2017 Presenters

Our 2017 Presenters

Josh Arnold
Josh Arnold loves being part of thriving community. Lately he enjoys exploring the place where spiritual growth, social justice, and ecological restoration intersect. In 2006 Josh founded Global Awareness Local Action (G.A.L.A.), a nonprofit that has incubated and contributed to many initiatives including a Farmers’ Market, Food Pantry Garden, Solarize Campaign, Contra Dances, Re-skill-ience Workshops, and several community and school gardens. Josh enjoys hiking, biking, swimming, foraging, and also writing, sketching, dancing, cooking, and mindfulness. Josh and his wife Molly live in an old Grange Hall in Ossipee, NH where they host house concerts, puppet shows, film screenings, clothing swaps, and other sundry community get-togethers.

Ruth Axelrod
I am a very recently retired professor of Leadership and Management. I first volunteered for Clean Water advocacy in college, working for the Clean Water Act of 1972. I was very well trained about this issue as a Master Gardener volunteer for the University of Maryland Extension and through my own research, making many presentations about it and serving as Chair of the UMD Master Gardener’s Frederick County “Baywise” program. Having moved to NH in 2012, I now serve as a UNHCE volunteer Master Gardener and Speaker for Wildlife. My presentations are always very well received and people often say that I changed their way of thinking about their environment. That is my reward!

Shaunna Bulcock
Shaunna has managed their small family homestead as her full time job since 2015. She has 2 goats in milk right now and also raises rabbits, ducks, turkeys and geese!

Leigh Cameron
Leigh is a Program Manager with the New England Grassroots Environment Fund where she supports grassroots sustainability initiatives across New England through grants programs and capacity building trainings. Leigh manages the Grow grant program and also leads up the organization’s Collaborations program focusing on developing partnerships and supporting collective impact around sustainability issues.
Previously, Leigh served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Senegal where she worked with the local community to organize around a variety of environmental and social issues including local food production, waste management, conservation, health, and women’s leadership. Some of her favorite projects include supporting a local organic growers association, directing a Girls Leadership Camp, and exploring local techniques for sustainable building and design.
Prior to serving in the Peace Corps, Leigh supported appropriately-sited renewable energy projects in Massachusetts with the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. Leigh is a systems-thinker who seeks holistic solutions to environmental and social challenges. She developed her passion for sustainable living while studying in an eco-village and volunteering with an off-the-grid reforestation project in southern India. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History with a minor in Environmental Studies from Boston College and a Permaculture Design Certificate through Food, Water, Shelter in Tanzania. When not at the Grassroots Fund, you can find her practicing yoga, gardening, or enjoying the beautiful New England outdoors.

Marty Castriotta
Marty Castriotta is the co-owner and founder of Village Roots Permaculture in East Alstead NH (on the Orchard Hill Community). He and his wife Ellen and son Joules have been operating a diversified farm on this property since 2004. They grow and sell pastured meats, greenhouse greens and PYO berries and run regular permaculture workshops and a full Permaculture Design and Certification course every other year. Marty has a background in engineering, environmental education and natural construction, but his passion is farming and mentoring future farmers and ecosystem designers.

Jen Close
Jennifer Close designs, installs, and maintains perennial flower, herb, and vegetable gardens around the Monadnock Region of NH. She thrives in the fertile edges of philosophy and technique by studying, engaging with, and utilizing the synergistic elements of various approaches such as permaculture, biodynamics, bionutrient, biointensive, organic, traditional, and native methods. Jennifer is also a practicing herbalist, early childhood educator, and community event organizer.

Katie Devoid
As an artist with Ojibwe, Ottawa, and German heritage, Katie loves to combine traditional and contemporary designs and techniques. She strives to carry the creativity, artistry, and knowledge of her ancestors through to the modern world.
Katie is very active in the local Native American community and has helped to organize a number of events for the community and to help educate the public. She is an accomplished dancer and singer at powwows throughout the northeast, and has demonstrated beadwork and basket making at many events over the years. As a professional educator, Katie has designed and delivered a variety of educational presentations for groups of all ages from pre-school through college and beyond.

