OAEC supports diverse communities to design their own regenerative systems at the regional and local scale.
Our cookbook is a collection of inventive recipes inspired by seasonal eating from our biodiverse Mother Garden, orchards and Wildlands Preserve.
Experience the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center through a video tour and beautiful photographs of our Guest Houses, Meeting Room, Bathhouse, Kitchen & Dining Room, Mother Garden and more.
New in 2017: Now open every weekend April-October, Saturdays & Sundays from 10am-5pm! Our nursery specializes in open-pollinated perennials including edible landscaping plants, rare and endangered food crops, drought tolerant ornamentals and habitat plants. Join us for our three special Plant Sale Events focused on annual plants for starting your seasonal vegetable gardens.
OAEC offers the longest consistently running two-week Permaculture Design Certification course in the West. Immerse yourself in information, ideas and inspiration on how to design sustainable, regenerative systems in balance with your home ecosystem.
Our School Garden Teacher Training supports schools to integrate the school garden into multiple subject areas using place-based, experiential learning.
Lindsay is passionate about connecting people to nature and brings her broad experience in curriculum development, program management, and ecological restoration to her current position as Director of the Wildlands Program at OAEC. As former Executive Director of the Solar Living Institute and co-founder of Villa Sobrante, an urban demonstration site for sustainability and intentional community, she possesses a diverse skill set in the development and management of environmental education programs. As a private consultant, she has also spent over twelve years developing environmental education programs with indigenous communities in California, Mexico, and Australia, as well as overseen the planning and implementation of a diverse range of restoration projects. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from UCLA with a B.A. in Latin American Studies and a B.A. in Comparative Literature, where she focused on studying contemporary Latin American indigenous sovereignty movements.
On Staff Since: 2013 Phone: x127
My work focuses on empowering individuals and communities to become regenerative land tenders, and to explore the edge between domestic and wild.
In addition to creating programming and curricula around Wildlands stewardship, I serve as a co-caretaker of the “Grandmother Garden,” OAEC’s 70-acre Zone 4 permaculture and traditional ecological knowledge demonstration site and Wildlands Preserve. We experiment with and demonstrate various types of extensive land management to tend native food, fiber, timber, and medicine plants, as well as support the diversity of critters that make themselves at home in the backcountry. We strive to support the land to heal itself, and create conditions conducive to life for all living things, human and nonhuman.
I also work with the Permaculture Program in OAEC’s collaboration with the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, where we exchange wisdom and experience around traditional ecological ways of tending our local landscape. I collaborate with OAEC’s Nursery to curate a collection of edible and medicinal native plants.
I grew up in Northern California and after graduating from UCLA, my life was transformed while spending a year in rural Mexico supporting indigenous communities to develop sustainable agriculture cooperatives. Blessed with a brief taste of witnessing a culture that still lives in deep reciprocity with nature, I dove into a path of exploring what it means to be in right relationship with the earth.
After managing sustainability education programs for several years at the Solar Living Institute, I responded to an urge to get out of the office and into the dirt. I spent time working in a greenhouse propagating edible and medicinal plants while studying herbal medicine and co-founding a suburban natural building and permaculture community in the East Bay.
I traveled to Australia and studied broadacre permaculture with Darren Doherty and Geoff Lawton, and came back to California to begin my practice as a permaculture designer and educator. Inspired by California’s native cultures that sustained the most bio-culturally diverse and largest population on the North American continent at the time of European contact, I have landed at home in my passion for learning to tend the veritable food forest that occupies the rolling hills and oak woodlands of California.
I believe that in order for human beings to find a way to live peacefully on the planet, we must learn to feel in our bodies what it means to be a part of nature, not separate from it. Because use breeds intimacy, there is nothing more fulfilling to me than being with people out on the land, learning to tend and taste the abundance of the woods.
I am passionate about tending, harvesting, and crafting beautiful things from nature, and exploring the inextricable link between healing our inner and outer landscapes.
I am in love with oak woodlands and the tremendous diversity of life they support, and am avidly exploring ways to tend this unique ecosystem and ensure its survival for future generations.
I am also deeply interested in the use of prescribed fire (controlled burning) as a strategy for broadacre grassland and forest restoration, and am a red-carded wildlands firefighter (or prescribed “firelighter” as the case may be)!
My favorite wild food is definitely camas (Camassia quamash), the delicious bulb of a California native perennial edible wildflower. Slow-baked in a pit roast they taste like caramelized sweet potatoes, oh yum!
Shaking my tail feather to good beats, making beautiful things from nature with my hands, cooking delicious food, and wandering in the woods.
How to tend wild plants in the ever-evolving landscape of California! Do they want fire? How much, and when, and under what conditions? Why aren’t the oaks regenerating? And how do we create a human culture that can be in one place long enough to remember how to listen to the land? Etc., etc., etc… nature is endlessly inspiring!