Vermont's Permaculture Institute

Our Team

Keith Morris has been applying his lifelong love of nature and culture and experience as an activist to permaculture and ecological design since 1996. Since 2000, he has worked professionally as a designer, builder, and grower of ecologically regenerative, socially just, and culturally appropriate whole-systems in cities and country sides around the world.

He teaches at the University of Vermont, the Yestermorrow Design Build School, Sterling College, Paul Smiths College, Burlington Permaculture, and has worked for USAID ‘Farmer to Farmer’ in Nigeria and Ghana.

Mark Krawczyk


Mark Krawczyk juggles a multi-faceted livelihood along the shores of Lake Champlain in Burlington, Vermont.  After discovering permaculture design at the University of Vermont in 1999, he spent four years traveling and apprenticing with leaders in the fields of agroforestry and forest gardening, natural building, coppice forestry and traditional woodworking.  Today, he owns and operates Keyline Vermont LLC, a permaculture and keyline design, consultation and installation business, provides custom keyline subsoil plowing for farmers; teaches workshops on natural building with Seven Generations Natural Builders; makes chairs and other wooden products using traditional tools and techniques (RivenWoodCrafts) and maintains the grassroots community non-profitBurlington Permaculture that he helped co-found in 2006.

Alissa White

is a potter and orchardist living in Huntington, Vermont.  She coordinates the Perennial Collection at Arcana Gardens and Greenhouses in Jericho, VT and teaches pottery at the Burlington City Arts Clay Studio.  Alissa also facilitates workshops and permaculture courses for Burlington Permaculture and the Flashbulb Institute for Urban Technology in Burlington, VT, a training program to help communities move towards ecologically sound, community based, local economies.  She started Perennial Abundance, offering homescale landscape and orchard design, permaculture site installation, tree care and education in the local community.

Raised on a homestead in New Hampshire and educated about plants, permaculture and agroecology in Central California, Alissa brings experience in a diversity of climates and cultures to her work.  Alissa has studied permaculture and ethnobotany with Penny Livingston Stark, Dave Jacke,  Steve Gliessman, Dale Pendell, and Ed Grumbine and since moving back to New England has been working with homeowners and
community projects to enhance their productive and educational landscapes.


Lisa DePiano

Lisa DePiano is a certified permaculture designer/teacher and faculty member for the Yestermorrow Design/Build School. She is co-founder of the Montview Neighborhood Farm, a human powered urban-farm and edible forest garden in the Connecticut River Valley, and rides with the worker-owned collective Pedal People. She received her masters degree in Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts and loves working with communities to create the world they want to live in. After escaping the suburbs of her youth she headed to the hills of West Virginia and became a community organizer working on issues of Mountain Top Removal, Militarism, Fair Trade and Global Justice.  She discovered permaculture while living in Guatemala and was immediately drawn to its systems and solutions-based approach. For the last decade she has been sharing this passion with others. She has studied permaculture with Starhawk, Penny Livingston Stark, and Dave Jacke and has taught in courses all over the United States, including Alaska, New York City, the University of Vermont and Wesleyan University.

Emily Wheeler- Head Chef

Emily grew up in central Vermont, connecting with nature on her family’s small parcel of land with gardens, fields and forest.  Her interest and awareness in food began at an early age, when she became a vegetarian and necessity taught her to cook.  While in college, her curiosity of how things work led her to the conclusion that the world would be much happier if more time was spent in direct connection with growing, harvesting, preparing and enjoying food. Currently a student of herbal medicine, Emily cooks with a unique approach which honors the Vermont seasons, traditional diets, allergies and special needs.  She welcomes all into the kitchen and gardens, in hopes that every opportunity will deepen students’ connection to their personal culinary passions.

Emily’s creative intention for the course’s menu is to introduce student’s to the possibilities of local-foods-based meals while nourishing body and mind.  Meat will be served regularly, although not daily.  Expect creative fare ranging from home-made buckwheat noodle stir-fries with Vermont kim chee, spinach and dandelion frittata with new potato home fries, tempeh and lamb kabobs, or a fresh summer salad with goat’s milk chevre and fresh herbal sun tea.  Most dietary needs can be accommodated, including dairy or wheat/gluten intolerance, vegetarian/vegan diets, and other sensitivities.

 And Many Special Guests!

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