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 spends the days with her hands in the soil and her heart with the plants. She started down her Permaculture path in 2001 with an internship at Punta Mona in Costa Rica. After visiting and living at multiple Permaculture communities in Latin America she was hooked! Stephanie lived within and managed the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute for 4 years. In that time she started the Basalt Seed Library and the Basalt Community Food Park as well as opening an herbal Product line called Dynamic Roots. After many years of farming and running her herbal product business, she decided to devote herself fully to farming medicinal herbs. Stephanie partnered with Sustainable Settings Ranch in Carbondale Colorado and opened Biodynamic Botanicals in 2015. She is a full-time farmer and cultivates 3 acres of medicinal herbs which can be found at apothecaries across Colorado as well as multiple high-end product lines. She has recently started a new 12 acre farm in Puerto Rico that combines her love of medicinal herbs, agroforestry, subsistence farming, tropical climates and ocean life with teaching and rural, large scale Permaculture Design. Stephanie is a Certified Permaculture Designer, an educator in the fields of Greenhouse Management, Seed Saving, Food Forests, Biodynamics, Herbalism and more. She has presented at conferences such as the Boulder Bioneers, the North American Permaculture Convergence, the American Herbalists Guild and the Biodynamic Association. She works with groups of all ages to further their knowledge of these topics through regular public workshops such as CRMPI, Colorado Mountain College, The Grow Network, and the Denver Permaculture Guild as well as co-hosting the Living Permaculture Show, a monthly radio show on public radio KDNK. Stephanie is committed to community service through education and demonstration of herbal self-care and sustainable farming practices.
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.