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.
Stephanie Syson, Board Member
Stephanie is committed to the cultivation and demonstration of ecologically sound, economically viable agriculture practices. She moved to Puerto Rico in 2021 with her family and build an off grid home and farm. In February 2021 they hosted one of the first Permaculture Design Certification Courses held in Puerto Rico. Stephanie and her husband Dan Whitney currently offer permaculture design services and classes across Puerto Rico. Dan is a mechanical engineer and specializes in off grid systems design. Since 2012, Stephanie has been an instructor and board member for the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute, She started the Basalt Community Seed Library in 2015 and the Basalt Community Food Park in 2017. Stephanie is a Certified Permaculture Designer, an educator in the fields of Permaculture, Organic and a Regenerative Agricultural, Greenhouse Management, Seed Saving, Biodynamics, Herbalism and more. She is an adjunct professor for the Colorado Mountain College and has presented at conferences across the country such as the Boulder Bioneers, the North American Permaculture Convergence, the American Herbalists Guild and the Biodynamic Association
Trina, author of “Hope for the Flowers”, has been a dedicated support for CRMPI for several years. Now serving as a member of the board, she is always eager to hear updates on CRMPI projects and to offer any resources that she has available to assist on these. Trina not only holds a passion for regenerative practices but also for spreading this education to the youth in order to create a better, more cohesive world.
Michael has been a key to CRMPI’s success over the years. He serves as a teacher for our Permaculture Design Course and is a partner to Jerome through their consulting business, Ecosystems Design. Michael is always ready to assist on projects and ensure that CRMPI is gaining momentum and success in all of its endeavors.
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