The Farm @ Verde Gardens

[rethinking livelihood]

The Farm at Verde Gardens was a unique and complex design-build project locate in Homestead, FL on a former Air force base. The project was loosely integrated into a 145-unit housing development for formerly-homeless families. The farm’s ecosystem was made up of various interdependent enterprises (food forest, market gardens, alley cropping, dairy production, nursery, retail market, production kitchen, cafe and event space). It hosted Community Foodworks, an innovative and dynamic learning community for beginning farmers.

Edible Forest Garden course

 Edible Forest Gardening was a course led by Eric Toensmeier and taught twice onsite at The Farm at Verde Gardens, which proved a wonderful living lab for designing permaculture ecosystems. It was based on his original curriculum and infused the mimicking of Everglades ecosystem applied to designing perennial polycultures.

Brook's Bend Farm

As part of a Whole Farm Design course led by Dave Jacke and Jono Neiger, I led a small team of participants on ecosocial design process for Brooksbend Farm, in Brooksbend, MA.

The design considered and integrated the social enterprise aspects of the design and became an organizing pattern for later design interventions, which would evolve into LIFE (local integrated food enterprises) approach in later designs.

Designing a Local Foodshed

Designing the Local Foodshed was a college-level course curriculum developed and delivered at the University of Miami.

Course Description: Designing a Local Foodshed is a cross‐disciplinary course where students explores the issues human societies face around food and agriculture. The course examines both theory and practice of local food systems, while creating an understanding of the unique conditions of the Greater Everglades bioregion (southern Florida).

This course takes an interactive design‐based approach, where students will generate creative ecological solutions to the challenges of community food security in the Greater Everglades.


1. To create shared learning experiences, both context and content, in the subject of Designing a Local Foodshed

2. To engage in the process of being proficient in one’s home bioregion, in this case The Greater Everglades

3. To further develop the skills needed not just for academic or professional success, but those of a citizen‐designer

4. To draw out of each student the best traits of what it means to be human at a critical time in our history