Steve Orr has designed and installed artistic and functional edible and medicinal Permaculture gardens for more than thirty years. He teaches people to use the plants in their gardens and especially enjoys converting lawns to gardens. Steve manages a ten-acre Permaculture farm, Frog Farm, where you may find him teaching WWOOFers (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms interns), milking goats, pruning fruit trees, building compost, planting perennials, or playing his guitar. Steve has been active in forming a seed-savers network, a local farmer’s market, and the tool-sharing library. He is also a member of Southern Oregon Beekeepers Alliance. He is skilled at designing and building useful small farm tools, such as soil sifters, a chicken plucking machine, and a seed ball machine.
John L. Gardiner MBE, Ph.D. P.E., a naturalized American citizen, enjoyed a highly successful career in the UK, honored by Queen Elizabeth II for services to society and the water environment. His many years of practical experience in all aspects of river management include project planning, feasibility, design, construction and applied research. While a tenured Professor of Sustainable Environmental Management in London, he was invited to open the first branch office of Philip Williams and Assocs (of San Francisco), in his wife’s Christine’s hometown of Portland, Oregon.
John and Christine worked on a wide range of river projects in Oregon, California, Washington and Idaho. In 2007, they moved their livestock farm from Sandy, Oregon to Cave Junction; it’s the largest suri alpaca farm in southern Oregon. In 2006, John served on the Independent Scientific Review Panel for Northwest Power and Conservation Council, assessing over 60 applications for Bonneville Power Administration’s $150million river restoration fund for the Columbia Basin. He wrote assessment protocols for fluvial geomorphology and soil bioengineering for ISRP.
A Board member for several local organizations, since 2007 John has served on the Advisory Board of Spiral Living center, as a Member of the Illinois Valley (IV) Watershed Council and as an Associate Director for the IV Soil and Water Conservation District; he was elected as a full Director in 2014. In 2013, he was elected a City Councilor for Cave Junction. He has served as President of the CJ Farmers’ Market since its inception in 2013, and is a member of Cohort II of the Ford Family Institute Leadership Program, taking a lead role in creating a bioswale (CJ’s first) at the Evergreen Elementary School, as an outside classroom – he and Christine involved many children from the school and have started an on-going ‘plants and planting’ program.
John also serves on the Board of the Rogue Basin Partnership (formerly Coordinating Council), the IV Community Development Organization, the IV Wellness Resources Board (formerly the IV Medical Center) and is thrilled to sing Tenor (Christine’s an Alto) in the RCC Choir.
Michelle Steevens grew up in Brookings, Oregon. She was active in 4-H, competing at state level, as well as an avid junior leader. She continued leading youth after she graduated. She is a self-taught permaculture gardener, and is dedicated to working with nature to grow food, and getting the word out that there is a better and easier way to garden.
Michelle is building a culinary and medicinal mushroom business. It is her goal to provide mushrooms to the community. She always makes herself available to educate anyone that wants to know about the healing properties of mushrooms. Not only can they help with our health, but compost can be made with spent mushroom logs to improve soil. Also, mushroom mycelium can be used to compost some types of hazardous material.
Michelle is on the board for the Cave Junction Farmers Market. It is an exciting time for the market, which will begin its third year this spring. It has been growing and it’s now time to move it to a bigger venue. Michelle believes the farmers market is the key to linking the community together and education on the importance of being more self sufficient, buying local, and supporting local farmers.
Michelle spends her free time building her farm. She has goats, chickens, rabbits, and a huge garden. It’s her goal to have a self-sufficient farm that is not dependent on buying feed. She plans to make and grow everything the farm needs to run on it’s own.