Member of the Supervisory Board
Ray loves all things green and growing and loves to learn and share knowledge about them plants as individuals, and within ecosystems.
She is certified in Permaculture Design. Aside from that, her formal training includes a B.S. degree in Renewable Natural Resources from the University of Connecticut and conservation planning certification while working with NRCS as an agricultural conservationist. She has a certificate in composting from the Maine Compost School.
Other training has included pasture ecology at Penn State, a Forest Garden class and practicum sponsored by Appleseed Permaculture, and training in the use of alternative crops and high tunnels sponsored by the University of Massachusetts Extension, the University of Connecticut Cooperative Extension System, and Northeast SARE. She has also taken the online Adapting in Place course with farmers/authors Sharon Astyk and Aaron Newton.
She has worked with scientists, farmers and other professionals in Connecticut and beyond, through projects and conferences related to agriculture and sustainable living. She has taught informally, both large group presentations (300 is the record), small groups as a naturalist/interpreter and one on one, with youngsters and adults. Examples of more formal teaching experience includes high school biology and general science and college biology lab instruction.
Her own gardens include garlic, apples, rhubarb, raspberries, blueberries, herbs, sunroot (Helianthus tuberosus), hopniss (Apios americana), annual and perennial vegetables, and a variety of other native and non-native plants that contribute to the health of the whole system. She keeps a small flock of Indian Runner and other small breed ducks, now the highlight of her gardens and her life! The 1800 square foot forest garden needs a reworking to increase yield for the domestic critters. It has been a haven for wildlife, primarily, up to now.
One of the skills she has begun to develop is the use of a European style scythe. Scythes have, of course, been in use for centuries, and now that she has begun to use one, she simply does not understand why anyone would use a petroleum powered trimmer or mower. Seed saving, fermentation, and Appalachian music also enrich life on the duckstead.