Organic Gardening

Stacey MurphyStacey Murphy is a radical systems designer who brings to Ashevillage her vision of creating whole human communities. Founder of BK Farmyards and Farmyard Bootcamp, Stacey’s background is in forging innovative community partnerships, while designing integrated and healthy systems, including abundant local food harvests. She has initiated urban farms and CSA’s, curated online and on-the-ground agricultural and entrepreneurial trainings, and co-created hands-on, holistic food systems classes for high school students in Brooklyn, NY.
 Sunil PatelSunil Patel managed and re-designed the Ashevillage Sanctuary’s 30,000 gallon rainwater catchment ponds and aquaponic greenhouse to be ultra effective at cleaning water and producing high volumes of healthy food. Sunil’s background is in biodynamic farming and production gardening. He has grown food at various locales across the United States since 2006. Sunil recently founded Patchwork Urban Farm, a decentralized farm made up of small plots in Asheville, NC. With a knack for applying deep-level systems thinking and analysis to create integrated and highly functioning systems, Sunil teaches at both the Urban Farm School and Wise Water School.
2011-08-10 16.11.36.jpgPat Battle’s career as a market gardener began in California where he grew vegetables in an abandoned lot next to his house for the Swallow Restaurant, a restaurant collective where he was co-owner. In the mid-80s he moved to Western North Carolina where he became Chef at the Penland School of Crafts and later on, Head Gardener with the Highland Lake Inn’s organic gardening program. More recently, Pat has become well known for his work at the WCQS garden call-in show, the Organic Growers School, Mayland Community College, and Virginia Tech’s farmscaping program. Currently Pat runs Living Web Farm in Mills River.
E.V. von Seldeneck founded and owns Mantis Gardens since 2001. With a Bachelor of Science in Biology, and as a NCAN Certified Plant Professional and Registered Landscape Contractor, E.V. creates beautiful outdoor environments for homes and businesses using environmentally sustainable methods. In 2010, she started a micro-neighborhood farm at the end of her street with vegetables and fruits, bees, chickens, and dreams of goats.
Joseph Salvatore is the owner of Garden Tea Co. a farm based business specializing in tea for plants. Joseph has been commercially producing worm castings, retailing and researching garden fertilizers and working as an experience based educator since 2010. Former owner of an urban garden center, Joseph and his family live a yeoman’s life as subsistence gardeners, preserving homegrown foods, caring for a large flock of chickens, attending to honeybees, saving seeds, cultivating earth, propagating plants, and studying peasant wisdom.

