ECOLOGY ACTION STAFF

John Jeavons, Executive Director: John has been Director of Ecology Action’s Mini-Farming program since 1972. He is the author of How to Grow More Vegetables, Fruits, Nuts, Berries, Grains and Other Crops Than You Ever Thought Possible on Less Land Than You Can Imagine, the textbook of the GROW BIOINTENSIVE Sustainable Mini-Farming system, as well as being author, co-author and/or editor of over 30 other 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 Mexico, Kenya, Ecuador, Russia, and Afghanistan as well as all corners of the U.S. Jeavons holds a B.A. in Political Science from Yale University. Before coming to Ecology Action in 1971, 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.

Mary Zellachild, Communications Director: Mary has worked for Ecology Action since 1989, and currently writes grant proposals and reports, evaluates materials, provides editorial support for the newsletter, communicates with colleagues worldwide, and writes a wide variety of documents and other materials. She is active with both the localization and transition movements in Willits, working to help catalyze a sustainable and resilient community.

Leslie Roberts, Newsletter Editor and Website Assistant: Leslie comes to Ecology Action with a background in education. "I've had a strong desire to work toward making a difference in the way food is grown, moving toward environmentally sound practices and methods that replenish as they produce. I'm excited to be part of an organization sharing mini-farming and sustainability through education in GROW BIOINTENSIVE concepts. It's an update to the old adage, 'You can give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Or you can teach a man to fish and he'll be able to feed himself for a lifetime.' Ecology Action is 'teaching people to fish' as they educate farmers, gardeners, policy makers and teachers in a new approach to growing food and soil sustainably."

Katharine Cantwell, Administrative Assistant: Katharine is the happy mother of four now-grown children. They grew up with no television, but lots of good organic food which they continue to buy for themselves. While living in the desert in southern Nevada in the early 90's, Katharine bought seeds from Bountiful Gardens because they were the best supplier of organic, non-GMO seed at the time. She also practiced double-digging in her garden. She and her family moved to Willits in 2002, knowing it was the right choice and feeling like she had found her tribe. Her early interest was in Geology, which she studied at University of Nevada, Las Vegas, and more recently Marine Science Technology, which she studied at the College of the Redwoods, in Mendocino. She also attended Doula (birth assistant) training in Santa Rosa and is currently offering her services in Mendocino County. She is thrilled to be a part of the Ecology Action team to help promote all that they stand for.

Laurie Birch, Administrative Assistant and Data Manager: A native of Florida, Laurie spent the last decade professionally immersed in the field of horticulture, botany and plant conservation working to restore and protect a number of endangered plant species native and endemic to Florida. 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, 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.

Rachel Britten, Golden Rule Mini-Farm Manager: Rachel's interest and exposure to agriculture span from the mono-culture fields of her Iowa home to small diverse organic farms in Northwest Washington. Rachel received her B.S. with an emphasis in Agroecology from The Evergreen State College. Rachel was drawn to Ecology Action because she truly believes that the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method is approaching the solution to a truly sustainable agriculture in an innovative and revolutionary way. Her passions include plant genetics and breeding, biological nitrogen fixation, the history of humans' relationship to food and agriculture, and a lifestyle that values and promotes the simple pleasures of good people and good food. She is thrilled and proud to be a part of an organization that actively and intelligently practices and seeks true sustainability.

Justin Bartolini Mini-Farm Assistant Manager Trainee at Victory Gardens for Peace Mini-Farm: Justin was raised in the forests and mountains of the Pacific Northwest by parents who double-dug their own garden beds, and a school system that encouraged an early connection with the environment by stressing agriculture, horticulture and forestry. He attended Alderleaf Wilderness College where he studied ethnobotany and nature-based teaching and leadership. He also earned his Permaculture Design Certification. It was this period of study that brought him full circle back to the double-dug beds of his parents and the concept of true agricultural sustainability. A bibliography citation lead him to the GROW BIOINTENSIVE method and the work of Ecology Action, where he looks forward to applying his passions for teaching and stewardship of the environment that nurtures us while working towards the sustainability of the soil that feeds us.

Matt Drewno, Victory Gardens for Peace Mini-Farm and Seed Bank Manager: Matt is certified in permaculture, restoration of oak-savanna ecologies and biointensive food production. After a Bachelors of Architecture from Iowa State University, he founded RhythmicWater Ecological Design, a permaculture design business in the mid-western states. He has been working with Ecology Action since 2010 training individuals and communities in the principles of biologically intensive food production. 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 RhythmicWater SeedBank in the town of Mendocino, CA. He serves on the board of Ecology Action and manages the Green Belt Mini-Farm, a research, education and demonstration mini-farm in Mendocino, California. 847-404-2586, rhythmicwater@hotmail.com

Carol Cox, Garden Research Manager Emerita: After completing a three-year apprenticeship, Carol managed the Research Garden at The Jeavons Center Mini-Farm from 1992 until her retirement in 2009. She is co-author of the Ecology Action book, The Sustainable Vegetable Garden, and worked on several other Ecology Action booklets. As time and energy allow, she works on Ecology Action projects from her cottage in town and is putting the finishing touches on the translation of a French book from the 1850s about the techniques of the Parisian market gardeners that she began working on many years ago.