Meet the crew
Richard perkins, Co-Owner, director & Lead Designer
Richard is an internationally regarded teacher, innovative farmer and Permaculture leader, and Author of Making Small Farms Work. He has worked professionally in every major climate zone across several continents consulting to projects, farms & industry, and has also led over 40 solo Permaculture Design Course's as well as dozens of other specialist courses, practicums and seminars. Richard's project work includes design & site visits on around 100 varied projects in various climatic zones as well as contributing to hundreds of course participants’ site plans. Richard is a certified teacher with the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia (Certified Trainer No. 24) and the Permaculture Association of Great Britain. Having studied up to MSc level (IESD- Gaia U), leaving to establish the effective Integralpermanence (Design Consultancy & Education) internationally. Richard also holds a Diploma in Applied Permaculture Design (UK), HND Organic Crop Production (UK) and has studied extensively in the fields of Keyline® Design, Holistic Management®, Ecology and Anthropology. After leaving Organic Crop Production studies at Agricultural College in 1999 with more questions than answers, Richard began studying Permaculture and other ecological design systems alongside bio-construction in various vernaculars’. Now focused primarily on helping others with Regenerative Agricultural design work, Richard has worked on varied farm and project design and implementation projects from CSA production to whole- farm planning; agroforestry to water catchment & irrigation systems; regenerative business design to Keyline planning, Holistic planned grazing/ decision making/ financial planning to community building work. Building up a very diverse & rounded experience over the years, Richard also had the honour to run the first internationally accredited PDC training programs in Dominican Republic, Poland & Luxembourg; introduced concepts of Regenerative Agriculture in Poland, Belarus, Latvia and Finland as well as pioneered Keyline Design and aspects of Regenerative Agriculture in cold-climate Sweden. Known for his dynamic teaching, down-to-earth pragmatism, efficient project management and organisational skills, he is now primarily focused on establishing ridgedale PERMACULTURE. Richard is still sometimes available for trainings & consultancies internationally, especially in our winter season. Please be in contact well in advance to express interest.
yohanna amselem, co-owner and Director
Yohanna's passion and search for beneficial holistic solutions has led her studies to stretch broadly into the fields of ecology, gardening, Permaculture, medicine, massage, nutrition and care for people with special needs. Yohanna has a degree in Gardening specialized in Health and Design from the Swedish University of Gävle and has specialized towards perennial polycultures for extensive cropping. She also researches the historic and modern uses of wild Swedish indigenous plants as food and medicine. The last four years Yohanna has been a prominent figure in the pioneering eco-village initiatives happening around the commune of Gnesta, south of Stockholm and has valuable experience building community relating to social organization and economy. Yohanna was a key initiator and manager in the establishment of Gnesta Lanthandel, a cooperatively owned & managed local organic/ beyond organic food outlet in downtown Gnesta which also serves as a networking platform. Her tight accounting and planning serve as a solid and reliable foundation for the business. Yohanna is also a masterful chef, and has single-handedly catered the best food we have ever had on any of our trainings, surpassing even professional catering crews with her approach to wholesome, balanced and delightful dishes.
2017 Core TEAM
Farm House Chefs
Marielli Pahim grew up in Sao Paulo, a big city in Brazil. She studied Nutrition at the university and was disappointed with the concept of nutrition that they teach in the academy. She then decided to travel and during her journey she found out what real nutrition means by observing and experiencing the sacred connection that traditional societies have with food, environment and community. It has been almost 4 years she has been travelling with her partner Natale and researching about traditional diets and cultures. During these time she has worked at organic, permaculture and biodynamic farms and alternative schools such as the Green School and Waldorf. Her goal is to restore nutrient-dense foods to the world diet through education and activism.
Friederike Müller-Tiburtius I was born and raised in the north of Germany and grew up in the countryside, enjoying this huge playground in freedom together with my brothers and sisters: The woods, lake and fields around our house. Later we moved to a community in the suberbs of Hamburg and lived together with people with special needs. A deep love to community life was born and took me further on it's path through different adventures. The holistic view of the human being and especially at the ones who do not 'fit' in our system guided me to the work with children with special needs. I was inspired and charmed by the solutions those kids are able to find for themselves in all it's imperfection. Later I learned how to combine my social work with theatre and how to use the stage as a safe place to fail and try again differently. A serious illness let me lately reconnect with nature. I jumped into studying biodynamic farming. Along this way I did get exited about food as medicine and nature as my doctor. Ridgedale is another step on this route.
