Ben Schartman -Ben Schartman has been working professionally as a carpenter’s assistant and carpenter for the last 6 years. In this time he has also rehabbed two houses and one carriage house with friends. However, during this time Ben has become tired of working on the dusty interior of houses with conventional building materials and is very excited to begin a project that will allow him to work outside and with more natural materials. Last year he volunteered at a local urban farm and this year he is planning and planting a very exciting terraced garden system that should keep him supplied with cilantro–among other veggies–almost all year long.
Chris Olliges -Chris began hammering nails, cutting wood, and working in the garden with his parents as a young lad. His first endeavors include digging a backyard fish pond and entering a prize winning pumpkin (which sprouted in the compost) in the state fair. Chris’ passion for gardening waned in the teenage years, but has re-emerged with a new focus and creativity. Never shy about sinking his hands in the dirt or creating something from nothing; he brings more that ten years of carpentry, four years of urban agriculture, and over a year of landscaping experience to the group. Chris has also spent time working on organic farms throughout the country. He is particularly passionate about living soil, ponds, coppicing, and working horses.
Jorj Matamoscas -Jorj believes that every square inch of the Earth’s surface is worthy of our adoration and gentle stewardship, even if it be covered in a thousand pounds of asphalt. An avid builder, tinkerer, and gardener, Jorj’s skills have found him as far afield as the jungles of Peru and the hurricane-ravaged coast of the Gulf. He is both a cat person AND a dog person.
Ben Bowman – Ben is an arranger of spaces, passionate about imbuing homes and landscapes with striking beauty and radical efficiency. Permaculture Design Certified, he has experience with a variety of food production methods, from subsistence farming in Nicaragua, to organic, biodynamic farming right here in St.Louis. He envisions permaculture as an essential tool in the struggle to liberate marginalized and exploited communities and ecosystems. [ Ben is on sabbatical in Tucson and Ecuador until 2013. In Tucson he will be working for a rainwater harvesting business. In Ecuador he will be the Reserve Manager and Intern Coordinator at the Third Millennium Alliance’s Jama-Coaque Ecological Reserve. ]