Joe “Jogey” Grisham has been a Permaculture designer for several years, advising, consulting and teaching in the Central Florida area. He loves to inspire others, passionately shares information everywhere he goes and enjoys working within the community. Jogey has been acquiring the knowledge and experience since childhood to facilitate a Life Resources Center. The ultimate vision; is to provide the surrounding community a way to bridge the gaps from mainsteam society to becoming a regenerative culture. He has an unique ability & insight to provide innovative solutions in nearly all areas of life and has been breaking processes down systematically for decades.
Terry Meer plants seeds of change in the community. He was born on a sailboat in Miami. Growing up on boats he quickly learned the limits of our valuable natural resources. He moved to Melbourne and began studying alternative energies and sustainability. He continued to study alternative energy and Permaculture in Hawaii, Costa Rica and Panama and was certified to teach Permaculture in 2014. Terry started the Green Education Center, LLC in Orlando and has worked on several community projects including organic gardens for children with autism and the Econ Farm. Terry helped construct the “Econ Farm” in 2009. This project combines water catchments, solar power, organic gardens, mushroom farms, composting, and fruit orchards in a residential setting. The house is designed to model the technologies available today to show others how to decrease our dependency on oil and increase personal production of food and energy. www.greeneducationcenter.com
Don Hall is the founder and Executive Director of Transition Sarasota. Previously, he served as the Education and Outreach Coordinator for Transition Colorado, the first official Transition Initiative in North America and a statewide hub. Don holds a Master’s in Environmental Leadership from Naropa University and is a certified Permaculture Designer and U.S. Transition Trainer. www.transitionsrq.org
Tia Silvasy grew up on her grandmothers’ farm in Pittsburgh, PA and has had a lifelong passion for organic gardening and sustainable living. She is a Permaculture Designer and became a certified Permaculture Teacher with Geoff Lawton in Australia. Tia works at Waihuena Farm, Growing Together Edible Landscaping, The Green House, and runs a garden consulting business, Homegrown Delights. She was one of the founding organizers of the Florida Permaculture Convergence, helped to organize the first Permaculture Convergence for the island of Oahu in Hawaii and has planted many seeds in the Central Florida community which helped to start numerous garden projects and businesses. She regularly teaches workshops and leads volunteer groups and internships to give people immersion in all aspects of permaculture. www.homegrowndelighsllc.com
Erica Klopf was raised in Naples, Florida and is dedicated to the development sustainable landscapes in South Florida. She completed her undergraduate work with a double-major in Environmental Studies and Art at Florida Gulf Coast University in 2012. Her university experience included one year of service in the Student Government as the Executive Director of Environmental Initiatives, two years as the assistant to the Director of Sustainability in the Department of Environmental Health and Safety, and two years as a student naturalist for the Colloquium Program,leading tours of natural areas and connecting students to concepts of sustainability. She completed internships at the Fruit and Spice Park in Homestead, Florida, at the Naples Botanical Gardens in Naples, Florida, and at Benchmark Inc in Ft. Myers, Florida as an Edible Landscape Designer. Her studies of ecology, tropical fruits, and design culminated in the design of the Florida Gulf Coast University Food Forest. After graduation, Erica started Florida Edible Landscaping where she currently works designing and installing edible gardens throughout South Florida. Her areas of interest are food forest succession and disturbance, microclimate design, and seasonal irrigation design. She received her Permaculture Design Certificate through The Permaculture Project, her Advanced Permaculture Design Certification in Edible Forest Garden Design through Perennial Solutions, and is a trained Permaculture Teacher through the Urban Permaculture Guild of San Francisco in Experiential Permaculture Education. www.floridaediblelandscaping.com