Ben and Kate Dobrowski
Kate and Ben Dobrowski, mother and son team at Greenhill Collective Farm, have been homesteading and farming off-the- grid at GHCF for 15 years. Kate is a mother of 3, practicing herbalist, massage therapist and founder of GHCF. She has
experience in primitive lifeways and has been growing food since she was 2 years old. Her interests also include Chinese Medicine, experimental tree crop propagation, and radical recipes for the dinner table.
Ben is a graduate of the UVM Plant and Soil Science dept, where he also received his PDC certificate. Ben is the manager at GHCF and runs their vegetable, mushroom, and animal operations. He is the road agent and plowman of their mile long driveway, farm mechanic, and woodlot manager. Ben’s interests include community organizing with two local nonprofits,
cooking meals with whatever’s on hand, and ripping a killer guitar solo in his band “The DoBros.”

Stacey Doll
Stacey is the owner of Rooted by Stacey, LLC, a business that balances wellness for people through yoga, shamanism and healing arts with wellness for the planet through permaculture education and design. She is a member of the Permaculture Association of the Northeast, is a certified Permaculture designer and teacher, and is currently sharing permaculture at Green Mountain College and through her yoga studio, Root to Bloom in Littleton, NH.

Buzz Ferver
I have always been preoccupied with the natural system of the planet. My earliest memories are of crabapples, flowers, rocks and water, spending my childhood collecting bugs, leaves and being lost in the woods studying plant communities. Totally convinced that either bacteria or fungus (or both together) actually run the show, I nonetheless work hard in human
society.  In the 70’s, I studied horticulture and landscape design at the feet of my father and continue with my horticulture fantasy at my wet farm in Berlin Corners VT. In the 80's and 90's I worked with two of the largest mushroom growers in Pennsylvania to build revenue producing operations from their previously underutilized stream of mushroom growing substrate. I also spent quite a bit of time researching and developing mushroom compost as the organic fraction
in green roof media. I have worked for 30 years as a consultant to farming operations on every scale, to design, and develop on-farm composting at appropriate scale and technology, and in a parallel career, as a general contractor, designing and building homes and doing major renovations to existing buildings. On my farm in Vermont I use permaculture principles, searching nut trees suitable for Zone 4, and building soils by composting. I was on the Board of Directors of Yestermorrow 
Design Build School for 9 years and still teach there periodically.

Hears Crow
​N∞tauau Kaukontuoh, “she hears the crow”, is a woman of the Eastern Woodlands. She lives her life in the tradition of the Nanhigganêuck, the people known today as the Narragansett. She focuses on Longhouse stories in many different ways including Native Sign Language, Call & Response as well as other traditional styles. She has published a book of poetry, is working on a Native children's novel and shares the stories at schools, Community Centers, Indigenous gatherings and wherever the stories lead her.
As a kuhk∞tomwehteâen {one who shares knowledge}, she loves to share the Longhouse People through their stories.

Karen Ganey
Karen is the co-founder of Transition 5 Villages, The Center for Transformational Practice, the Upper Valley Apple Corps and the Upper Valley Transformational Action Affinity Group (UVTAAG), organizations and groups working to build a resilient culture by way of supporting renewable food and energy systems, re-skilling, planting fruit and nut trees for free and public picking and leading actions that are transformational in conception and implementation.  
She has recently founded Permaculture Solutions, LLC where she works to develop ecologically diverse and nutrient dense landscapes for humans and habitat. She has designed forest gardens and garden systems for families, schools, hospitals and communities a like. Karen also teaches gardening, nutrition and creative arts at Creative Lives After School Program, located at White River School in Hartford VT. There she weaves together connections between inner well-being, creativity, restorative ecology, place based community connections, social and environmental justice.
Karen graduated with a self -designed BA titled Social Engagement in Environmental Awareness and Human Rights from Fairhaven College at Western WA University and is currently working on her Masters in Consciousness Studies and Transpersonal Psychology at Goddard College (Plainfield, VT) and Alef University (UK). Karen completed the Permaculture Design Course (’08), the Master Composter Course ('15) and The Permaculture Teacher Training (’16). She is also a lay herbalist and Reiki practioner and enjoys applying earth and energy based healing to her landscape methods.

