Michael Wolfert took his Permaculture Design Course at the Quite Valley Ranch in 2007. Those two weeks changed his life and he immediately began seeking mentors who could teach him more.
Michael has worked on farms & ranches. He has experience growing food throughout the Texas hill country including, Blanco & Spicewood, Texas. He has continued to study cutting edge regenerative systems design, installation and management techniques including Darren Doherty’s Regrarians Platform and Mark Shepard’s Restoration Agriculture methods.
As the founder of Symbiosis, Michael personally works on every design & installation with the team. We’ve done everything from small urban lots all the way to farm scale systems. Michael says “This is the best job I could imagine. I wake up excited every day to get to work on a variety of sustainable production systems. I believe we can fix our food system & clients can lead a better life while improving their resource base, growing food & soil simultaneously. That’s just what we’re helping people do, one project at a time.”
Michael also works directly with Hill Country Natives in Leander, TX to research & provide well-adapted edible plant species with superior root systems to clients in Central Texas.
Through Symbiosis Regenerative Systems, One World Permaculture, & Austin Permaculture Guild, Michael offers workshops with an emphasis in hands-on learning & integration of intellectual knowledge, taking concepts into practice & form.
Sheryl Davis spent most of her childhood climbing trees & building forts in the Piney Woods region of East Texas. A rich family history of biology inspired such interests as gardening, foraging, taxonomy & bird watching. She is also a licensed Ham Radio operator (KE5QFE).
In the Spring of 2012, Sheryl, along with some friends, threw the sustainability festival, Learning Man in which members of the Austin tribe could exchange skills. In 2015, she worked with the Eco-Community, Quilombo Paixao, to host a successful Educational Expo called Orenda & a Permablitz led by Kirby Fry in Cedar Creek, TX.
She was awarded a scholarship to complete her Permaculture Design Certificate in the Fall of 2014 & has worked on numerous eco-farmlets & non-profit organizations around the central Texas area such as Food is Free, Blue Star Ranch & Thigh High Gardens. She most recently worked with Resolution Gardens where she did garden installations, basic carpentry, light masonry, & landscaping.
Sheryl is currently working towards publication of her first Sustainability-themed children’s book, “The Mystical Magical Abracadabracal Daniel McDougal McDouglass McFly.” A children’s series based on Permaculture practices around the world is also in the works.
Sheryl has been called to practice & teach Permaculture to help catapult the environmental health movement into the forefront of modern society.
“Learning & Teaching Permaculture is my gift to my children & their generation.”
Sam Arnold is a native Texan designer, focused on earthworks & agroforestry in the Central Texas bioregion. Son of a Master Gardener, with timber farming family roots in the piney woods of East Texas, he has been planting trees ever since he could lift a shovel.
After pursuing a technology career, Sam decided to reconnect with nature, & in 2010 moved to his parents’ 5-acre farm out in Cedar Creek, half an hour east of Austin. There he began following the organic footsteps of his father, discovering Permaculture & becoming a certified designer in 2012. Inspired by that, he converted the homestead into an eco-village called Quilombo Paixao. He took One World Permaculture’s Food Forests for All workshop & began volunteering at Permablitzes hosted by the Austin Permaculture Guild to learn about earthworks paired with edible native perennial polyculture by installing these systems in community spaces. In 2014 he & a few colleagues began offering these services professionally, transforming residential back yards & country retreats into more sustainable, productive spaces.
When not designing & installing regenerative systems professionally he’s doing it for fun at home & around the region. He still regularly volunteers at Permablitzes & supports other charitable organizations such as the Earth Repair Corps & the Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center. When not doing all that he likes to play & teach Capoeira, make & dance to music, meditate alone & in groups, & enjoys spinning poi & walking on hot coals.
Ariel Von Raven has been installing regenerative systems and landscapes for 10 years. Working as a property manager for an 88 acre farm and canopy tour he has learned how to set up and maintain extremely complex systems. Truly a jack of all trades, he strives to master them all. An experienced equipment operator, irrigator, plumber, landscaper, farmer, carpenter and much more, he is extremely committed to his work and enjoys every project from start to finish. As the project manager for Symbiosis he oversees the details of our installations.
Justin Grunow is a permaculture enthusiast who has been actively involved in regenerative design, installation and education for several years throughout central Texas. He was originally drawn to permaculture because it is a solution-oriented approach to the ecological problems facing our world today, in an ethical and creative way. At the beginning of his journey he travelled to Lost Valley Education Center in Eugene, Oregon to take the Permaculture Design Course and participate in an intensive internship, giving him a crash course in gardening, natural building and cooperative community. From there, he returned home to Austin to serve as caretaker at The Whole Life Learning Center, where he had the opportunity to teach children what he had learned and continue to practice his skills. He then progressed to manage a large ranch, work with many types of plants and animals, and learn the ins and outs of the infrastructure that enables truly abundant systems.