Déva (Marcus Thomson) is the founder and lead teacher (specializing in dynamic teaching for adult learners) with Permaculture Miami- generating sustainable designs and new designers since 2008 throughout south Florida and the world. He has produced many permaculture design projects and has led countless workshops, events, courses and retreats in India, Thailand and Australia to Colombia, England, Spain, Scotland, Costa Rica, Cuba and throughout the US. He has written over 30 blogs on his experience (in preparation for a book release) and has several articles written about him in the New Times, Natural Awakenings as well as TV/Radio interviews about his accomplishments in Miami and abroad. With hundreds of his students now expanding permaculture in our world, Déva aims to integrate more centers for sustainable living branding Permaculture as a significant solution in today’s Re-generation. http://permaculturemiami.com
Joseph Pierce lives in Micanopy, FL and lives permaculture! He helps to run his family-owned business, Mosswood Farm Store and Bakehouse. Joe is a permaculture gardener and has helped to start community gardens, a natural builder using palm thatching and bamboo, and has experience building cobb pizza ovens. His latest project have been creating biochar rocket stoves, finding creative ways for stacking multiple functions, and inoculating the biochar with EM to provide long lasting fertilizer for gardens and food forests. www.mosswoodfarmstore.com
Richard G. Powell is an experienced permaculture designer, consultant, installer, and teacher. He is also the founder of Orlando Permaculture, an Orlando-based non-profit dedicated to educating and empowering the community through permaculture. Richard has studied organic horticulture in Europe, Bamboo architecture in South America, and cob (earthen/clay) architecture here in the United States, among many other subjects. For Richard, permaculture is a revolution from the heart that aids each of us in creating a more peaceful and abundant world. It is his greatest joy to share this passion with his students and everyone he meets. www.orlandopermaculture.org
Koreen Brennan has extensive background in both permaculture design and in education. She has taught permaculture design at Pine Ridge Lakota reservation, Miami, Los Angeles, the first Florida Earthship, Tampa Bay, Sarasota, Gulf Coast University, Sustainable Kashi and Tuskegee University. She is a sought after public speaker, and has given hundreds of hours of lectures. Her areas of expertise and passion are food forestry and food security, community building, and financial permaculture. She has been involved in alternative education for close to 20 years and has been teaching permaculture regularly since 2006. She strives to bring the subject to people in the most accessible ways, and uses a variety of creative techniques and approaches to address different learning styles, so as to bring her students to understanding and competent application of the material learned. She enjoys co-creating and collaborating with both teaching and design work. She is available to teach permaculture anywhere in the world. www.permacultureguild.us
Jay “Jungle Jay” Hardman is a lifelong Floridian, growing up in St. Petersburg, I received my BA in Anthropology in the Archaeology track with Botany and Zoology concentration. I was honored to have been selected (as an undergrad) to lead the summer field school, an extensive survey of what is now New Tampa. With evolutionary biological perspective and intense interest in Early Man in North America, I entered grad school in the Applied Anthropology Internship Project and worked on several Paleo-Indian (mammoth hunter) sites along the I-75 Corridor and its attendant Bypass Canal reservoir. From these projects, I was recruited by the first and largest (at that time) Cultural Resource Management firm in our region. I have since been a field surveyor, excavator, crew chief and field director for many of these firms and have conducted excavations throughout the southeast US and island protectorates of the Caribbean, specializing in Florida’s unique landscape and varied heritage. Throughout my academic and working careers, I had seen what decline and collapse of civilizations looked like in the archaeological record. They occurred with regularity (if not periodicity), with ever more meteoric ascents and steeper declines. There are corollaries to what we see today. Because I had also seen what made prehistoric communities thrive, I see myself as a prophet of hope rather than one of doom. In the face of geometric population growth, global climate change, the end of the Petro-era and the socio-political and economic consequences so closely linked to all; I feel that there is an important message to be shared that will help to ease the transition to a new and prosperous paradigm. In 2004, I retired from the itinerant life of Field Archaeologist, returned more permanently to my home and community and dedicated myself to education, raising consciousness and fostering sustainability as a Certified Permaculture Designer and Implementer.
