Rhianna Simes, M.S. Ed.
Rhianna is a designer, consultant, educator, and co-founder of Verdant Phoenix llc.
Rhianna grew up on a 100 acre farm in Central Texas where she developed her love of horticulture and organic farming. After completing her bachelor’s in Womens’ Studies, Communications and a minor in Spanish, Rhianna moved to Oregon in 2002 to be part of the environmental justice movement in the Northwest forests. She worked on farms in the Eugene area where she also managed a nonprofit (Breaking Free) that teaches women’s self-defense.
Rhianna moved to Southern Oregon in 2005, worked at several plant nurseries in the area, and spent 7 years at a nursery specializing in native plants. She taught at Oregon State University for 10 years where she developed three OSU programs: Master Recycler, Land Stewards, and Citizen Fire Academy. After starting and running these programs, Rhianna coordinated the OSU Master Gardener program for 4 years. Rhianna has a Masters degree in Education and Botany from Southern Oregon University.
Rhianna completed Oregon Tilth’s Organic Land Care Accreditation program to help educate people and municipalities about implementing organic land care. Most recently, Rhianna has designed and managed residential gardens, demonstration plots, and a variety of farms from 1 to 10 acres and has served with several nonprofit organizations that support regenerative agricultural practices.
My name is Kerrick Gooden. I grew up in the hill country just west of Austin, Texas, and studied Engineering and Anthropology at the University of Texas at Austin. I then spent the next four years living out of a backpack throughout the US, Mexico, and Guatemala before settling in the Rogue Valley. I completed my Bachelors of Science in Applied Cultural Anthropology at Southern Oregon University with Honors in 2004. I then served as a case manager, lead staff, and program manager at a local non-profit providing comprehensive residential treatment services to adolescents in the Oregon juvenile justice and child welfare systems. Later I served as a social service specialist for the Oregon Department of Human Services. My wife Rhianna and I kicked off 2011 by moving onto a one-acre homestead outside of Phoenix, Oregon that we have come to call Verdant Phoenix Farm.
I am interested in the relationship between soil, microbes, plants/trees/shrubs, humans, food, culture, time, and the web of life. My approach to horticulture is inspired by Natural Farming, Permaculture, and Regenerative Farming. I enjoy learning from these systems as I cultivate diversity within the food forest at Verdant Phoenix Farm.
I offer my experience with horticulture to assist people in their gardens.