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SUSTAINABILITY SYMPOSIUM Part 2
September 9, 2023 @ 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Historic Lemon Packing Plant
Santa Paula, CA
Join friends of Lotusland at a former lemon packing house in Santa Paula for an afternoon of education and connections!
With Part Two of this speaker series, Lotusland and acclaimed landscape designer Eric Nagelmann have invited a selection of industry professionals to explore practical, sustainable solutions that attendees can bring home to their own backyards— big or small. At Lotusland, we have continuously aspired to be facilitators for environmental stewardship. Since 1997, the Garden has been a powerful case study in organic, sustainable horticulture. The success of Lotusland and our friends in related fields can now serve as a resource to the community, from novice patio gardeners to large-scale orchards and growing spaces.
The benefits of sustainable horticulture are clear: they promote ecological balance and lead to a cleaner, greener planet.
Ganna Walska Lotusland
Collector Car Vault
$10 TICKET INCLUDES:
Access to the Symposium, Parking, & Complimentary Refreshments
Mostly retired now, landscape designer. I’ve had the privilege of designing gardens mostly in Southern California, but also internationally from Hong Kong to Italy and places in between. I’ve worked at Lotusland for the last 20 or so years pro bono creating the Dunlap Cactus Garden, Palmetum, Insectary Garden and other incidental improvements, as well as being instrumental in fundraising. I have plans to extend and recreate the tropical garden as well.
A year ago, I moved to Taos, NM to recreate my life. I am building a house on 8 acres with ring-side views on the very edge of the Gorge. And, of course, I’m very excited about the new gardens I’m creating. While retired, I’m also pursuing other interests such as learning to read music and play piano, continuing my yoga practice, skiing and hiking, and a new current project of working with youth in a social venue.
Psychologist, Educator, & Farmer
A longtime educator, psychologist, and environmental community activist, Stacy’s research demonstrates that student and teacher wellbeing is cultivated by loving concern and care, cultivating interpersonal connections, assuring a sense of belonging in community, and encouraging choice that supports one’s passion. She has adopted this framework to establish regenerative practices on her family’s avocado farm in Santa Barbara County and created the opportunity to develop a sustainable legacy for future generations.
Using Taoist values, she is applying a humanistic and balanced approach for greater harmony with life and land. These days, you will find Stacy planting cover crops, grazing sheep, and diversifying both plant, animal, and human activity on the farm. Her vision is to create an outdoor learning environment that is accessible for students, teachers, and farmers where the land and people learn from each other.
Founder, Wisdom of the Fool, a nonprofit supporting local environmental education
Sponsor and Co-Creator, Santa Barbara High School, GreenLab Outdoor Classroom
Board Member, Emeritus, AHA! an educational nonprofit for at-risk teens
Author, The Colonized Child and Listen to the Children
USC Civic Engagement Board of Councilors
Manager of Sustainability, Lotusland
Corey Welles is a well-known horticulturist in the botanic garden world, and a definitive expert on the famous Ganna Walska Lotusland garden in Santa Barbara CA. Lotusland encompasses 37+ acres of exotic and rare flora composed in 14 magnificent historic gardens.
Under Welles guidance, Madame Ganna Walska’s Lotusland estate contains gardens of exceptional health and creativity with botanical and horticultural depth. The estate has a large rare cycad collection garden, containing some rare plant species no longer extant in their original native habitat. The gardens were created over four decades by Madame Ganna Walska, an opera singer, who owned the property as a private residence from 1941 until her death in 1984.
For the past 20 years, Welles has managed the plant domains at Lotusland, one of the nation’s premier exotic gardens, which has earned him numerous garden awards. He is recognized for being the leader in the field of sustainable horticulture.
Mr. Welles is a graduate of the Santa Barbara City College Environmental Horticulture Program with expertise in botany, zoology, ornithology, entomology and marine biology. As one of the leading sustainable horticultural experts, he consults such groups as U.C. Berkeley Botanic Garden, Descanso Gardens, The Huntington Garden, The Getty, Santa Barbara City and other national and regional garden groups.
