adults and youth (including her own homeschooled children) in a variety of formal and informal settings on topics from music to chickens to physics. Her spare time is claimed by her animals and garden, with occasional breaks for contra dancing.