Mari Jyväsjärvi Stuart (Ph.D.)

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

But my alternative educational path in permaculture design, gardening, and homesteading during those very same years eventually won me over. 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.

I design edible landscapes for people who want to grow more of their own food. I teach homesteading and permaculture classes in my community, and regenerative design for SIT Graduate Institute’s Master’s in Sustainable Development and Regenerative Practice. I’m the co-founder of Project Grounded, an initiative to promote regenerative agriculture.

I live in Asheville, North Carolina, where I steward an urban homestead together with my husband and daughter.