Anna Lee was born in Colorado and raised in California, home has been Tallahassee for over 40 years. My profession for over three decades was Chinese Medicine, mostly Acupuncture, Qi Gong and Chinese Medicinal Medicine. My love for permaculture began over seven years ago and has been the center of my life ever since. Its wholistic concepts match so well with Oriental medical theory and practice that its appeal was immediate. My home, LuLuLand, is designed as a permaculture learning and experimental center. Projects here are ongoing and lean toward the creative and artistic end of possibilities. I am more recently realizing the importance for me to merge my past with Chinese Medicine and my evolving understanding of Permaculture. I wish to share this in the world to help us all have positive and enriching forward movement. www.meetup.com/Tallahassee-Area-Permaculture
Alexander Ojeda interned with Earthship Biotechture in the building of Mike Reynold’s Global Model Earthship and found the spark that kicked off his passion. His passion has helped him to build the local Permaculture Jax group into a network of over 700 members. This group has installed over 20,000 square feet of garden space in 100s of permaculture design projects around and just outside of Jacksonville. He has lectured about permaculture to many groups including The Local Extensions Office, The Sierra Club, Jacksonville’s Permaculture Network, The Survival Network, Health & Wellness Groups and more and has been a contributor to the Permies.com empire. Alexander Ojeda is a permaculture designer and teacher with formal training in permaculture-based regenerative whole systems design. His training is founded in Bill Mollison’s and Geoff Lawton’s techniques and uses their course materials. Alex also trains in the use of natural materials to create the necessities of life. From starting fire with sticks to building self-sufficient homes. He has taught countless workshops in Permaculture Elements and Natural Living techniques in the Permaculture Jax Network as well as EarthSkills Gatherings in Florida and Georgia. Alex has worked as an adjunct professor for 3 years at FSCJ while working in the design industry. His background is design and has been working in this field since 1985. Alex is collaborating with Paul Wheaton in projects designed to get the concepts of permaculture into the minds of many more people! His most recent project with Paul Wheaton is a deck of Permaculture based playing cards. Alex is presently co-consulting with Valerie Hermann and Eli Bajalia in the construction of a Sustainable living-Permaculture Training Centers in Alachua, FL, St. George, GA and Middleburg, FL as well as countless other small projects. http://regenpermaculture.com
Mario Yanez is passionate about the possibility of bring about a Life-sustaining culture here in the Greater Everglades, his home bioregion. He is an ecologist, organic farmer, and activist, sharing his vision of the necessary transition toward growing ecologically-sustainable and resilient human communities everywhere. He has attained a deep understanding of our interconnectedness with all life, the severity of current ecological crises we collectively face, and the necessary evolution humans must go through in a short amount of time. Mario founded Earth Learning to create empowering, ecological learning experiences to assist in this cultural evolutionary process. Mario has several decades of experience applying systems-thinking in nonprofits and educational institutions and has developed a gift for creating cutting-edge programming and curriculum that is relevant, effective and fundable. In his practice as Permaculture Designer, he is applying Permaculture design principles at various scales, implementing regenerative productive landscapes, organizations and social systems. www.earth-learning.org
Paul Saucier is originally from Slidell, Louisiana. He started college at Southeastern Louisiana University with the intention of getting a bachelors degree in Small business and entrepreneurship. However, half way through he took a trip to Haiti and saw extreme poverty for the first time. This trip inspired him to live a life serving others. In order to be equipped to serve, he went to the h.e.a.r.t. missionary institute and received training through the 15-week program. While at h.e.a.r.t., he learned and practiced sustainable agriculture, which changed his course of education at SLU from business to horticulture. Immediately after college, he received a job at h.e.a.r.t. as the agriculture manager, serving from 2011 to 2013. He is currently the agriculture teacher at Lake Wales High School, sharing his passion for sustainable agriculture. In addition, Paul is taking his first permaculture design course through Oregon State University, and excited to continue pursuing this passion.
