K.Ruby Blume (founder, director, faculty)
Ruby is an educator, gardener, beekeeper, author, artist, and activist. As a life-long learner and hardcore generalist, she has studied everything from permaculture design to sewing machine repair and has taught herself canning, fermentation and cheesemaking techniques, as well as how to set tile, install a sink, do electrical wiring, tend a beehive and repair a motorcycle. Ruby holds certificates in permaculture design, massage, coaching and sheep shearing. She has studied native plants, botany, pollination ecology, soil ecology and micro-biology. She has extensive experience in the arts including work with ceramic, mosaic, glass, textile, printmaking, puppetry, collage, assemblage, costume design and photography. and is known for her work as founder and artistic director of the art for justice project, Wise Fool Puppet Intervention. The product of three generations of teachers, Ruby’s experience as an educator extends back thirty years. She has taught music, art, puppetry, theatre, gardening, beekeeping, canning and more to people ages five to ninety-five. She founded The Institute of Urban Homesteading in 2008 and co-authored the book Urban Homesteading: Heirloom Skills for Sustainable Living (with Rachel Kaplan, 2011). Ruby currently lives on 22 acres outside of Grants Pass. OR where she grows vegetables, fruits, flowers and herbs and cares for cows, sheep, rabbits, chickens, dogs, cats, finches, doves, pigeons and bees.
Seth Peterson (faculty, administrative support)
Seth is a second generation urban farmer, who grew up among chickens and mulch piles, and then went on to gain his wealth of knowledge and culinary experience living, working and cooking in the U.S., Mexico & Brazil over the last 30 years. Upon returning home to Berkeley to take over his mother’s urban organic garden, he came across permaculture, holistic management and regenerative agriculture, which gave him a framework to bring his many seemingly disparate beliefs into a coherent system and more wisely apply them to regenerate our neighborhoods, our society and our culture, and to do so at the dinner table. To do so through one of our most treasured cultural activities, through growing, cooking and eating food. Currently, he combines his twin passions, cooking and teaching, while he cooks in community, re-skills people and connects them to great local farms and ranches. Seth teaches and consults both nationally and internationally, as he delves deeper and deeper into this endless endeavor, his life’s work.
Jeannie Pham (faculty)
Jeannie Pham’s passions are environmental and social justice, which carry into both her work and hercreative endeavors. Her love for environmental work began as an undergraduate at UC Berkeley, where she taught the “Joy of Garbage,” class to fellow students. She has worked at Our City Forest to advocate for urban forests, StopWaste where she taught environmental education, Cascadia Consulting Group working with businesses to improve their waste systems, and is now at the Ecology Center.Jeannie believes in community empowerment through homesteading and ancestral skills. She practices and teaches a variety of skills including, composting, sewing and using natural plant dyes She also enjoys fermentation and growing medicinal &culinary herbs, melding her Vietnamese roots in Traditional Eastern Medicine with her education in Western Botanical medicine.