Instructors


Erin Humphrey

Erin Humphrey is a farmer, musician and permaculture designer and educator. Born and raised in Skaneateles, NY, she holds a B.A. in Japanese Studies and Religion from Wellesley College. In 2003, Erin relocated to Boulder, Colorado, where she discovered permaculture and began growing and designing edible landscapes. Her certifications include a Permaculture Design Course at the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, an Advanced Permaculture Design Course at the Regenerative Design Institute, an Edible Forest Gardens Design Course at Woodbine Ecology Center and a Permaculture Teacher’s Certification Course from High Altitude Permaculture. Erin co-founded the Lyons Permaculture Design Course in 2009 while working as a residential landscape designer for Urban Oasis, a sustainable landscape design firm in Denver, CO. She also completed the United Nations-certified, 5-week Ecovillage Design Education Course through Gaia Education at Findhorn Ecovillage in Scotland. Currently she owns and manages Silver Tree Forest Farm with her partner Peter Cramer in Owasco, NY and volunteers for Auburn Permaculture Park when she’s not teaching music or farming.


Chris English

For the past ten years Chris has been exploring the world of permaculture, sustainability and alternative living. Coming from a well rounded, interdisciplinary foundation, Chris has served as a Permaculture Designer, a Farmer, an Educator, a Non-profit President, and has worn many of the hats these roles require. Following Highschool, a passionate desire to help change the world led him to his first Permaculture Design Course in Golden Bay New Zealand. Upon returning home in 2012, Chris and a few of his closest friends joined up to start a permaculture based NPO called Revive the Roots, where they leased public land and began hosting community gardeners, growing forest gardens and building community in Smithfield Rhode Island. Among the many roles Chris held with RtR, spear heading Fruit For Thought initiative that resulted in two Edible Forest Gardens being planted at public schools in Smithfield was a favorite. Chris currently sits on the board of directors for Revive the Roots. Beyond these direct applications, Chris continued his permaculture education with three more intensive certification courses on Advanced Permaculture Design, Edible Forest Gardens, and a Permaculture Teacher Training.  Since 2018, Chris has been Co-developing the Permaculture Project at the Providence Zen Center where he serves as a designer, project manager, and educator.


Theran Van Ostrand

Theran grew up in central Illinois where he attended Bradley University, graduating in 2009 with a Bachelors of Science in Biology with a focus on plant ecology and conservation while minoring in Art. Theran worked one season for his local park district as their Conservation Consultant creating low-maintenance sustainable landscaping and learning a bit about the workings of non-profit organizations before moving to Colorado in the fall of 2010.
Once in Colorado, Theran spent a 2 month fall season with the Southwest Conservation Corp building and maintaining trails, spent a spring season ‘wwoofing’ at Grant Family farms, and spent 2 years with the Larimer County Conservation Corp in various roles before finding himself on the Trail Crew of the Larimer County Natural Resources department where he worked for 4 years designing, building, and maintaining hiking trails.
Theran first started practicing with the Kwan Um School of Zen in 2008 while still attending university. He sat his first full winter Kyol Che (3 month intensive retreat) in 2010 and has sat two half Kyol Che’s and many shorter retreats since. Theran has lived and practiced at the Providence Zen Center since April of 2017. He became a Dharma Teacher in December of 2018, is the community’s work master and co-founder of the Permaculture Program.