Shanti Pierce

Shanti Pierce

Board Member

Shanti has been working with bamboo since the mid-90’s. She moved to Florida to work for Walt Disney Imagineering as their bamboo and ornamental grass specialist on the Animal Kingdom Project and following that project began her own farm. She became interested in the medicinal uses of bamboo and pioneered the use of bamboos for teas and supplements in 2008 when she began her company Bamboo Leaf Tea. She has since become a bamboo nutraceutical specialist using all of the parts of the plants to make medicines and speaks globally on the topic to promote the use of bamboo. “Health and wellness should be available to all people and the massive potential availability of bamboos along with their high mineral content allow them to play a social equalizing role – knowledge of how to use them being the key, that is my job”

Michelle Deborah

Michelle Deborah

Board Member

Michelle is a entrepreneur, fruit tree grower and healthy food lover.

Born and raised in the tropical jungle of Peru, she grew up experiencing the importance and divine blessing of being able to harvest and eat sun ripened, nutrient dense, local fruits.

This has forever sparked her desire to grow her own fruit forest and inspire others to do the same in her city.

If every neighbor had a fruit tree, the world would be a better, more abundant place.

Michelle spends her time educating others on food nutrition and health, growing fruit seeds into seedlings and starters, foraging whenever possible, and tending her small urban food forest in St. Petersburg.

She’s an avid learner of permaculture and a forever child of nature.

David Warful

David Warful

Board Member

David (also known as ‘Warf’) is a Florida native that was born in the urban jungle of Miami. Over the last decade he has worked as an environmental scientist, watershed engineer, community project manager, and ecological landscaper. Early in his career he had the opportunity to design rainwater catchment systems in Guatemala, develop water management plans for rural communities in Thailand, and work as an environmental scientist for the Miccosukee Tribe in the Everglades. He discovered permaculture on the internet in 2015 and soon after moved to Orlando to join a growing community of passionate permies.

He lived in Orlando over the last several years, leading projects in the areas of edible and native landscaping, rainwater harvesting, edible & medicinal plants, intentional community living, and community service. He served as the Outreach Coordinator to Orlando Permaculture from 2018-2022. David became a certified Florida Master Naturalist in 2020 and obtained his Permaculture Design Certificate In 2021 with Terry Meer at Sustainable Kashi.

He believes that the path to healing the mind, body, and soul of humanity is only possible through aligning our lives with nature and community.

David is currently cross-pollinating between eco- communities in Florida, Appalachia, and Guatemala.

Cristy Abbott

Cristy Abbott

Board Member

Cristy Abbott is a Certified Permaculture Educator, Practitioner and Consultant who shares her knowledge with children and adults, alike in Permaculture Ethics and Principles for over a decade. She is experienced in regenerative farming practices, urban agriculture, soil building, and seed saving. Cristy currently volunteers at Sweetwater Organic Community Farm - a nonprofit, community supported urban organic farm and environmental education center in Tampa, FL. She is passionate about educating people on the topics of biodiversity and the relationships between soil, plants, animals, and planetary patterns as they relate to the process of farming.

 

Cristy has been involved in developing and operating many large and small-scale community gardens and farms, and is passionate about community building and cooperative housing. In fact, she was on a team of leaders that founded the Faith House Community Garden in St. Petersburg, FL in 2010. The garden received attention from the Sustainable Urban Agriculture Coalition (SUAC) and is now called the 15th St AgriHub (also known as the St. Pete Eco Village). This community garden, on the edge of downtown St Petersburg is a Permaculture demonstration site to provide education and hands-on experience. Originally, the Faith House Community Garden, a project that began with Gaia’s Garden book study club.

Her students have gone on to create projects such as the Tampa Bay Time Bank, rainwater catchment systems, yoga training, community co-housing, and other community-building projects.

Five years on the Annual Florida Permaculture Convergence planning committee.


Terry Meer

Terry Meer

Board Member

Terry learned the importance of our limited natural resources early in life. He was bestowed a true love for nature and ecology living so connected to the rhythms of the earth. He studied human behavior in college and worked as a Behavior Analyst with non-verbal children with Autism for 15 years. Learning the value of listening without using words, his human behavior experience met his deep-rooted love for nature and transcended into the field of Sacred Ecology. He began to seek out workshops on building relationships with nature and quickly discovered Permaculture. He has studied with Permaculture experts including John Jeavons, Eric Toensmeier, and David Jackie and sacred ecology wisdom keepers including John Milton and Sandra Ingerman during his 20-year quest for knowledge. Terry has taught classes on permaculture and closed loop eco-systems across the globe including the United States, New Zealand, Costa Rica, Australia, Panama, and in the Bahamas. Thru his work he builds a bridge between ecology and the human heart creating more healthy and happy humans on planet Earth. Terry is dedicated to teaching the Sacred Ecology philosophy to help connect people with the planet we all share.

David Ahlgren

David Ahlgren

Board Member

Born in the Jungles of the island of Guam, David takes a “Natures the Teacher” Approach to all of his Play/Work in Permaculture. Listening and observing the patterns of nature, sharing what he sees with the world and coaching systems into abundance. Second to being a student of nature, David was a student of and mentored by Geoff Lawton.  David received his PDC from Permaculture Research Institute Australia.  After years of research and development on his 120 acre farm in Oklahoma, David Now travels the world, Teaching and consulting in permaculture. David specialises in large scale land restoration projects, many of which are focused on water and nutrient flow. David also is focusing half of his work now on discussions and research on permaculture of how we can relate as humans in more harmony. 

David believes Permaculture is not about what we know, it is about us realising, we know very little, and constantly stopping and soaking in all of nature in every moment, then dancing in harmony.

Past Board Members:

Tom Carroll, Tara Lynn Hubbard, Jenny Nazak, Ed Boardman, Wendell Martinkovic, Nancy Dwyer