Meet Our Forest Farming Teachers
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Non-Timber Forest Product and Agroforestry Tour of Warren Wilson
OGS Farmer Programs are made possible by our farmer network and our funding partners: USDA-NIFA Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program, Grant #2016-70017-25341, USDA Rural Business Development Program, Community Foundation of WNC, Polk County Community Foundation, CLIF Bar Family Foundation Our Growth Partners (year-round program support) are: Carolina Farm Credit, Earth Tools, Biltmore Company, Buchi, Living Web Farms, and Chelsea Green Publishing. Our Media Sponsors are Hendersonville Community Co-op, and WNCW.
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.