Miles (he/him) grew up in Sonoma County, and spent much of his childhood exploring and getting to know the plants and animals who inhabit this region. After many years of being immersed in a world of plants, he came to OAEC in 2020 for the Garden Internship Program. Since then, he continued his passion for land stewardship and plant propagation while managing and tending the OAEC nursery and landscaping. In his current role as Garden Manager, he is able to bring together many of his passions and skills and share them with others. He is a lifelong learner and finds plants to be some of the best teachers. When he is not working, you can find him drinking tea, enjoying nature, or transforming plants into various forms of food and medicine.
On Staff Since: 2021 Email >
In Their Own Words
I grew up 20 minutes north of OAEC in the hills of Forestville. My grandfather was a botanist so I was immersed in the world of plants practically from birth. I was fortunate enough to be enrolled in Waldorf curriculums including Summerfield Waldorf School and Farm where we had our own Biodynamic farm! This nature-based upbringing encouraged me to experience the natural world practically, artistically, and spiritually. This education was also my first introduction to gardening, farming, permaculture, food cooking/preservation, and so many other topics which I am so grateful for. Since then, I have studied Geography and Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria as well as Sustainable Agriculture and Botany at the Santa Rosa Junior College. I also gained practical experience and a can-do work attitude by spending time as a farmhand at Summerfield, a general contractor’s apprentice at my fathers company, and a deckhand on fishing boats in Alaska.
What gives me hope
The resiliency of life and its multitude of forms.
I love trail running, drinking copious amounts of tea with friends and family, and experiencing nature however I can. I am a gardener at heart and feel it is my life’s work to simultaneously be both a student and a teacher of my trade.
My work at OAEC
As the Garden Manager, I am the steward of the Mother Garden. Since 1974 the Mother Garden has been a demonstration site helping to reconnect people to land, food, and each other. After 50 years, we are proud to still be doing this at OAEC today. In my role I oversee the growing of food to feed and nourish our staff, community, volunteers, and retreat guests. I supervise garden interns, coordinate volunteers, and serve as a produce liaison. On Wednesdays we host Garden Volunteer Days where our garden interns and I get to share what we do with the public and enjoy a tasty lunch together.
Why my work matters
The ancestral and traditional agricultural practices which we have held for tens of thousands of years are critically threatened in our current boom and bust era of big-oil and peak everything. My work matters because I believe that through this time, it is imperative that we stay connected to the land and each other and not lose sight of our historical agricultural ways. In my role here at OAEC, I aspire to be a catalyst for such needed work by helping to collectively rekindle our relationship to land.
My favorite resiliency resource
The Book: On The Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are by Alan W. Watts
The oak tree; you support such a multitude of life and you feed so many. May we all aspire to be like you.