Herbalism & Wild Edibles

Alan MuskatAlan Muskat, founder of No Taste Like Home, has been taking people “out to eat” for over twenty years. He has popped up on Bizarre Foods, The History Channel, PBS, CBS, and in Southern Living, Fodors, Travel+Leisure, Conde Naste Traveler, The New Yorker, The Chicago Tribune, and Country Living. In 2007, Alan co-founded The REAL Center, a school for relationship skills and natural living. Ask anyone who knows The Mushroom Man: when it comes to bringing out the fun in fungi, he’s the champignon.
Juliet BlankespoorJuliet Blankespoor is the director and primary instructor at the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, which she founded in 2007. She has been sharing her passion for plants by teaching herbal medicine and botany for over 18 years. Juliet also teaches human anatomy and physiology, plant propagation, tree identification and bioregional roots herbalism. Her love of plants is also expressed through writing herbal articles and botanical photography.
marcwilliamsMarc Williams is an ethnobotanist who has studied the people plant connection intensively while learning to employ botanicals for food, medicine, and beauty. He holds a BA in Environmental Studies from Warren Wilson College and a Master’s in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University. Marc is Executive Director of Plants and Healers International and the coordinator His greatest hope is that his efforts will help improve our current challenging global ecological situation.
Sandi FordSandi Ford, Clinical Herbalist and Health and Nutrition Educator, has been working with medicinal plants and people for 20 years. She is the Assistant Director of Clinical Education at The Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine, maintains a consultation practice, teaches at various herb schools, local colleges, and is the Herbal Adviser for the Warren Wilson College Wellness Crew. Sandi received her Master’s in Holistic Health and Nutrition Education in 2013.
Daisy MarquisDaisy Marquis studied and taught with Peggy Ellis, Appalachian School of Holistic Herbalism founder, when it was the herbal division of the NC School of Natural Healing. She then began teaching for NCSNH’s massage division in 1999 where she was the primary instructor in the Meditation and Energy Healing program from 2002 until 2007. Daisy then founded the Shanti Collective, a school devoted to self transformation and awakening in Asheville, NC where she is the director and primary instructor of the Ancient and Sacred Art of Energy Healing, yoga and subtle plant medicine.
head shot editRebecca Vann is an herbalist of 15 years, gaining her wisdom through several teachers in the Blue Ridge Province. Rebecca currently lives at Sacred Mountain Sanctuary with her children and is extensively involved in stewarding the biodynamic farm and retreat center at SMS. Her work includes growing medicinal herbs with two grower cooperatives, BotaniPharm Goldenseal growers cooperative and Appalachian Botanical Alliance. She also teaches various classes on Herbalism at The Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine and AB Tech.
Keri EvjyKeri Evjy is co-founder of Herban Farmacy, an herbal CSA, as well as Healing Roots Design, a triple bottom line enterprise that promotes healthy human communities through education, demonstration and collaboration on ecological design. Keri graduated from Yestermorrow Design/Build School and Kleiwerks International Permaculture Design Practicum. She is a Certified Clinical Herbalist from the Appalachian School of Holistic Herbalism and a graduate of the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine.
LukeLuke Cannonethnobotanist, herbalist and permaculturalist, loves to share the magic and wonder of the natural world. Lead Instructor for The Afikomen Project, Luke is also on the faculty of the Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism and The Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine. He is Co-Director ofForest Floor Wilderness Programs. Luke fosters a personal relationship with nature as the foundation for sustainable and joyful living.
Asia SulerAsia Suler is a writer, gardener, energy healer and plant-devotee who has made it her business to study the deeper needs of holistic healing. Through One Willow Apothecaries she offers gluten-free medicine made with guidance, humility and a profound hope for a collective movement towards inspired self-healing and natural balance.

Food Fermentation & Preservation

marcwilliamsMarc Williams is an ethnobotanist who has studied the people plant connection intensively while learning to employ botanicals for food, medicine, and beauty. He holds a BA in Environmental Studies from Warren Wilson College and a Master’s in Appalachian Studies from Appalachian State University. Marc is Executive Director of Plants and Healers International and the coordinator of His greatest hope is that his efforts will help improve our current challenging global ecological situation.
DeNiece GuestDeNeice Guest has been studying wild herbs and gardening for over 30 years, and has been making and brewing herbal-based tonics, beverages and medicines for the last decade. She has amassed a collection of some 100 original, kitchen-tested recipes. DeNeice is a charter member of the Asheville E-Z Gardeners, a garden club in Asheville, North Carolina, founded in 2010, and she created the club’s signature wine, E-Z Gardeners Passionflower-Lemon Balm Wine.
Nan ChaseNan Chase is an author, journalist, lecturer and gardener who writes about architecture and landscape design. She is the co-author of Eat Your Yard!; Drink Your Harvest; Bark House Style; and Asheville: A History. Nan maintains an active lecture and demonstration schedule for garden and landscape organizations, writers groups, and cooking schools. See Her work has appeared in the New York Times, Smithsonian, Fine Gardening, Architectural Record and Southern Living. She lives in Asheville, North Carolina, where she is a contributing writer to WNC Magazine.
Screen Shot 2014-09-01 at 11.26.19 AMDoug Elliott is a naturalist, herbalist, storyteller, basket maker, back-country guide, philosopher, and harmonica wizard. For many years made his living as a traveling herbalist, gathering and selling herbs, teas, and remedies. He has spent a great deal of time with traditional country folk and indigenous people, learning their stories, folklore and traditional ways of relating to the natural world. In recent years he has performed and presented programs at festivals, museums, botanical gardens, nature centers and schools from Canada to the Caribbean.


