Connect with what sustains you

Welcome to Grounded Life.

I’m Mari, an ecological landscape designer and teacher.

Grounded Life helps people create mindful landscapes and “land-full” mindscapes — a way of life connected to the place they inhabit.  This is where you’ll find resources and inspiration for

    • growing more of your own food
    • creating a home, landscape, and life that makes you feel grounded
    • slowing down and simplifying
    • reclaiming lost skills of making with your hands
    • bringing into your life foods and material goods with a story
    • making sustainable choices without the overwhelm



My Work



I design edible landscapes using the tools of ecological and permaculture design.  My past work ranges from small, urban residential landscapes to parks, community food forests, meditation centers, and working farms. If you’re interested in growing more of your own food while also enhancing the beauty and the ecological health of your land, I’d love to work with you. Read more about my process here.

Classes and Workshops

I teach urban homesteading skills classes at places like Villagers and the Organic Growers School:

  • cheesemaking
  • natural dyeing
  • canning and fermenting
  • home-made body care
  • home-scale permaculture design

Sign up for updates about new classes at the bottom of this page!

regenerative farm planning

Over at Project Grounded, I’m working on a collaborative initiative (together with Co-operate WNC) to create a pilot model for community-supported regenerative farming to our home region of Western North Carolina. We’re really excited about the potential of facilitating and incentivizing the kind of farming that heals ecosystems, produces nutrient-dense foods, and helps to cool the climate. Stay tuned for updates!


Dig deeper into the Grounded Life


The regenerative urban garden II: Sheet mulching

July 3, 2019

This is the second in a series of posts about regenerative gardening techniques. Read Part I on No-till here! If you’ve heard of permaculture, you’ve probably heard of sheet mulching. Sometimes it feels like the two are treated almost as synonyms: every Permaculture Design Course must include the initiation rite… Read more

The regenerative urban garden I: No-till gardening

May 16, 2019

I am an advocate of regenerative farming. But I am not a farmer myself. The piece of land I steward is 1/3 acre — still sizable for an urban lot, but laughably minuscule compared to what Real Farmers are working with. Yet, when I landed here last year and set… Read more

Wild greens in the spring kitchen

May 6, 2019

Long before those first, tentative leaves of lettuce in the garden are ready for harvesting, nature’s spring greens have already gotten a head start. No need to wait to start eating from the land! Here are some of my favorite wild-foraged spring greens and what I like to do with… Read more

How to deepen your sense of place

April 29, 2019

We all live somewhere. We’re all from someplace. What does it mean, then, for some of us to have a more awakened sense of place than others? Is a sense of place something that can be deepened, or nurtured, with practice? Sense of place is hard to describe; it’s often… Read more

Why the material life matters

March 29, 2019

Why am I writing about material life, the pleasures of rediscovering a connection to land through the things we eat and use and consume? After all, I was trained as a historian of the spiritual life, and specialized in the study of the kinds of people who specifically shunned all… Read more

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