A certified permaculture designer, Alex is a transplant from the Seattle tech world. He came to the islands to build a permaculture homestead for his family and leave behind software development and program management. He soon realized permaculture was something that should be done for the island community, and began the Seed to Seed permaculture program at Orcas Christian School.
Now, he's compelled to help residents and newcomers who wish to make the most of life here through small scale agriculture. He is also a certified "map nut" and enjoys visualizing geographic and geologic data using GIS tools, which he finds particularly useful in the agriculture industry.
"If I had to do it all over again [moving to the island] I'd have done better research using GIS. It can save you time and money by supplying the data to make the best possible decisions...and it's just cool stuff."
Marlin has been designing gardens and developing sustainable environmental systems and farm-to-table curriculum for almost 20 years.
Prior to moving to Orcas Island, she designed high-end estate gardens, inner city community and school gardens, and taught farm-to-table classes to inner-city and home-schooled children. Here on Orcas, she spent four years stewarding 165 acres of forest, pastures, garden, orchard and trails at Four Winds Camp, developing sustainable maintenance systems and protocols as well as farm-to-table curriculum.
Marlin spent last season designing sustainability systems and protocol for Orcasong Farm as well as farm-to-table programs for the elderly and islanders with disabilities.
Her primary focus at the moment is to create and implement replicable templates for sustainable land management, train future sustainable gardeners by providing web support through her Gardening Eden project.
Emmet, aka the Woodman, is a lover of life, especially soil life. He is, literally, an earth scientist with a keen understanding of soil. Soil makes for a dirty profession, but it's where everything starts for us, and where everything got its start. Emmet knows the language of soil well, and how to build and improve it, how it contributes not only to agricultural production, but how it affects environmental quality and human health.
Emmet's favorite projects are found at the confluence of science, nature and art. Also a Bullocks certified permaculture designer, he has earned on-the-ground experience working and work-trading on organic farms on the West coast and Australia, the birthplace of permaculture itself. He wrote a thesis on Biochar, and co-authored a paper on rice-husk-ash cement. In his spare time he is an EMT/firefighter and co-administers the produce department at his local food co-op.