Bret Ingold
Bret has been experimenting with fermentation for many years. What started with a hankering for some kraut quickly moved into a fascination. Experimenting with various kafirs, Kimchi, tempeh, and most recently misos and other Koji ferments.

Kristin Ingold
Kristin Ingold has been a bit of a closet musician who spent far too many years hiding her authentic voice from the world. She has since defied this deep insecurity about expressing herself in front of others, realizing that her love for the power of music is so much greater than her fear. Sharing this love with her sisters, she co-created Three Sisters Song Collective, whose mission is to collect and share with others healing songs from around the world. She is also co-owner of a wellness center, a massage therapist and a professional artist.

Kearsarge Food Hub
The Kearsarge Food Hub is a group of five Kearsarge High School graduates - and one Maine transplant - who moved back home to make a difference on the local level. We believe that social, economic, and environmental health are all intimately linked to how we produce, distribute, and consume our food. We are passionate about strengthening our community around a restorative local food system and helping people connect over good, local food! Currently in our third season, we feel like we have something to share regarding our experience creating a food hub, and a call to action to help our organization, and others like ours, grow into the future.

Liz Kelly
Liz Kelly is an ecological designer, land use planner, and permaculture educator living in Holderness, NH. She has experience working on a number of small-scale permaculture farms and gardens and has created and co-created ecological landscapes designs and plans for residences, community spaces, streetscapes, education centers, and municipalities throughout NH. Liz is passionate about making permaculture accessible to broad audiences and empowering individuals to apply a thoughtful, intentional, and creative thought process to designing their homes in a way that benefits themselves, their surrounding natural environment, and their community.

Laurie Lockwood
Laurie gardens, writes, and raises chickens in Canterbury, NH. With a quarter-century's worth of catering to chickens and nearly double that in gardening, she has some unusual insights to share. Her family's land is gently yielding to the persuasion of permaculture. Spreading the word through community projects is her growing passion.

Colin Nevins
Colin was born and raised in Warner NH, and has been gardening and experimenting with permaculture and regenerative design for many years. He studied sustainable agriculture at the College of the Atlantic in Bar Harbor, ME, and got his bachelor's degree at Goddard College in Vermont where he studied regenerative landscape design.

Neil Nevins
Neil Nevins is an Associate Professor of Sociology, NH Technical Institute. He is co-owner of MainStreet BookEnds of Warner, an independent community bookstore, and founding Board member of MainStreet Warner, Inc.

Joan O’Connor
Joan O’Connor has been vermicomposting since 1992. She raises and sells worms and educates the public on composting worms as an earth-friendly solution to recycle kitchen waste into a fertile garden additive. Joan is a strong advocate for recycling and has been featured in local and regional newspapers, magazines and TV. Joan lives in Henniker, New Hampshire in a one room, renovated schoolhouse that she shares with her cat, dog and worms!

Didi Pershouse
Didi Pershouse is a cross-pollinator, helping to connect the dots between soil health and human health. She is the author of The Ecology of Care: Medicine, Agriculture, Money, and the Quiet Power of Human and Microbial Communities and the new Understanding Soil Health and Watershed Function: a Teacher’s Manual. As the founder of the Center for Sustainable Medicine, she developed a practice and theoretical framework for systems-based ecological medicine—restoring health to people as well as the social and ecological systems around them. After 22 years of clinical work with patients, she is now working with the Soil Carbon Coalition on a large-scale citizen-science program that engages schools, conservation districts, farmers, and the public in understanding the intersections between soil, water, public health, and climate resiliency. She also teaches ongoing classes and workshops on resilient leadership for social change.

