Permaculture and Agroecology Instructors

|| Abel Kloster  ||

A fourth generation Oregon native, Abel is well acquainted with the forests,  fields, and people of the Pacific Northwest where he has farmed, tended land, and indulged in the culture for many years.  Abel has been Aprovecho’s Land Steward since 2006.  He co-teaches and directs Aprovecho’ Permaculture programs and oversees the stewardship of Aprovecho’s 40 acre land trust.  In addition to his work with Aprovecho, Abel is on the board of Agriculture and Community Land Trust and co-owner of Resilience Permaculture Design, a whole systems design firm specializing in farm and forestry planning and ecological restoration.  Abel has a B.S. degree in Land Stewardship for Sustainable Communities from Humboldt State University and is currently pursuing a masters in agroforestry from the University of Missouri. He received a certificate of Permaculture Design from Douglas and Sam Bullock of Orcas Island, Washington.  He also holds advanced Permaculture certificates in Permaculture Aid, Permaculture Earthworks, Optical Surveying, and Keyline Design.


Tao Orion is a Permaculture designer, teacher, homesteader, and mother living in the southern Willamette Valley of Oregon. She teaches Permaculture design throughout the Northwest and at Aprovecho. Tao consults on holistic farm, forest, and restoration planning through Resilience Permaculture Design, LLC. She holds a degree in Agroecology and Sustainable Agriculture from UC Santa Cruz, and has a keen interest in integrating the disciplines of organic agriculture, sustainable land use planning, ethnobotany, and ecosystem restoration in order to create beneficial social, economic, and ecological outcomes. She is the author of a forthcoming book from Chelsea Green Publishing about rethinking the concept of invasive species management and restoration from a Permaculture-based perspective. When she is not writing or teaching, she is busy keeping up with her toddler and wrangling a diverse array of plants and animals on her 6.5 acre homestead, Viriditas Farm.

mike|| Mike Hatfield  ||

Mike was born in Roseburg Oregon.  He received a BS from Willamette University in 1992.  In 1997 he attended the Sustainable Living Skills Internship at Aprovecho.  There he discovered the world of Appropriate Technology and found his life work.  Since then he has been building improved cook stoves and conducting trainings in many resource deprived parts of the world.  At home he is the international projects coordinator for the Aprovecho Research Center and teaches classes on a wide range of appropriate technology subjects, including improved cook and heating stoves, composting toilets, solar and wood heated hot water systems, small scale hydroelectricity, bio diesel production and vegetable oil conversions.

Jude photo|| Jude Hobbs  ||

Jude Hobbs is a land consultant, designer, educator, and co-founder of the Permaculture Institute of North America and Cascadia Permaculture Institute. With over 30 years experience, she utilizes whole system techniques in urban and rural settings to co-create environmentally sound solutions that inspire sustainable actions. Through her business, Ago-Ecology Northwest, she specializes in encouraging farm management practices for optimizing resource conservation, biodiversity, watershed enhancement and income diversification.  Jude is currently writing a book on Multi-Functional Hedgerows.

As an educator she brings her passion for Permaculture to her courses and workshops, which have been adapted for audiences throughout the U.S. and Canada.  She has developed curricula that encompass diverse learning styles with methods that are inspiring and information rich.

Jude co-tends Wilson Creek Gardens a 7-acre site in Cottage Grove, Oregon where there are abundant micro-climates from which to learn. || Andrew Millison  ||
Andrew Millison has been studying, designing, building, and teaching about Permaculture systems since 1996. He is an instructor in the Department of Horticulture at Oregon State University, teaching the Permaculture Design Certificate Course and the Advanced Permaculture Design Practicum. He has taught through other organizations including Prescott College, the Ecosa Institute, and the Cascadia Permaculture Institute. He instructs Advanced Permaculture Courses in Teaching, and has guest instructed for many Permaculture courses throughout the Western US. He worked for the State of Oregon creating a Permaculture conference and course for Oregon Housing and Community Services, the agency that builds low-income housing.

He works with gardeners, developers, university students, and community organizers to promote Permaculture, which he believes is the medicine for Earth’s ailments. Andrew spent years running a design and build Permaculture landscape company, Millison Ecological Inc., where he completed large scale and high profile projects including rockstar Maynard Keenan’s Merkin Vineyard: www.caduceus.organd, initiated the well-known Ecohood project, worked with ecological wastewater pioneer Dr. John Todd and worked with Dr. Gary Paul Nabhan on heirloom fruit tree preservation to earn his Master’s degree. Andrew also worked as a draftsman and designer in an ecological Landscape Architecture office where he completed designs at the commercial, municipal, and residential scales. Andrew was awarded a Diploma of Permaculture Design in the field of Education, Design, Site Development, Research, and Community Service by the Permaculture Institute USA

Andrew currently teaches, consults and designs Permaculture sites. His designs in recent years range from a low-income senior housing development to a co-housing community to 5, 25, 50 and 75 acre homesteads, and his own multiple demonstration sites in Corvallis, Oregon. Documentation of his extensive portfolio of hands-on projects, design work, video production work and published articles can be viewed at

bio headshot montana|| Marisha Auerbach  ||

Marisha Auerbach has been actively practicing, studying, and teaching Permaculture in the Pacific Northwest for over a decade, specializing in food production, seedsaving, ecology, and useful plants. Her practical experience has been gained while living in both rural and urban locations.  Currently, Marisha teaches at Bastyr University, Pacific University, Portland Community College, and offers an online permaculture program through Oregon State University.  She also works with a number of non-profit organizations including The City Repair Project, Aprovecho Education Center, Lost Valley Education Center, Fertile Ground Community Center, and Planet Repair.

Marisha is committed to sharing her passions for food security, regenerative design, biological diversity, seedsaving, permaculture, ecology, cottage industry, and positive futures. She has developed several permaculture based businesses including a plant nursery, providing edible flowers and other gourmet specialty food items to restaurants, plantable greeting cards, and herbal medicines.  Marisha has offered permaculture work from the forests of Vietnam to the Rocky Mountains of the United States to the stressed conditions of Haiti.  She holds advanced permaculture certificates in Permaculture Aid Work and Keyline Planning.

Marisha graduated from the Evergreen State College in 1998 where she focused on ethnobotany, ecological agriculture, and sustainability studies. She currently resides in Portland, OR.  Marisha can be found online at

533695_10151880528397926_242659504_n|| Christopher Ryan Foraker  ||

Chris comes from a family of teachers, bricklayers and biologists.  In 2004 he graduated from Montana State University with honors achieving a B.S. in Ecology and Evolution.  During this time he began his studies of woodcraft, round-pole joinery, small dwellings, and urban ecology.  Chris first came to Aprovecho in 2005 and has served the organization in the sustainable forestry and building departments.  He coordinates the Natural Building Programs at Aprovecho, specifically the Natural Building Practicum and the Sustainable Shelter Workshop Series.

Rick|| Rick Valley  ||

Rick Valley discovered permaculture in 1981 as a result of the nascent local food movement, ethnobotany, solar design and his two years spent in Latin America. He was on the teaching team of the first PDC’s in Oregon (including Aprovecho’s in the late 1980’s), Canada, Belize and Alaska.

As an urban farmer/nurseryman he was a founding member, president, and newsletter editor of the PNW chapter of the American Bamboo Society, making cultural connections for this group of edible and useful plants. He is currently developing an urban farmstead in Eugene Oregon, and is a partner in Earthkeeper Landscaping LLC.