Joel SalatinJoel Salatin is a is a full-time farmer at Polyface Farms in the Shenandoah Valley. A third generation alternative farmer, he returned to the farm full-time in 1982 and continued refining and adding to his parents’ ideas. The farm services more than 5,000 families, 10 retail outlets, and 50 restaurants with salad bar beef, pastured poultry, eggmobile eggs, pigaerator pork, forage-based rabbits, pastured turkey and forestry products. Joel was an instructor at the 2014 Permaculture Design Course.
david holmgren hsDavid Holmgren is the co-founder of permaculture and has developed three highly producing permaculture demonstration sites. David has consulted and supervised in urban and rural projects, presented lectures, workshops and courses in Australia and around the world. He presents permaculture through practical projects and teaching by example that a sustainable lifestyle is a realistic alternative to consumerism. David was an instructor at the 2014 Permaculture Design Course.
Brad LancasterBrad Lancaster will be a (live-stream) guest instructor. He is the award winning author of Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond. Brad is a permaculture teacher, designer, consultant and co-founder of Desert Harvesters. He designs integrated water harvesting and permaculture systems for homeowners and gardeners. Brad created a desert oasis on 1/8th of an acre in Arizona, where it rains less than 12 inches annually, and he harvests 100,000+ gallons a year. Brad was an instructor at the 2014 Permaculture Design Course.
Sandor KatzSandor Ellix Katz has been an instructor with Ashevillage since it’s founding in 2006. He is a fermentation revivalist, activist, and author, who travels widely teaching and sharing fermentation skills. His passion for fermentation developed out of his interests in food, nutrition, and gardening. His books are Wild Fermentation: The Flavor, Nutrition, and Craft of Live-Culture FoodsThe Revolution Will Not Be Microwaved: Inside America’s Underground Food Movements, and The Art of Fermentation. Sandor has been featured on NPR and has taught hundreds of workshops. He lives in central Tennessee. For more about Sandor visit his website,
Patricia AllisonPatricia Allison has been a lead instructor with Ashevillage since our founding in 2006. She has been sharing Permaculture with thousands of people since 1994. Patricia travels and teaches educational programs throughout the Southeast, inspiring people to deepen their connection to earth and ecological living. Patricia has been a member of Earthaven Ecovillage for 17 years –- a Permaculture-based intentional community in the mountains of Western North Carolina.
Keri EvjyKeri Evjy founded Healing Roots Design, a triple bottom line enterprise that promotes healthy human communities through education, demonstration, and collaboration on ecological design. Keri has worked with the National Gardening Association, Yestermorrow Design/Build School, and Kleiwerks International in Argentina. She is a Certified Clinical Herbalist from the Appalachian School of Holistic Herbalism, a graduate of the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, and co-founder of Herban Farmacy, an herbal CSA.
Sunil PatelSunil Patel is founder and owner of Patchwork Urban Farms, a food growing initiative that connects people and edible landscapes, specializing in growing fresh food in the city of Asheville.. Sunil is co-owner of Sovereign Remedies. He is the former Ashevillage site manager and instructor for the Urban Farm School. Sunil has been farming biodynamically since 2006s. For four years, he facilitated farming internships and managed a CSA that produced 100 shares a season at Greenmoore Gardens. Sunil is a skilled cook, baker, and cheese maker.
zev friedmanZev Friedman is a leading permaculture practitioner, designer, researcher and teacher in Western North Carolina. He specializes in forest agriculture, myco-forestry, and the marrying of ancestral hand skills with whole systems thinking. Zev is active as a consultant and work manager in neighborhood and community scale projects in Asheville. He is co-owner of Living Systems Design and Permaculture in Action.
Shawn Jadrincek-editedShawn Jadrnicek’s experience spans organic farming, nursery production, homesteading, landscape design and installation, arboriculture, irrigation system design, and aquaculture. Shawn also spent four years as an extension agent in South Carolina. Shawn now serves as the farm manager for the Clemson University Organic Farm, a five acre 100 share CSA and market operation.
Janell Kapoor1Janell Kapoor is the founding director of the Ashevillage Institute and Kleiwerks International. She is an avid mud mama, international activist, designer, teacher, and community organizer who’s work has generated natural building movements of hundreds of thousands of people from over 52 countries. Janell led the first earthen building trainings in Thailand, Argentina and Turkey. In 1998, she built the first modern earthen building in the Southeastern United States.
Dylan Rylas-HamiltonDylan Ryals-Hamilton teaches permaculture in Asheville and throughout the southeast. He is an active member of Transition Asheville, the Asheville-Buncombe Food Policy Council and the Buncombe Fruit and Nut Club. He is the co-founder of Permaculture In Action, an education model emphasizing hands-on implementation of permaculture design. He enjoys exploring ways to apply permaculture principles to culture repair and community collaboration.
Brian WinslettBrian Winslett is a permaculturist, appropriate technology wizard, and yoga teacher. He co-founded Blue Ridge Biofuels, a community-based biodiesel manufacturer committed to building the local alternative energy economy by producing affordable clean fuels for Western North Carolina.