In demand as a public speaker, his engagements take him across the country to address important botanical symposia. He is a recognized expert on how to implement and customize sustainable systems for garden landscapes.
A former triathlon champion in the Southern California area Welles is also an inspirational teacher on how to successfully partner with and embrace the environment.
7th Generation Rancher
Thomas Lloyd-Butler, is seventh generation Californian rancher, avocado farmer and an investor. His ancestors acquired Rancho Santa Clara del Norte, a Mexican land grant in 1864, from its original grantee. Tom, his two sons, his two nephews and long-time staff share responsibilities for the ranch which includes include orchard pasture, crop and environmentally sensitive riparian lands. They also look after the ranch’s historic main post, which includes its stately main house, Victorian era outbuildings, and six acres of grounds and gardens with old and new collections of palms, cycads, unusual conifers, and flowering plants in 10 differently themed gardens.
Regenerative farming and gardening practices are not new at the ranch, though practicing them with greater breadth and depth has intensified. Tom’s father was a believer in mulch, and worked with Dr. Gordon Frankie at UC Berkeley in a program to encourage the ranch’s 126 species of native pollinators into avocado orchards. In the last four years, this single – garden habitat experiment has been expanded substantially. Over 4 miles of habitat-supporting hedge rows have been added, a mile-long riparian corridor, rich in plant and animal life connects riparian habitat in the Santa Clara River to the central portion of the ranch, and thousands of flowering perennials now surround the ranch’s orchards. Benefits are both environmental and economic. Increased bird and bat populations, supported by trees have balanced insect and rodent populations. Higher natural nutrient contents in the soils from beneficial cover crops have diminished requirements for expensive fertilizers. Simple and scaleable regenerative farming practices have brought greater environmental and economic prosperity to the ranch than ever before.
Landscape Designer & Educator
Natasha Elliott is the principle of the landscape design studio Sweet Smiling Landscapes. She is a licensed landscape contractor, LEED, an EPA-certified Water Wise designer, and certified permaculture designer. Natasha has taught California-friendly landscape design for the Metropolitan Water District and landscape design and landscape drafting at Santa Barbara City College. She also has the privilege of serving on the board of directors for the Central Coast Green Building Council, as well as the American Institute of Architects Santa Barbara where she is a chair for the Committee On The Environment.
Farmer & Geologist
Andy Sheaffer is a first-generation farmer growing avocados and lemons in western Ventura County. Andy and his family manage approximately 350 acres of avocados and 100 acres of lemons using regenerative principles, focusing on improving soil health and increasing both nutrient density and yield.
Andy was born and raised in Carpinteria, CA. He attended Carpinteria High School and later UCSB on a partial athletic scholarship. He had a successful throwing career that earned him first team all American in the hammer throw- making it to the Olympic trials in New Orleans in 1992. This experience led him and a handful of teammates to spend a summer in Europe competing in track meets. While in Zermatt, Switzerland, he saw a machine that fascinated him. He spent the entire day hiking up to it to see what it was. It turned out to be a “walking excavator”. Upon returning to the states, he began to work in the marine construction business, all the while thinking of the machine he had discovered. In 1996 he found one for sale and bought it. He taught himself to operate it on his parent’s property. This was the beginning of a business that took him all over the country performing rock fall mitigation work. Indirectly, the business is what led him to farming. People connected him with the knowledge of working with steep hillsides and when the farm came up for sale a number of people contacted him to see if he was interested in purchasing the challenging property that overlooks the Pacific Ocean.
In 2008, he and his wife Kathy bought the 750-acre ranch called Vista Punta Gorda. When they bought the property, they had already been married about 7 years and had three young kids. The farm had a lot of old trees and was being farmed conventionally. They studied the farm for a few years before making any major changes. They began transition to regenerative, organic farming practices in 2011/12. In 2015, Andy sold his construction business and became a full-time farmer. The farm has gone through many changes of the past 15 years of ownership, not the least of which we loosing 200 acres of the most productive sections of the ranch in the Thomas fire and then replanting and managing those acres regeneratively over the last 4 years.