From 2012-2016, PBR in partnership with Antioch University Seattle and Seattle BioChar, supported the development of Morethana Farm, a six-acre farm and “outdoor classroom”, located in in Woodinville, WA.The farm provided opportunities for students and community members to learn and pursue permaculture design and agroforestry methods, enjoy a robust on-site educational facility, participate in training programs, and grow new community collaboration on and beyond the farm.
PBR led the initiative with the intent of acquiring the resources for eventually handing-off the farm program (and all of its equipment, structures, and resources) to a new sustainable agriculture host, as a durable investment in advancing sustainable agriculture, next-generation farmer training, and critical regional food security.
The project was a complete success! Having fulfilled various program objectives, like:
offering biochar training workshops and creating biochar products on-site;
building field classroom and greenhouse structures;
hosting students of all ages and community service groups; and,
producing bushels of fresh vegetables for local food banks and public markets;
— we gave away the farm (literally) to a new innovative organization!
In 2012, we offered a series of popular biochar training workshops, with the generous funding support of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters.
Here is a video, produced by PBR volunteers, showcasing the teamwork in building our greenhouse. Thanks again to Seattle Rotary Club for their generous financial and volunteer support for our greenhouse.
Permaculture Design (PD) is a practical, creative, whole-system design approach – spanning urban / rural, city / country settings – for meeting our needs of food, energy, shelter and materials, and the social, economic, ecological and educational contexts that support them. Morethana Farm introduced and demonstrated high-performing (and fun) PD methods, including:
Collaborative design and installation of integrated system features and functions;
On-site and continuous composting and vermicomposting;
Biochar education, processing and field applications;
Annual and perennial planting and harvesting;
Designs for efficient water, energy, and labor;
Educational and research activities spanning seasons throughout the year.
Jonathan leads PBR collaborations building on 25+ years of international bamboo and related social, economic, ecological, and technological contexts therein. He has established a track record of practical innovation and entrepreneurship via projects in Africa, Asia, and the United States, and regularly consults with individuals, teams, and groups.
Formerly a professor and Dean, his interdisciplinary teaching, research and leadership service spanned multiple US and international appointments. In complement to bamboo interests, his research and field work continue to intersect with innovations of sustainable agriculture and food systems, appropriate technologies and vanguard engineering applications, and ecological design tactics for realizing resilient communities and economies.
In 2016, he was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Specialist award in Social Work, and collaborated with faculty at Makerere University, in Kampala, Uganda, focusing on new social work graduate program and regional professional development initiatives. While there, he encouraged new conversations about practical bamboo resources to address critical issues of poverty, unemployment, refugee relief, and social welfare across Uganda and East Africa — interdisciplinary initiatives that have become the programs of Bamboo for Good (B4G).
A returned U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer (Jamaica, 1991-93), his diverse personal and professional experiences have resulted in opportunities for teaching and presenting. For example, in 2007, following an academic sabbatical in China, he was a Foreign Expert Keynote Speaker for the International Bamboo Workshop, convened at Zhejiang Agricultural & Forestry University in Lin’an, China. Earlier, he gained International Training Certification on Bamboo Industrial Processing Technologies and Machines. In 2012, Jonathan co-presented “Bamboo and Opportunities in the State of Alabama” for the National Science Foundation Workshop on Emerging Technologies for Sustainable Green Materials & Products, hosted by the University of Alabama – Birmingham and Tuskegee University.
Jonathan has been an avid amateur radio operator for over 25 years, holding an Extra Class license (call signs of KK7PW in the USA; 5X1O in Uganda; 9X0SS in Rwanda; JO4FND in Japan), and connecting with people across the region and around the world. He volunteers with the Disaster Communications Team of the American Red Cross serving King, Kitsap & North Mason Counties, and with the Auxiliary Communications Service within the City of Seattle’s Department of Emergency Management. And, as an ARRL-accredited Volunteer Examiner, he has collaboratively designed and delivered license training courses for new generations of radio operators. His station and household electrical loads are powered by a solar photovoltaic energy system which he designed and installed in 2006.