As a child in Hawaii I grew up playing in my great-uncle’s perennial polyculture, a veritable food forest of great diversity with fruits, vegetables, flowers, herbs, nuts, and livestock. Later I moved to Seattle where I grew up in a home that centered around the kitchen and the garden. Our garden was featured on garden tours and was one of the first in our neighborhood to embrace the organic movement. It was here that I gained an appreciation for garden design and a naturalistic aesthetic that would later define my style as a garden designer. I became very concerned about the environment at a young age deciding on whole systems design (synergistic and ecological integration of the home and landscape) and temperate ecological agriculture and as my courses of study, receiving a BA/BS from The Evergreen State College, Olympia, WA in 2004.
Before going to Evergreen I studied Eco-village and Permaculture design at Fairhaven College (Western Washington University). It was there that I received my certification in Permaculture Design from La’a’kea Gardens, Puna, Hawaii. After graduating from Evergreen I left for New Zealand where I traveled the country studying temperate agricultural and permaculture in climates similar to the northwest. When I returned to the northwest a year later I took a position as Garden Operations Manager at Sleeping Lady Mountain Retreat in Leavenworth, WA. The garden was a aesthetic and productive 2 acre garden. I realized there that nearly any garden lay out or design intended for ornamental species could be developed using edible species with the same ecological benefits and beautifying qualities and more importantly increase the food security of home owner. By extension communities with networks of these landscapes would increase there overall sustainability and health while decreasing their collective carbon footprint.
In between these milestones on my life’s path I have worked as an arborist assistant and as a crew second with two of Seattle’s premier eco-conscious landscape design/build companies, In Harmony and Exteriorscapes. I have lectured on the pros and cons and design considerations of perennial edible landscapes and wrote, directed and hosted a organic gardening radio show program in Leavenworth called Plan It Organic that lasted for nearly 80 shows on KOHO 101.1 fm. I am also a contributor to the GoodWorks Blog for parsonspr.com.
Horticulture and agriculture are practices that are nearly as old as the human race. For that reason alone it is nearly impossible to know all there is to know about the subject, but one can try. Especially since the field of sustainable home and garden design are relatively new concepts I continuously work on building my knowledge by simple observation and reading, attending classes and lectures and speaking with experts in the field so that I can bring an evolving knowledge to my design clients and the blog-o-sphere.
live well. eat well. be happy,