ECOLOGY ACTION STAFF

The Jeavons Center (TJC)
Willits, California

John Jeavons, Executive Director
John has been the Director of the Ecology Action Mini-Farming Program since 1972 and is the author of How to Grow More Vegetables... on GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Sustainable Mini-Farming, which is currently in use in over 150 countries in virtually all climates and soils where food is grown. Versions are available in English, Spanish, German, French, Hindi, Russian, Kiswahili and Arabic, with an Italian translation coming soon. He is author, co-author and/or editor of over 40 Ecology Action publications. His major responsibilities include directing field and library research and education in GROW BIOINTENSIVE food-raising. He advises GROW BIOINTENSIVE projects in countries such as Mexico, Kenya, Russia and India, as well as all corners of the US. John holds a BA in Political Science from Yale University. Before coming to Ecology Action in 1972, he worked as a systems analyst in business, government and university settings. He has received the Boise Peace Quilt, Santa Fe Living Treasure, Giraffe, and Steward of Sustainable Agriculture awards for his public service. John's dream is to be a GROW BIOINTENSIVE mini-farmer.

TJC Mini-Farm Team

Angela Bucci, GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Farmer/Teacher/Trainer
Angela grew up on Long Island and became interested in agriculture because of her father's oyster farm. She later attended Allegheny College in PA to obtain her degree in Environmental Studies and English with a minor in Economics. This education enables Angela to take a holistic approach to sustainable agriculture that considers complex social, economic, and environmental factors. Angela is extremely excited to be a part of the Ecology Action team for this very reason and is grateful for the invaluable opportunity to build a sustainable community that is often hard to envision amongst modern life in GROW BIOINTENSIVE Sustainable Mini-Farming.

Melvin Castrillo, GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Mini-Farm Manager
Melvin is originally from Nicaragua and naturalized to the U.S. 13 years ago. Melvin learned to double dig from a friend while living in Nicaragua and proved successful. Melvin relocated to California and obtained a degree in Agronomy from Fresno State in 1993. Melvin grew many things in the central valley in CA. Educating others has been key to my career objectives. Melvin is pleased to be a part of EA as he continues to learn and teach.

Kaitlin Dickmann, GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Farmer/Teacher/Trainer
Kaitlin grew up in Southern California with a passion for the natural world stemming from her parents who both are teachers and believe education should extend beyond the four walls of a classroom. Inspired by her time spent in Peru doing yoga and sacred ceremonies Kaitlin wrote her senior thesis on The Ethnobotany in the Amazonia compared to the Andes of Peru. She graduated from Berkeley University in 2015 and began traveling and working on farms. Kaitlin strongly believes in health sovereignty and the ability of plants and food as medicine. She hopes to continue working for the land and educating others about the intersections of health and biointensive farming.

Chloe Ellwanger, GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Farmer/Teacher/Trainer
Raised on an outdoor-centric lifestyle, Chloe has discovered many passions over the years. They range from specialty coffee to writing to hiking and travel to cooking and nutrition, all of which have stemmed off of a deep admiration and respect for the environment. Chloe not only believes that excellent food is medicine for the body, but that excellent agriculture is medicine for the earth. Eventually she strives to use her knowledge to teach others the important impact of agriculture on our environment through both in person education and journalism.

Ecology Action Administrative Support Team

Laurie Birch, Library and GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Data Manager
Laurie spent most of her career working at various botanical gardens immersed in the fields of horticulture and botany with an emphasis on plant identification, classification and conservation. Organic gardening has been a personal interest since college and more recently she discovered the importance of gardening with heirloom varieties with a particular interest in growing heirloom tomatoes.

Lori Luedemann, Office Manager and Bookkeeper
Lori comes to Ecology Action with 12 years of experience in banking. She spent 7 years as a teller, and 5 years in the Proof department, processing all bank transactions and making corrections as needed. She has always liked working with numbers and went to college when her children were older, receiving an Associates of Science degree in both Business Administration and Business Accounting. Lori has been a bookkeeper in the auto repair, concrete construction, and now organic farming industries.