Natural Building

Janell Kapoor is the founding director of the Ashevillage Institute and Kleiwerks International. She is an avid mud mama, international activist, designer, teacher, and community organizer whose work has generated natural building movements amongst hundreds of thousands of people from over 52 countries. Outside of the mud, Janell is most at home walking barefoot in the mountains, fermenting anything she can, and eating amongst friends. Janell is the founder of, and a lead instructor for the Natural Building Extravaganza.
Mark LakemanMark Lakeman is a national leader in the development of sustainable public places. He has directed, facilitated, and inspired designs for more than 300 new community-generated public places in Portland, Oregon alone. Through his leadership in Communitecture, Inc., and it’s affiliates such as City Repair Project, Village Building Convergence, and the Planet Repair Institute, Mark has been instrumental in the development of dozens of participatory organizations and urban permaculture design projects. Mark works with governmental leaders, community organizations, and educational institutions in many diverse communities. He is a guest instructor at the Natural Building Extravaganza.
mollie curryMollie Curry has been teaching with Ashevillage and Kleiwerks International since day one. She is founder of Earth Circle Natural Building, and co-founder of MudStrawLove with her partner Steve. Mollie started her career in natural building in 1996, and has been teaching and building throughout the southeastern United States ever since. Mollie teaches cob, plastering, straw bale, straw-clay, earthen paint, earthbag, and carpentry, as well as permaculture. Mollie is an instructor of the Natural Building Extravaganza.
Steve KembleSteve Kemble is an engineer who has been involved in the straw bale building revival from the beginning. He attended the first ever class on the subject in 1990, then designed his own home and sponsored the second straw bale workshop (ever). Steve co-produced the first video on strawbale, as well as the book, How to Build Your Elegant Home with Straw Bales, and a Straw Bale Home Plans booklet. He has been teaching ever since, including a wide variety of techniques in varied climates. Since age 10, Steve has been pursuing percussion passionately and persistently. Steve is co-founder of MudStrawLove with his partner, Mollie Curry.
Meka Bunch (new)Meka Bunch has been teaching with Ashevillage since day one. He has been an avid natural builder since 1997 when he began the creation of a gorgeous cob studio in Wolf Creek, Oregon. Ever since, he has been muddin’ it up, creating public community kiosks, benches, sweat lodges, wood-fired baking ovens and small living spaces. Meka has worked with Kleiwerks International and other community groups in Argentina, Brazil, Thailand, Oregon, California and North Carolina. He loves working with others who are excited about implementing sustainable practices into their lives. Meka is a guest instructor of the Natural Building Extravaganza.