Astrid Pørtner Nielsen I grew up in a rural province of south-eastern Denmark spending most of my time outside in nature, horseback riding, dancing and playing the violin. Following the conventional path of consecutive educations, I ultimately graduating with a master’s degree in mathematics. For the past five years, I have been teaching maths in high school knowingly that this was never a big passion. Two years ago, I was introduced to permaculture and regenerative agriculture which was a complete eye-opener. Realising the importance of understanding biology and natural processes and of learning how to promote diversity and mimic nature to achieve antifragility radically changed my perspective. Upon a year of insatiably absorbing books and listening to talks online I spent a ten-week internship at Ridgedale last summer. Ridgedale is a truly inspiring place offering so many learning opportunities, and I’m looking forward to returning as a farm manager for the upcoming season. My ultimate goal is to gather the right people with whom to start up a regenerative land-based enterprise.
Lucas Magnalardo I’m from Buenos Aires, Argentina. I grew up in a town called Ingeniero Maschwitz, close to the big city, where I went to an ecological school. Since I was a little kid I was involved with animals and nature. At school we took care of chickens, ducks and rabbits, and we had a nice vegetable garden. Some years ago, after a long time being busy with my studies and work, I came across Permaculture. I got passionate about it and started reading and studying a lot. I took a PDC and redesigned my life, aiming sustainability, regenerative practices, better health & wellbeing, and a meaningful life style and work. I continued my learning path taking some courses on regenerative agriculture, keyline design and holistic managemet, and doing an internship in a permaculture farm in Chile. I grew up on a business oriented family, so I’ve been always interested in merging both worlds: agriculture and business, in a way that is beneficial for all the people involved, the community and the ecosystems. I’m very excited about being part of the Core Team because I want to learn how this big puzzle is put together in the ground, from planning to selling produce, in a working farm, in a working context. This opportunity will bring my experience a step further, giving me tools and confidence to engage in a similar project in Patagonia in the near future.
Marie Junker Boesen I grew up on an organic farm in the southern of Denmark and since I was a kid I have had a big fascination of animals and nature. After high school I decided to take two gab years and went traveling, worked with horses and farming in the US, Norway and Germany and spent 6 months at a Folk High School in Denmark. At this Folk High School I helped establishing a small forest garden and started to take lessons in Permaculture. I also realized that I wanted a more practical education, so I skipped my idea of studying environmental studies at the University and decided to become an organic farmer. Here I met a lot of people with interest in permaculture and sustainable farming, and I got to know about Ridgedale. I am now very excited to be part of the core team this year, and eager to learn more about permaculture, holistic management and agroforestry.
Market GARDEN MANAGErs
Matthew Orchover I was born in Southern Quebec, Canada. My family then lived on a farm outside Ottawa, Ontario where my relationship to nature, my appreciation for animals and my love of whole foods are deeply rooted. After years of environmental self-education, playing in a traveling band and focusing on the world’s problems, I eventually turned my interest towards simple actionable solutions. I began re-purposing old pianos, diverting waste from the local landfills and engaging in municipal politics when I wasn’t selling or playing pianos. I later left Canada in 2013 and after backpacking through SouthEast Asia my desire for hands on learning led me to an inspiring experience at a Natural Building Internship with the Panya Project in Northern Thailand. Subsequently I participated in a great PDC on Koh Phagnan, Thailand where I first learned about regenerative agriculture and Ridgedale Permaculture. I was finally an intern at Ridgedale in 2015 where I found an ease in expressing my strengths and an enticing opportunity to learn by doing. Producing real food for local communities is awesome and so I returned in 2016 to help manage the first year of Ridgedale’s Market Gardens. I’m very excited to be returning for the 2017 growing season and continue learning by doing. In 2018 I will be starting my own farming enterprise.
