Karen is the co-founder of Transition 5 Villages, the Upper Valley Apple Corps and the Upper Vally Transformational Action Affinity Group (UVTAAG), local 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 is also the Facilitator for Change the World Kids, a teen run non-profit that focuses on environmental stewardship, social justice and community service.
Karen graduated with a self -designed BA titled Social Engagement in Environmental Awareness and Human Rights from 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 Master and enjoys applying earth and energy based healing to her landscape methods.
"I grew up in the White Mountains of New Hampshire and was fortunate to be raised in a family that loved the outdoors. We often swam in fresh mountain lakes and rivers, enjoyed camping during the summer months and skiing in the winter. The forest surrounding our house was a vast play ground, a place where my brother and I could roam freely and explore. I grew to appreciate nature for all her depth, wonder and beauty and went on to include ecology, environmental studies and sustainable agriculture in my undergraduate degree. I became interested in organic farming and permaculture after learning of the impact industrial agriculture has on climate change. Having visited and lived at a number of farms and intentional communities, often running education programs, I grew to believe that organic farming and permaculture are the keys to developing a sustainable food system and have been studying and advocating for them ever since.”
Madi is a food and plant enthusiast residing in Vermont's Upper Valley, on Abenaki land. This is their first season Permaculture Solutions. They are also involved in an heirloom corn and traditional foods project called Moon & Stars Arepas. Madi is originally from Northern California, where they spent summers and college years helping at organic farms, as well as experimental permaculture and eco-building sites. Last season, they worked as a farmhand at Cedar Circle Farm, who is transitioning toward regenerative agriculture. They are passionate about building healthy soils and resilient food systems, and are also engaged in climate action, food justice, and LGBTQIA+ efforts. Cooking, lay herbalism, and stories are among their other interests.
Jordan Keating is a passionate ecologist, forager, and farmer with deep roots in New England. He received a B.A. in Regenerative Agriculture and Food Systems from Sterling College in Craftsbury Common, VT. Along with his partner and animal companions Jordan runs Sokoki Falls Farm, an organic perennial nut, fruit, medicinal, fiber, fuel, and native plant nursery in Bellows Falls, VT.