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 beautiful slideshows of our Guest Houses, Meeting Hall, Kitchen, Garden, Wildlands and more.
Our 100% Certified Organic plant nursery specializes in open-pollinated perennials including edible landscaping plants, rare and endangered food crops, drought tolerant ornamentals and habitat plants - all tested in our onsite gardens and appropriate for our bioregion.
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.
Olivia Rathbone (She/Her) honed her writing chops as the lead author and project manager of the award-winning Occidental Arts & Ecology Center Cookbook (Chelsea Green Publishing 2015). Life-long farmer and cook, she spent many years managing the OAEC kitchen and orchestrating innovative meals inspired by seasonal produce from our gardens and orchards. Before coming to the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center, she directed vocational education programs and authored curriculum projects in English, the culinary arts and holistic health in the San Francisco Bay area. She has a passion for language and graduated Cum Laude from the University of Maryland with a BA in Speech Science.
On Staff Since: 2002 Email > Phone: x102
I grew up on a farm in upstate New York and didn’t realize until I was an adult what a rare privilege it was to have had such a close relationship to the land and to my food. My adult working life has been dedicated to creating opportunities for others to make those re-connections.
As Communications Director, I get to be a storyteller. Whether it is through the cookbook, the website or giving a tour of the gardens, I love thinking about how to inspire our visitors (physical and virtual) to bring a little bit of the magic of OAEC back to their own homes and communities. I am an activist at heart and believe that social change can only come about through dialogue and cross-pollination – that’s where my job comes in.
Balancing screen time with hiking, music, dance and lots of time with hands and bare feet in the dirt. When I’m not at OAEC, I manage an 8-acre orchard and farm project in nearby Freestone.
Meditation in nature.
Playing a Sea Monkey in a psychedelic rock opera for Chautauqua.
Grammar. Compost. Meticulous care of cast iron pans.