Other Instructors

Bill Whipple is a fruit orchardist, homesteader, community volunteer, Vaudeville performer, and new papa to baby. Bill runs the Barkslip Fruit School and organizes stewardship of the five edible parks in Asheville, with an emphasis on community building and outreach to schools. Bill also runs his own micro-nursery and urban permaculture site, and pear orchard genome demonstration orchard on his farm in West Virginia. Bill is a guest teacher with the Urban Farm School.
Brandee Boggs is a North Carolina native with a degree in Land Use Planning and Policy. She co-founded Asheville/Buncombe’s Food Policy Council with the goal of making the city and county food secure. Brandee has been the Director of the Student Environmental Center at UNCA, and currently serves on the Blue Ridge Sustainability Institute‘s Leadership Board, Asheville City’s Tree Commission and GroWNC’s Land Use Committee. Brandee is a guest presenter of the Urban Farm School.
Debra Roberts is a Master Beekeeper and Natural Beekeeping educator, mentor and writer. She is Vice President of The Center for Honeybee Research; co-founder of Holy Bee Press; a Founding Mother of The College of the Melissae: Center for Sacred Beekeeping in Ashland, OR; bee mentor for Hamaatsa, an indigenous learning center in the Southwest; and last, but not least, a bee steward, rather than keeper, who is utterly devoted to the well-being of honeybees. Debra is a guest presenter at the Urban Farm School and women’s retreats.
BrightLightERINErin Sojourner Agostinelli is the Farm Educator for Demeter International’s biodynamic trainings. With a background as a farmer and certified health practitioner, she brings forward agriculture practices that promote the health of our planet and our bodies. Erin lives in Asheville, NC with her husband and children. In between raising a family, she co-authors grants for research and education for biodynamic crops and connects with farmers and leaders in the sustainable farming industry. Erin is a guest presenter with the Urban Farm School.
JerryJerry Donoghue is a communication coach who helps people learn to speak from their hearts with compassion. He helps people apply the powerful Compassionate Communication model (Nonviolent communication) to their lives. In 2010 he decided the most self compassionate and empowering thing he could do was grow his own food. Using his long standing interest in permaculture, he embarked on the journey of seeing how much food he could grown on a 1/10 of an acre city lot using organic practices. Jerry has been a guest presenter for the Urban Farm School.
lee-webLee Walker Warren has been homesteading and farming in cooperative community for more than 15 years. She is the Co-founder and Co-director of SOIL, School of Integrated Living, which teaches organic food production, regenerative systems, and community living, at Earthaven Ecovillage. She is the co-founder, in 2004, and manager of Imani Farm, a pasture-based cooperative farm (also at Earthaven Ecovillage) focused on milk and egg production and is the Program Coordinator for the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference. Lee has been a guest presenter with the Urban Farm School.
mikefortuneMike Fortune is a 6th generation resident of the southern Appalachian highlands. Spending his youth raising christmas trees with his family in Brevard, Mike began organic farming shortly after college in 2002. He founded Green Hill Urban Farm in 2005, and has specialized in wholesale business with restaruants and distributors during that time. He has has managed numerous plots on six different and unique properties in four counties of WNC, trying to help supply the Asheville area’s ever increasing demand for locally produced foods.
Screen Shot 2014-10-14 at 3.02.18 PMSteve Rice is one of the largest producers of shitake mushrooms in the state. He is the president of the NC Mushroom Growers Association. Steve runs Rice Family Farm, offers tours and sells at Farmer’s Markets. He encourages farmers throughout the region to start their own mini shiitake farms to increase mushroom consumption through the promotion of the culinary and health benefits of NC farm grown mushrooms. Steve guest teaches at the Urban Farm School.