Kayla Meyer, Executive Assistant to the Director and Education Coordinator
Kayla’s higher education and career have led her through a multitude of disciplines, from her many years of experience as an educator to her environmental law and policy work in Vermont, Nevada, and California. She holds a B.S in Law and Environmental Studies, a Master’s of Law in Environmental Law and Policy, and is currently in pursuit of her PhD in Sustainability Education with a focus on Sustainable Agriculture and Traditional Ecological Knowledge systems. Through this and her work at Ecology Action, Kayla aspires to increase awareness, connect learning models, and promote a sense of responsibility for sustaining the health and well-being of the natural environment. She feels that fostering this sense of responsibility is an integral part in instilling recognition of one’s own capacity to be a positive change-maker, leader, and steward of this beautiful planet we all inhabit.                                

Dan Miller, Building Site Operations and Maintenance
Dan works part-time for Ecology Action in charge of building and site operations and maintenance. He is Ecology Action’s go-to person for anything requiring a creative solution. His responsibilities include taking care of the grounds; repairing fences, buildings, solar systems, generators and pumps; painting, fixing and oiling squeaky things; as well as being the resident expert in FileMaker Pro and taking care of the computers, printer, networking and satellite dish issues. He joined the ranks of small-town living after a career as sound engineer in San Francisco, doing sound for concerts, and as one of the founding organizers of the Burning Man Festival.

David Troxell, Communications Director
For as long as he can remember, plants have played a role of sacred importance in David’s life.  He spent his childhood growing redwood saplings and saguaro cacti in his family’s backyard in Southern California, then worked as a horticulturist and arborist for many years in Florida, before moving back to California to homestead with his wife, growing vegetables and managing the forest around their home. Although our current system rewards certain professions over those that work with the soil, David envisions a time coming soon when there will be no more valuable skill than the knowledge of how to grow one’s own food and medicine for oneself. Knowledge of plants, their culture, and their usage, is real power.

Victory Gardens for Peace (VGFP)
Mendocino, California

VGFP Mini-Farm Team

Matt Drewno, Victory Gardens for Peace GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Mini-Farm and Seed Bank Manager
Matt is certified in permaculture, restoration of oak-savanna ecologies and Biointensive food production. After receiving a Bachelors Degree in Architecture from Iowa State University, he founded Rhythmic Water Ecological Design, a permaculture and flow-form design business which served mid-western states. He has been working with Ecology Action since 2010 training individuals and communities in the principles of biologically intensive food production and is an Advanced-Level GB Certified Teacher. His experience includes organic farm-scale food production, design and implementation of food forests, residential-scale food production and community gardens. In 2014, he started the Victory Gardens for Peace Mini-Farm and Seed Bank in the town of Mendocino, CA. He serves on the board of Ecology Action and managesVictory Gardens for Peace, Ecology Action's research, education and demonstration GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Mini-Farm in Mendocino, California.

Sydney Grange, GROW BIOINTENSIVE® Farmer/Teacher/Trainer
Sydney joined Ecology Action in March 2019 and is working at the Victory Gardens for Peace site in Mendocino as a GB Farmer and Teacher. In May 2017 she graduated from Warren Wilson College with a BA in Conservation Biology and Environmental Policy and a minor in Global Studies. Prior to farming, her experiences ranged from field research, to animal care, to working as an arborist/landscaper, to nonprofit work and community organizing. She first discovered her love for gardening and a particular passion for food justice through community organizing efforts around environmental and social justice issues. She worked as a Teachers Assistant in a Horticulture Program at a women's prison, and was part of an initiative that started a community garden in a vacant lot in an urban center. Most recently she was working on a 10 acre organic vegetable farm near New Haven, Connecticut. After seeing firsthand the inefficiencies and cruelties of animal agriculture at her alma mater, Sydney became interested in veganic agriculture, and in growing complete diets sustainably, which is what led her to the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method and to Ecology Action.

Frederick Livingston, GROW BIOINTENSIVE®Farmer/Teacher/Trainer
Frederick's background in environmental sciences and experiential education has led him to biointensive farming. He has taught biointensive practices as an extension officer in rural Tanzania, worked on farms throughout Japan, Southern Africa and the Pacific Northwestern United States, and has recently returned from finishing a Master's Degree in Sustainable Food Systems from the University for Peace in Costa Rica. Other diversions along the way have included trail crew, bike racing, wildcrafting, sock modelling, and poetry. These experiences have all led him to the conclusion that peace starts with seeds.