Mari Jyväsjärvi Stuart (Ph.D.)

I’m an urban homesteader, landscape designer, and educator living in Asheville, NC. Together with my husband and daughter, I steward a 1/3-acre urban homestead where we keep chickens, grow a lot of our own food, and tinker with various DIY projects. I design edible gardens and climate-resilient landscapes, and teach permaculture and modern homesteading skills. I cook, eat, and write about local food.

And if you want to hear the longer story…

I grew up roaming in the boreal woods of rural northern Finland, and spent my young adulthood traveling, studying, and volunteering on five continents. I hold a PhD in South Asian religions from Harvard University and in my former life taught religion and environmental ethics at Reed College and the University of South Carolina.

During those very same years, I also immersed myself in permaculture design and gardening, and learned to make as many things from scratch as I could. In 2016, I made a pivot in my life, enrolled in a six-month ecological landscaping training in California, and never looked back. I’m a certified permaculture designer and teacher, a certified Ecological Landscaper, and have studied with some of the leading teachers and mentors in regenerative design and regenerative agriculture.

When I’m not making cheese, digging in the garden or writing, I work as a carbon farm planner and program coordinator for Co-operate WNC’s Carbon Harvest program.