Behind the scenes at OAEC are dozens of talented hourly and part-time staff members. Here are some of the wonderful people who give their time, energy and love to the OAEC Nursery, our 100% California Certified Organic nursery specializing in heirloom and often rare annuals and perennials, many of which are drought-tolerant.
“My job as Assistant Nursery Manager is awesome! I get to take care of a lot of unusual and beautiful plants every day. One of my favorite things about my position is talking about plants and connecting with folks at our Plant Sales. Other favorite activities include maintaining the beauty of our mature plants, sowing seeds, and practicing vegetative propagation techniques. I’m always amazed at plants’ abilities to transform into gorgeous and grand organisms from such tiny things as seeds and cuttings. I love seeing all of the mother plants in the OAEC Nursery, gardens, and landscapes, then anticipating how I might incorporate them into my own garden. I also greatly enjoy translating my knowledge of soil and all of it’s biological, chemical, and structural nuances to the media we use in containers. It’s so bizarre! I’m always learning more about plants, fungi, soil, and food production; I am enamored with that process and its apparent endlessness. I aim to share my experience by continuing to teach mushroom cultivation workshops, guiding foraging walkabouts, and I’m considering teaching introductory propagation methods in the future.”
Joseph Davis grew up in Oakland and still works there. He developed an interest in plants when at 25 he moved with his wife and their baby girl to Rohnert Park to attend Sonoma State to gain a teacher credential. Teaching took him to Petaluma, Conakry, Guinea and Mexico City. He returned to Oakland in 2006 and enrolled in Merritt College studying Landscape Horticulture. In one class he learned about an organization, City Slicker Farms, which sought persons to mentor backyard gardeners in West Oakland. Six years later, he now works full time managing two of the three urban farm sites and mentoring families and residents of senior centers. He shares knowledge of growing and harvesting vegetables, and empowers people to bridge the gaps separating low income people from healthy organically grown produce. Every Saturday he opens a Farmstand to sell produce from the three sites, and customers pick their price level based on their income. Joseph feels he does a small but significant service to his home town community by growing and providing organic food and advice on preparation and growing. He still gets to educate volunteers and other community members on plant care and urban farming. A city boy who brings a bit of the country back to the urban core helping others to live a healthier lifestyle—that’s the latest incarnation of Joseph Davis!
Joshua Angelo Silva
Joshua Angelo Silva is an ecological educator and consultant; he also is an event producer and group facilitator. As an educator, he teaches and consults with people to help them view their home as an ecosystem, integrating resource-saving techniques and growing beauty and food. As an event producer, he has hosted events such as the 2013 Building Resilient Communities Convergence, An Earth Grief Ritual, and various homestead skill-building workshops and lectures. As a facilitator, he co-creates trainings with the Art of Hosting community to empower and educate community leaders with skills and tools to broaden the dialogue with their communities. Joshua is passionate about cultivating human consciousness by creating sparks within that ignite, empower, and activate the human spirit in conjunction with ecological resonance and respect.
Marley Peifer is a naturalist, tracker, author, gardener, and illustrator who is passionate about ecological and cultural sustainability. Few realms are untouched by his rampant curiosity and he is always ready to philosophize, ponder, rant, and listen to others’ perspectives about most any topic. He laments the overspecialization in today’s world, and believes that a holistic perspective and a diversity of skills are necessary now more than ever. Marley strives to study diverse fields, learn every day, and develop a continually-evolving synthesis.