Andy Firk has spent over 20 years crafting bamboo & wildcrafting in Florida and the last 10 years creating Bamboo Grove, a two-acre edible forest homestead in Arcadia, Florida. His site, Bamboo Grove, is open to the public and host garden tours by appointment (10,000 different visitors so far). They host a number of homesteading gatherings with varied workshops, organize plant swaps, lead filed trips to farms as well as fruit safaris statewide, etc. Their food forest has 40 bamboos species, 220 mostly heirloom fruits, 50 perennial veggies, many medicinals, and other useful plants. He was a presenter at the recent Florida Herbal Conference (wild edible & wild medicinal plant workshops as well as a wild edible plant walk). He is founder of YamFest!, a perennial vegetable gathering, that was held at HEART in Lake Wales, Florida. Andy has led countless wild edible/medicinal plant walks across the state. He is the current owner of the Ithaca Forest Farm in Ithaca, NY. He operates a useful plants nursery that will open to the public in late 2014, in Arcadia, Florida, and am currently writing a detailed field guide to the edible wild plants of Florida. bamboogrovefarm.com
Tom Mawn and his wife, Diane Desenberg (who does not want to take care of bees) moved to Lido Key fifteen years ago. Shortly after arriving, we discovered that the ground around our house consisted of about an inch and a half of anemic soil atop a foundation of shell and sand that went down further than we cared to dig. The anemic soil supported a spotty lawn that required frequent watering to look lousy. We did not want to take care of a lawn, profligately use water, or utilize any of the chemicals needed for lawn maintenance. We decided to kill our lawn, except for the parts visible from the street. For the street sections, we turned off the water and applied Darwinian lawn principles. If it could live here on its own, it was welcome to stay and we would mow whatever grew to keep the neighbors off our backs. We dug out the stuff growing in the rest of the yard and began a regime mulching with whatever woodchips we could get free, adding other free soil amendments like Starbucks coffee grounds, horse manure and yard waste. We compost our kitchen waste, too and we get many volunteer plants from this. Fifteen years, thousands and thousands of pounds of woodchips later we have a yard that contains twenty-eight different fruit trees, some of which we grew from harvested seed. We also are stewards of eleven different fruiting bushes and plants including numerous volunteer papayas, a large variety of salad greens, three varieties of sweet potato, broccoli, tomatoes, chaya, ginger, moringa, and a bunch of herbs. The generosity of other gardeners has helped our garden grow and we help others by sharing plants. We spray regularly with fish emulsion and minor nutrients, and as needed spray with neem oil or bacillus thuringensis. We use no other fertilizers or chemicals on our plants. We collect rainwater to irrigate, and as needed using non-potable well water through a drip irrigation system. We eat from our yard every day. I have six colonies of bees, of which two I purchased and four came from me rescuing threatened feral hives. All this fits nicely on 4/10ths of an acre.
Johnny Dame is a 7th Generation Floridian and an Independent Environmental Educator, Artist and Naturalist. He is the Resident Naturalist and Artist at The Spirit of the Suwannee Music Park from November to May and the Resident Naturalist and Artist at Panther Meadow in Mount Shasta, CA from June to October. He specializes in authentic ecosystem renderings in Paintings, Drawings and Murals.
Jason Long is a Massachusetts native who has a deep love for the tropical fruits and vegetables of South Florida. His passions include plant swapping, permaculture, agro-forestry, and making people smile. Jason is a steward of the land at Treehugger Farms in Davie, FL and is committed to making a positive impact in the local community.
Santiago Arroyo was born in Quito, Ecuador where he spent his early formative years surrounded by mountains, rivers, forests, crazy bus drivers, and a big family. During this time, both of his grandmothers, who are savvy farmers and entrepreneurs instilled in him a great love of the land. When he moved to this country he developed a love and appreciation for music and art which inspired him to become a permaculture designer. He can be found on any given day at Treehugger Farms observing, working, and enjoying the beautiful community that he is blessed to be a part of.