Wendy Johnson is an organic gardening mentor and an ordained lay dharma teacher in the traditions of Vietnamese Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and the San Francisco Zen Center. As one of the founders of the organic farming program at Green Gulch Farm Zen Center, Wendy has been teaching organic agriculture and meditation for decades. Since its inception in 1995, she has been a mentor and advisor to the Edible Schoolyard Project affiliated with Chez Panisse restaurant. She is a founding instructor and mentor of the College of Marin's innovative Organic Farm and Gardening Project established in 2009. In 2000 Wendy and her husband, Peter Rudnick, received the annual Sustainable Agriculture Award from the National Ecological Farming Association. Since 1995 Wendy has written a quarterly column on gardening for Tricycle Magazine, a national Buddhist review, and she is the author of Gardening at the Dragon’s Gate.
Ben Schleffer (Blackfeet)
Ben was born and raised in Redwood City CA. He received his BA in American Studies from UC Santa Cruz. After moving to Oakland, Ben then spent 5 years with the Seneca Family of Agencies where he worked as an after school program manager and garden facilitator. After spending some time in New Mexico and west Marin working on farms and ranches and deepening his knowledge of traditional practices, Ben moved back to Oakland to welcome the birth of his son, Isaiah in 2014. Ben has worked as a mentor and educator in Oaklands American Indian community ever since. In addition to his work with the Cultural Conservancy, Ben works with the American Indian Child Resource Center where he facilitates varied cultural, environmental, and agricultural programming for Oaklands native community including "Sovereign Seeds & Starts"-a youth led organic native seed and start company born from our east Oakland garden space/ Chochenyo Ohlone ethnobotanic landscape "Huichin Gardens".