PDC Core Team

Brian Kerkvliet of Inspiration Farm

Brian has a wide breadth of practical knowledge on how to partner with natural systems to bring forth stability and abundance. He has been co-stewarding Inspiration Farm, along with his wife Alexandra, since 1994. They use both biodynamic and Permaculture practices at inspiration Farm. Brian has taught permaculture at WWU and other PDC venues and events since 2009. Having completed several Permaculture Design Certifications, he consults, installs projects and teaches workshops. Brian has a passion for working with community organizations for the common good. He is a glass artist, innovator/tinkerer, runs a nursery, avid seed saver, Jack of all trades and loves whole systems design. His enthusiasm to share with a wider audience shows in all that he does.

Inspiration Farm is a showcase for many aspects of designing a living resilient system that provides for most of the food fiber and medicine needed to live a happy healthy life while restoring the ecosystem.

Brian Kerkvliet

Alexandra King of Inspiration Farm

Co-steward of Inspiration Farm. Alexandra has a BA in Org. Communication from ASU.  She completed her PDC at the Bullock farm in 2006.  Brian and Alexandra have 2 beautiful daughters that were born and raised on the Farm. (Now grown)

Their kids did 4-H for many years. 4-H was a fun journey of learning for the whole family. Alexandra hand milked Buttercup their sweet Jersey cow for about 11 years. She won first place at the NWWA Fair hand milking contest in 2014! Over the years they have had lots of different farm animals including chickens, turkeys, rabbits, goats, and cows, sheep, and pigs. Alexandra heads up the animal husbandry section of Inspiration Farm.

Alexandra has passions for animals and plants and more recently, lots and lots of flowers especially dahlias! She has yet to meet a flower she doesn’t like!

Alexandra is also the office and finance manager for the farm and other endeavors. If you want to find her smiling, go to the flower garden!

Alexandra King

Paul Kearsley of Queen Mtn. Homestead

​​Paul Kearsley is an experienced designer, educator and illustrator. He cut his Permaculture teeth at the Bullock’s Permaculture Homestead back in 2007. Since then he has worked with Terra Phoenix Design doing permaculture masterplanning locally and internationally. He holds a B.S. in Industrial Design and an MA in Environmental Education and teaches as a Senior Instructor in Western Washington University’s Design and Industrial Design programs. He is the illustrator of Practical Permaculture as well as other publications. He has taught Permaculture Design introductory courses, PDC’s and advanced PDC courses within WWU and the wider Pacific Northwest throughout the last 15 years.

At home, he co-stewards Queen Mountain Homestead, an 8-acre peri-urban homestead in Bellingham with his extended family. He fills his time working on the farm; adventuring and learning with his kids and niece and nephew; and drawing, drawing, drawing. His other passions include salvaging lumber, arranging flowers, foraging in the woods, smelling things, repairing stuff and cooking for his friends and family.

Paul Kearsley

Jane Campbell of Queen Mtn. Homestead

Jane grew up shaped by the forests, wetlands, and beaches of the Salish Sea’s coast; and, the worldview of her therapist parents. As an adult, her curiosities led her to study Earth Sciences and Cultural Anthropology at the University of Victoria; landscaping, market farming and many workshops after; and, then, permaculture. In 2010, she began three profoundly joyful years living and apprenticing at the Bullock’s Permaculture Homestead, where, she likes to say, she learned how to learn. Since “graduating” from the Bullock’s, Jane has owned and operated the Bellingham based landscaping company Beauty Land & Tree Care LLC; taught and mentored in gardens & orchards throughout Whatcom County and the Puget Sound; engaged in civic activism; and, most importantly, become a parent two vibrant kids. She lives on and co-stewards Queen Mountain Homestead with her extended family and friends.

Some of Jane’s current obsessions include: being in trees, pruning, seasonal food preparation and preservation, woodcarving, neighborhood disaster preparedness, listening, writing rooting into home, and recently, rock setting.