Valerie Piedmont
Valerie Piedmont, founder and director of The Sustainability Project, lives off grid in the Emerson Brook Forest with her husband, Pablo Fleischmann. In addition to homesteading, they operate a solar and hearth business, Green Energy Options of Keene, as well as a bed and breakfast. Valerie completed a permaculture design certification course as well as a course in designing educational ecosystems.

Jonah Ruh Roberts
Jonah Ruh Roberts is an herbalist located in Unity NH where she has lived building her herb gardens based on permaculture principles since 2013. She has used herbs for her own health since 1995 and recently graduated from Michael Tierra’s East West School of Herbology. She founded Unity Mountain herbs in 2015 to make available tea blends and high quality tinctures many of the ingredients of which are locally and regionally grown or wildcrafted. Her mission is to help re-integrate people into nature through the appreciation of plant medicines.

Jill Schock
Jill Schock is a retired elementary educator and currently a museum educator at the Mt. Kearsarge Indian Museum. Jill also presents technology integration workshops for educators in N.H.

Karen Tuininga
Karen Tuininga is a Backyard Herbalist, Professional Educator, and Perennial Volunteer. She has been studying and practicing Permaculture for many years and formally completed her PDC in 2014.

Sophie Viandier
Sophie is a designer, consultant, gardener and teacher with Garden Life based in New London, NH. She has designed both urban and rural sites with a focus on community revitalization both locally and internationally, including projects in Kenya, Cuba and Haiti. She is a graduate of Gaia University with a Bachelor's degree in Integrative Ecosocial Design. Sophie is a Natural Resource Steward for New Hampshire and a Community Ecology Trainee from the UNH Cooperative Extension. She owns and operates Pay It Forward Farm in Andover, New Hampshire where she spends as much time as possible playing in her gardens.

Dakota White
I have been making mead for nearly 7 years now and started with beer almost two years ago. I have lived most of my life in Rhode Island and while there spent a few years working on various different organic farms growing vegetables, mushrooms, medicinal herbs, and raising chickens. I have also spent some time enrolled in an herbal medicine education and training program in Providence (Farmacy Herbs). And for the past few year I have been learning wild mushroom identification from my good friend who has been doing this for decades. Due to certain life events happening, I decided to relocate from Rhode Island last November to New Hampshire where my family is now. Since then I have decided to dedicate myself wholly to understanding the wildlife that grows here, both in natural and disturbed areas, and having knowledge of as many species as I can. My dream is to find a homestead where I can help with the cultivation of crops,
mushrooms, herbs and medicinal preparations, caring for animals etc. I would potentially like to open my own brewery business using abundant wild herbs and mushrooms as a way of educating and familiarizing people with the landscape of their homes, and as a way to show how much valuable food and medicine the earth provides which must be protected.

Val White
Permaculture designer & educator, Community College (NHTI) Social Sciences instructor (anthropology is my favorite), landscape business owner (Earthscapes of NH), herbalist, “plant junkie”, committed homesteader (Beaver Hollow Homestead) and locavore. Greatest role= mother/grandmother.

David Wichland
David Wichland is the owner of Wichland Woods, a unique, local myco-business located in the Monadnock Region of New Hampshire. By educating the public about mycology, Dave strives to promote people’s awareness about the health and ecological benefits of mushrooms. Through various workshops, Wichland Woods encourages people to expand their gardening realm into a mycological-friendly landscape. We educate the public on the techniques of “backyard mushrooming” and how everyday resources can be used to cultivate their own mycelia network. Dave creates over a dozen local strains of mushrooms, which are carefully expanded using sterile techniques. By working with other northeast mycologists, we are promoting the health benefits that mushrooms have in our world.