Our Teachers

Kateen Fitzgerald

Kateen Fitzgerald

Director and Lead Instructor

Kateen is a woman who loves to be working. In her past life, she was a Master Gardener, youth leader, seamstress, and home school mom.

After 20 years of teaching and mentoring, she decided to create something more. So, in 2007, she purchased 40 acres of land and built Compass Rose Farms, a biointensive family farm and homestead on the Olympic Peninsula. Two years later, in 2009, she began an internship program, effectually converting the farm into a permaculture demonstration site. In 2014, she founded The Dirt Rich School, a Permaculture education and mentorship program dedicated to teaching the next generation to live sustainably. Kateen now manages the internship program, local lectures, workshops, and volunteers at the Dirt Rich School.

Most days you will find Kateen working in the garden, sharing her extensive experience in modern homesteading, holistic animal wifery, sustainable food production, and working with the weeds. When not outdoors, she is in the classroom teaching permaculture design, holistic systems thinking, and how to be a lazy farmer.

When asked what drives her she says, “empowering others to thrive by showing them a life that is holistic and in partnership with their ecology.”

Kateen consulted and designed regenerative permaculture systems in Scandinavia, Italy, Mexico, Canada, Alaska, Colorado, and the Pacific Northwest.

She recently worked on an aid project designing a Permacultural daycare for the children of Punta Colonet, Mexico, and is currently working as a landscape architect, implementing permaculture principles throughout a 150 home eco-village in Port Townsend, Washington with the Port Townsend Preservation Alliance.

When Kateen is not teaching (she is sleeping) you can find her reading a book, spinning wool, or hanging out in her rose garden.

She currently lives with her family and the extended community at Compass Rose Farms in Port Townsend, WA.

An interview with Kateen!

Simon Walter-Hanson

He is busy digging in the dirt and working on his own homestead, Mosaic, but his bio is coming soon!

Evelyn Cilley.jpegEvelyn Cilley

Evelyn is busy working and designing permaculture systems out on the Olympic Peninsula! Her Bio is coming soon!

Leigh Senna

Leigh Senna is passionate about healthy communities, good food, and regenerative agriculture.  She is currently helping families find homes here in Jefferson County as a real estate agent, and owns a couple businesses that support women’s well being.  She is honored to be a mama of a 7 year old daughter, and to offer her passion for life at the Dirt Rich School.  You will see Leigh at the farm and school often, occasionally teaching PDC lecture eleven – the practice of designing and cultivating the inner landscape of our minds, hearts, and physical vitality.

Scott Walker

Scott’s resume reads like an adventure novel.  Sonar Supervisor, Chief Engineer, Commercial Diver, Shipyard Competent Person.  Twenty years in the maritime industry (and two years tending bar on Capitol Hill) beginning with eight years enlisted in the U.S. Navy Submarine Service.  Scott was involved in just about every facet of shipbuilding and repair from ship’s force, to laborer, to assistant operations manager, to owner’s representative.  He sailed as a Sonarman, and later in the engineering department on tugboats, research ships, nuclear submarines, offshore supply vessels, and one yacht.  In his civilian sailing career, he advanced the hawespipe from wiper to Chief Engineer.  In his spare time, he volunteered with local fire departments, obtaining his EMT/B, Structural FF1, and Wildland FF2.  He applied these skills both in his community, and by deploying with a contract wildland firefighting company during multiple summer seasons.   He’s kicked around Washington since 2003, living in Ballard, on Orcas, and now his Forever Home in Discover Bay.  He met Kateen, found a family, and became enamored with the idea of a home that would never sink.

Scott volunteers with the Dirt Rich School in the position of Secretary and Instructor.  He can usually be found in the woods, with a shovel.  Permaculture is growing on him, like a slow, patient, mycological takeover.  The Sea and Scott are not currently on speaking terms, though occasional ferry rides are acceptable.

Joshua Langevine

Joshua Langevin is an expert in lean management, organization, and rapid problem-solving. Having built successful businesses across the country, he now spends his life creating a new system of abundance for everyone. When he’s not traveling the world, free diving, or sky diving, you’ll find him developing open source permaculture and sustainability systems and passionately sharing them with others.

Michael Brahier

Michael started studying permaculture in 2010 when he was still working in the Gulf oil fields. The depletion of natural resources, environmental degradation, and dysfunctional institutions were all strong motivators to seek solutions and change. Since then he has left that line of work to focus on studying regenerative agriculture and social systems.

facebook-pic2Kale McConathy

Kale McConathy (yes that is his legal name) is a Washington state native with a passion for the environment. He is a graduate from the Evergreen State College, with a focus in biology, and lives in Olympia, Washington. He is working on his masters in Environmental Studies at Evergreen and has a deep passion for mycology (the study of fungus) and plant pathology (the study of plant diseases). He is actively involved with the Evergreen Natural History Museum as well as local mycological groups. Kale is well versed in utilizing fungus for integration in the environment as well as mushroom cultivation. Kale is also versed in Washington ethnobotany, mushroom foraging, and native plant identification.


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