Develop Land-Use, Site-Design, & Land-Based Observation Skills

Equal parts workshop, site-visit, mentoring experience, gathering of growers, and design session, the Living on the Land Learning Circles will take place monthly (from April to June 2019) on a farm or homestead in Western NC.

Learning Circles are site visits guided by local, land-experienced, and seasoned designer and planner, Brandon Greenstein, the OGS Sustainability Consultant. Participants will be to witness and be part of the land/site assessment in real time and see through the eyes of both the designer and the land-owner.

Each session will tackle a common problem specific to a real-world site with owners who are part of the WNC grower community. Topics covered include water management systems, infrastructure development, renewable energy, hardscaping or earth reshaping systems, common land patterns, and long term sustainability.



Brandon Greenstein

Brandon Greenstein

OGS Sustainability Consultant

Brandon Greenstein is the Sustainability Coach & Consultant,  offering one-on-one education, outreach, and support to the full range of OGS constituents (Farmers, Home-Growers, Healthy Consumers, and those interested in Sustainable Living) through year-round coaching and consulting.. His background is in Renewable Systems, Earth Works, Energy, Water, Homesteading, Permaculture, specifically providing consulting, design, and technical services for the creation of low impact and energy conserving systems through his company, Integrated Ecological Solutions. He has lived in community for 20 years, 15 of them at Earthaven Ecovillage in the Western North Carolina mountains, where he co-managed the Forestry Cooperative, practiced responsible living in a permaculture context, and even ran an underground pub. Brandon works with chainsaws, hand tools, heavy equipment, construction projects, water systems, and most everything having to do with the practicalities of ecological design. Brandon currently lives on a small, hand build, off-grid homestead enjoying gardening, parenting and philosophizing about existence and how to optimize it. Brandon joined OGS in 2016.

March Learning Circle

Where:Luke & Macon’s Homestead in Rural Hendersonville, NC

When: Sunday,  March 17, 2019 from 2-5 pm

Cost: $20

Tour Highlights: Rural land planning, sloped, steep cove and south facing site designing, forestry planning, starting from scratch with big dreams.

Attendance limited to 18 people.

About Luke & Macon's Homestead

Four acres directly next to seven acres of family land, Luke and Macon dream of organic permaculture gardening, water catchment systems, waste reclamation systems, a fruit orchard, bees, chickens, perhaps dairy goats, medicinal herbs, mushrooms – all while sharing the joy with their friends and community for fellowship and education. Aside from building a quick compost bin and working on building soil, they have a total blank slate. The land is a steep Appalachian cove forest, with the exception of a small front lawn and a larger south-facing sunny cleared area with plenty of summer sun.

Photos from the March Tour

Videos from the March Tour

April Learning Circle

Where: Yesod Farm+Kitchen, Fairview, NC

When: Sunday,  April 7, 2019 from 2-5 pm

Cost: $20

Tour Highlights: Spacious suburban/rural interface, site design, infrastructure development, sustainable forestry, garden, orchard, and livestock planning.

Attendance limited to 18 people.

About Yesod Farm

Yesod Farm+Kitchen is an emergent teaching farm and community space in Fairview, North Carolina, dedicated to the multi-generational work of collective liberation with the land. Yesod Farm+Kitchen rests on twelve acres of Tsalagi ancestral homeland, twenty minutes from downtown Asheville. Yesod, “foundation” in Hebrew, is the place in Jewish mysticism where energies gather and creation emerges. Yesod seeks to be a place of relationship building across difference, of earth-based Jewish living, and for preparing the next generation of regenerative farmers to launch their own land-based projects. Yesod is also home to the Jewish Farmer Network, a grassroots nonprofit that connects Jewish farmers to resources and community around the world.

May Learning Circle

Where: GrayScott Urban Homestead, East Asheville, NC

When: Saturday, May 25, 2019 from 2-5 pm

Cost: $20

Tour Highlights: Urban homestead design, site planning, garden systems, planting with black walnuts.

Attendance limited to 18 people.

About GrayScott Urban Homestead

The GrayScott Urban Homestead and home of David and Meka has been developed for five years by the current owners, both in front and in back. There are several different zones on this .78 acre property, from sunny open yard to wooded creek, with enough room to grow food, herbs, medicinals, and chickens. Ideal site for both urban setting and high privacy. Four minutes from downtown Asheville. We’ll discuss planting near and around black walnut trees, pest management, low maintenance techniques, and future plans for on-site permaculture development.

Photos from the May Tour

Videos from the May Tour

June Learning Circle

Where: Smith Mill Works, West Asheville, NC

When: Sunday, June 9, 2019 from 2–5 PM

Cost: $20

Tour Highlights: Long-standing urban project, damage mitigation and remediation, small-scale agriculture enterprise development, community-based project planning, land and site design.

Attendance limited to 18 people.


About Smith Mill Works

Smith Mill Works, located on 28 acres at the base of Spivey Mountain in West Asheville, offers 5 acres of indoor growing spaces, 20,000 sq. ft. mixed use warehousing, manufacturing and other office/studio spaces for rent.  Housing a collaborative community of creative entrepreneurs, including multiple growers, manufacturers and service providers dedicated to local sustainable business, Smith Mill Works provides the space for those who mindfully generate goods and services in consideration of humans and the planet.

Photos from the June Tour

Contact Us

If you have any questions about this program, please contact Alix Johnson, Sustainability Consulting Intern, at

Author: Lee Warren

Lee Warren has been homesteading and farming for more than 25 years. She is the former Executive Director of Organic Growers School and the manager of Imani Farm, a pasture-based cooperative farm in Rutherford County, NC. Lee is also an herbalist, writer, teacher, and food activist, with an avid interest in rural wisdom, sustainable economics, and social justice issues.