Founder & Director
A forager and permaculturist with roots in rural Nebraska, Jerome Osentowski lives in a passive solar home he built at 7200 feet above Colorado’s Roaring Fork Valley. Director and founder of Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute and a permaculture designer for thirty years, he has built five greenhouses for himself and scores of others for private clients and public schools in the Rockies and beyond. He makes his living from an intensively cultivated one acre of indoor and outdoor forest garden and plant nursery, which he uses as a backdrop for intensive permaculture and greenhouse design courses. Among his accomplishments is hosting the longest-running Permaculture Design Course in the world, now at twenty-nine years running. Jerome and his business partner and co-author, Michael Thompson, have also been instrumental in identifying, conserving, and propagating heritage fruit trees that have survived and borne crops for over a century in the harsh environment of the Roaring Fork Valley. Jerome’s explorations of sustainable systems and his travels for development projects have taken him to Baja, Nicaragua, Patagonia, Finland, Australia, and the Caribbean.
Photo credit: Gruesbeck Fine Art Portrait Studio
Nursery & Forest Garden
Vanessa Harmony is an treehugger, horticulturist, arborist, edible plant enthusiast, and mulch fanatic. She owns and operates the edible landscape nursery at CRMPI, offering hardy fruit trees, fruit shrubs, grapevines, and nitrogen-fixing trees and shrubs for landscapes, gardens, farms, and orchards in the Rockies and beyond. Vanessa is a member of National Young Farmers Coalition (NYFC), Rocky Mountain Farmers Union (RMFU), and is secretary of the Roaring Fork Farmers and Ranchers.