Nick and Leah met under a tree one day on Salt Spring Island, BC. They spent the next winter together wandering the Pacific Northwest until the call of the wild took them back to Nick’s home state of Alaska. They recently purchased land and built their home in the beautiful community of Haines, Alaska.
Leah studied Politics at Oberlin College and has utilized that experience in everything from Union Organizing, to Community Revitalization, to her current work in creating an awareness around Food Access and Security with Foundroot. She is an Alaska Master Gardener and has worked on farms in in Maine, British Columbia, and Alaska as well as gardened in her home state of Arizona. She received her Permaculture Design Certification from the Southern Oregon Permaculture Institute where she had the privilege of studying with Larry Korn–the man responsible for bringing Masanobu Fukuoka to the USA and spreading the word of the “One Straw Revolution”. In the fall of 2011, Leah attended Seed School through the Tucson, AZ nonprofit Native Seeds/SEARCH and it was there where she studied from seed experts such as Gary Nabhan, Steve Peters, and Bill McDorman who convinced her to dive in headfirst and start what eventually became Foundroot. She has spoken and given workshops around Alaska including at the Alaska Botanical Gardens Conference and as the teaching assistant for the Cold Climate Permaculture Design Certification. Aside from obsessing over all things garden, Leah is an avid cook, knitter, wildcrafter, and Yogi.
Nick studied Environmental Science at the University of Alaska Southeast and has worked as leader for youth trail crews, pedicabbing, as a hydrologist, and for AK State Parks. Nick has utilized his knowledge of environmental science to create a sustainably managed piece of land and developing the agroecology of his Alaskan community. He has studied Timber Framing at the Island School of Building Arts on Gabriola Island, BC and apprenticed with Robert LaPorte of EcoNest on straw clay building construction. He has also had the privilege of studying with Lasse Holmes of the Canyon Arts School of Natural Building in Homer, AK on several occasions, including learning to build Rocket Mass Heaters. Nick’s interests include earthworks to build microclimates, mushroom cultivation, more efficient heating systems, and better building methods for Northern climates. When he’s not thick in Foundroot spreadsheets or elbow deep in the potato bed, Nick can be seen talking about red wiggler worms, passive-solar greenhouses, and preaching the good word of bicycle transportation at events and farmers markets. Nick spends his time hiking, split-boarding, and working on their first home–a rugged Alaskan yurt.