Health has always been a passion for Melanie, and she has provided business support for complementary health workers like naturopaths, chiropractors and acupuncturists for many years. Her educational and professional background is in training development and delivery, curriculum design, project management, marketing and PR, video production, writing and publishing, and small business management and coaching.In the fall of 2008, Melanie’s focus reoriented toward helping people become empowered to grow their own healthy food. The problem was that she knew very little about how to grow food – and she knew she needed a partner.
Almost immediately the universe brought her into contact with Zoe Wilcox and they set about creating a workshop series that would teach Melanie, and other people like her, what they needed to know. See www.abqbackyardfarms.com. The Home Farming Revolution grew out Zoe’s expertise over many years, and the curriculum developed for those workshops.
Currently Melanie is the Director of Communications and Strategic Initiatives for a national non-profit called Family Voices, which works to support families that have children with special health care needs, as well as overall health for all children.
Zoe was born on a farm in rural Illinois and farm-raised by two veterinarians, surrounded by agriculture. In 2001 she spent five months learning about Permaculture in Australia, with formal study at Crystal Water Permaculture Village. From 2003 to 2005 Zoe and her husband Bard Edrington worked in Zambia, Africa with the US Peace Corps, teaching sustainable fish farming to villagers, researching alternatives to the widespread practice of slash-and-burn agriculture, and creating a curriculum for sustainable agriculture which was then taught in dozens of villages. Zoe wrote the Zambian Peace Corps curriculum for sustainable agriculture, and this was subsequently taught to all Peace Corps agriculture volunteers coming into the country.
Upon returning to the U.S., Zoe and Bard moved to Albuquerque and worked for Soilutions, Inc. where Zoe mentored for two years under drylands Permaculture expert Jim Brookes. Since 2009, Zoe has partnered with Bard to run Mother Nature Gardens, www.mothernaturegardens.com, a demonstration urban farm and learning center with tours and classes, and Living Edge Landscaping, a sustainable and edible landscaping company www.livingedgelandscaping.com. She has taught with the Permaculture Institute, currently hosts a Waldorf-inspired parent co-op preschool at Mother Nature Gardens, and has partnered with Melanie Rubin to put on the Albuquerque Backyard Farming workshop series and write ¬The Home Farming Revolution.
Photography on this page provided by www.kylezimmermanphotography.com