Omar Gómez Andrade I was born in La Barca, Jalisco, México. I graduated as agricultural engineer, having grown up in the field, cropping grains with my family. We were producing grains like corn, sorghum and wheat under conventional practices. I realized that I should search for other ways to produce healthy food without neglecting good yields. I'm interested in taking care of our soils, so I got the work to find information, meet people that are doing things in a better way. While I was studying at the university I had the opportunity to take many courses and in 2016 in Oaxaca, México, I met Richard at a farm scale PDC. It changed my perception about food production that achieves an integration between plants and animals. Once I finish my studies, I worked in commercial green-houses with production of salad and tomatoes, as well as the onions production too before I decided to take this trip to Ridgedale Permaculture. I'm very inspired to work on this wonderful farm, with other amazing people who are in love with the same things, seeking a better quality of life.
Natale Pellegatti is a farmer, social and environmental activist. After studying Law at university he was inspired by the example of Gandhi and embarked on a journey with his partner Marielli carrying no money and depending totally on the kindness and hospitality of strangers. He’s been traveling for almost 4 years and had been to countries such as Australia, New Zealand, Tonga, Fiji, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Laos, India and a few others. The purpose has been to learn, work and share knowledge that can be applicable for a more sustainable lifestyle. This knowledge involves the seven domains of the permaculture flower. Although it’s a traveling orientated lifestyle it’s done in a way he calls it “the permaculture way of traveling”. Rather than impact minimisation it's focused on the proactive and developmental aspect that lies behind permaculture. He believes that love is the most powerful way to bring change and example is the best form of education. His life goal is to regenerate ecosystems while growing an abundance of nutrient-dense food for himself, family and community.
Carla Behme I was born in South-Germany and lived there until my parents packed all our things and us children to move to Norway when I was 12 years old. The high mountains and rough but beautiful nature didn't fail to impress me and often I wondered how we humans fit in there. After school I worked a year with repairing salmon farms along the coast of Norway. For the first time in my life, I was confronted with the reality of how our food is produced, at a scale where more harm than good is done, making as much profit as possible at natures' cost. I stopped working and promised myself to never again do anything that goes against my principles for money. Whilst traveling in Portugal I came in contact with permaculture for the first time. Even though I was inspired, I couldn't really imagine it to be a real alternative to “traditional” farming. One year later I found myself in the Netherlands, reading Masanobu Fukuoka while going to an biodynamic-agriculture school. The more I opened my mind to this complete different way of farming, the things we were taught in the classroom started to seem unnecessary and destructive to me. Then the time came to find an internship place and I stumbled upon Ridgedale. My teachers said no, but my heart said yes, and with the promise to myself in mind, I stopped school in order to set out on a search for learning a way to live and farm in a way that respects our planet earth and creates a bright future for every organism on this planet. I am curious where Ridgedale leads me, and what new doors there are for me to open. I am still quite new to the regenerative agriculture world but I have the feeling that it might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship...
All round behind the scenes wizard
Robin Harder Born and raised in a small village in Switzerland, I have always felt drawn to being in nature and the countryside. About three years ago, I became interested in permaculture and have since participated in several courses and internships, both at the Krameterhof in Austria and at Ridgedale. These experiences have been highly empowering and opened a whole range of new perspectives in my own field of expertise: the design and evaluation of urban water and sanitation systems. During my doctoral studies, I realised that many recent developments towards better nutrient recycling from municipal wastewater to agricultural land seem to fit best with conventional high-input farming systems. One such example is the production of mineral fertiliser based on phosphorus recovered at municipal wastewater treatment plants. Given that more and more water is diverted from wastewater treatment plants (e.g. stormwater and greywater), it appears sensitive to start considering sanitation systems as part of the food chain rather than as part of the urban water cycle. My passion is to explore what recent trends and developments in regenerative farming mean for the design of urban sanitation infrastructures, and how future urban sanitation infrastructures could best support regenerative farming practices and enterprises. I am excited to return to Ridgedale for the third time, this time to support the farm community and operations as best as I can during a whole season, before going back to my regular job as postdoctoral researcher exploring the potential connections between sanitation systems and regenerative farming systems. When I am not working on my research or spending time on a farm, you will find me in the mountains either hiking or cross-country skiing, or cooking and enjoying fresh and tasty food. What better place could there be than Ridgedale, right at the source of fresh and tasty produce, prepared by amazing chefs.