Category Archives: About Us

Jim Smith


Jim Smith was a pioneer in organic gardening in Western North Carolina. He has been involved in organic gardening and farming since 1978. He was in organic landscaping for 22 years, had an herb growing business, and ran a retail business at WNC Farmers market for 15 years selling organic products and services. He farmed in South Carolina for 7 years, teaching classes, workshops and running the Sustainable Mountain Farming Program for four years. That program was a collaboration with ABTech Community College, and is now called ASAP, a NC Extension Service. Most recently Jim has been a farm/garden consultant.

Jim’s other accomplishments Include, but are not limited to:

◆ Co -founder – The Organic Growers School
◆ Founding Member – Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, at one time serving on the board
◆ Former Board Member – Sustainable Agricultural yearly conference (3 years)
◆ Former Board Member – SARE-PDP ( a four year term that developed training in sustainable agriculture for extension agents in southern US).
◆ Owner – Good Earth Organics, which did business in Costa Rica for 13 years, importing organic ginger and coffee to US

Jim has worked on farming and marketing programs in Bolivia, Chile, Guatemala, Zambia, Africa, and Cuba. He also has extensive experience working with soils, soil building amendments, cover cropping systems, green-housing, and other farm systems approaches. He has maintained a garden for over 40 years.
Click Here for more details on Jim’s consultations.

Gary Deetz


Gary Deetz is a professional gardener from Colorado with over 25 years of experience in a variety of climate zones. It has been said that if you can grow in Colorado, you can grow anywhere, because of the harsh, ever changing climate conditions there. He has now made Asheville his home where he can be closer to family and enjoy the bounty of a longer growing season. He believes that a garden should be designed as a creative and spiritual process, not a mechanical one.

In addition to many years of public and personal gardening, and design work, he has the following accomplishments:

  • Trained & Certified as a Permaculture Design Consultant and Permaculture Teacher at the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute in Colorado, site of one of the most mature forest gardens in the US
  • Certified as a Wildlife Habitat Naturalist by the Windstar Wildlife Institute
  • Co-founder of Pikes Peak Permaculture, a non-profit organization that provides education and resources in sustainable design, and offers workshops and Permaculture Certification courses
  • Former Colorado Master Gardener
  • More the 12+ years experience, designing, growing, and working in forest gardens