Jane Campbell

Elizabeth Chace (Counselor, MA, LMHCA) of Queen Mtn. Homestead

Elizabeth (Liz) is a licensed mental health counselor practicing in Bellingham, WA since 2014. Her work is informed by systems thinking and attachment theory- the notion that we are at our core relational beings, hardwired for compassion, love, and community. She is passionate about healing and strengthening relationships within ourselves, between loved ones, and with the broader world, and is excited to bring her knowledge and expertise to the Whatcom PDC again in 2024! 

Liz grew up playing homestead with her little sister, Jane, in the backyards and greenbelts of suburban Vancouver, B.C.. She has been growing her own food since 2005, gradually converting more and more of her lawn into kale, tomatoes, eggs, sauerkraut, and more KALE!  Liz and Jane, and their families have been playing homestead for real at Queen Mountain since 2016.

Elizabeth is mom to 2 amazing teens and partner to Ryan. She also enjoys: civic activism, her cats, being silly, her Queen Mountain sour dough bread, reading, and playing music with Ryan and their band at music venues around Bellingham.

Elizabeth Chace

Guest Presenters

Jay Bowen

Born into a traditional Upper Skagit family, Jay was mentored in the responsibility of God-given gifts. Raised in the Skagit Valley Washington, he got his higher education at Western Washington University, Institute of American Indian Arts, and Rhode Island School of Design.

He is a writer of books, articles and poetry who has spoken internationally as a Climate Change activist. He has practiced his art and raised four children while making custom fine jewelry and other mediums. To date, his art includes poetry, steel sculpture, glass blowing, fine gold jewelry and oil paintings

Jay likes to connect to the spiritual world and his walk as an intimate experience. His paintings are healing and are all meant to be medicine. His sculptures are healing and uniting of humanity in a common goal of understanding and concerns for each other’s lives. His poetry speaks of the human experience, unspoken. He uses the power of color and movement to express the life around us.

He has learned to live in two worlds and find common ties. He refers to himself as an Expressionist artist and as an advocate.

You can find more from Jay at his website

Jay Bowen

Caitlin Leck

Caitlin Leck is a mother, activist-farmer, and strategist-facilitator who believes permaculture design can act as a mechanism of de-colonial action. She has helped guide the Orcas Community Participatory Agriculture program since its inception in 2014, and is working with a stellar group of local food advocates to design and implement a Food System Plan for San Juan County. She serves on the SJC Agricultural Resources Committee, Orcas Food Co-op Board, and Orcas Women’s Coalition Steering Committee, and operates her Eastsound-based edible landscaping company. If Caitlin had her druthers, she would clone herself and spend long days in a hammock, reading Octavia Butler in the dappled shade of an apple tree. Caitlin is honored to live on Orcas Island, which since time immemorial has been and continues to be stewarded by Coast Salish Peoples, with her family and beloved community. 

Caitlin Leck

Laurel Karney

Laurel spent much of her childhood in the rural woods and beaches of the Key Peninsula where she developed a strong connection with the natural world, she enjoyed perusing her parents’ eclectic library of books on herbalism, homesteading, spirituality and philosophy. Laurel’s interest in plants and our connection to them inspired her to study under the tutelage of Candis Cantin at the Evergreen Herb School in Placerville,
CA. It was here that she was introduced to Ayurveda, which she went on to study at the California College of Ayurveda in Nevada City, CA receiving her AHE certification. Over the years, Laurel split her time between working on small scale farms throughout Washington and California and her studies. She settled in the unique bioregion of the Central Sierra Nevada foothills where she co-stewarded a permaculture inspired homestead on 37 acres and created an herbal tea and body care business. Laurel has created and managed community gardens, served as the Market Garden instructor and
farmer’s market liaison at Calaveras High School and instructed classes on community herbalism, Ayurveda and gardening. She is passionate about community, people and plants! Now back home in Whatcom County Laurel’s current interests involve foraging, fermenting, growing herbs and finding creative ways to raise more rabbits, bees and food with her husband and stepson on their small but mighty city lot in Bellingham. She is honored to be a guest speaker at the 2024 PDC this year!

Laurel Karney

Carrie Brausieck – Executive Director
, Agroforestry Northwest

Agroforestry Northwest is a 501(c)(3) non-profit in Washington State whose mission is to expand agroforestry adoption in the Pacific Northwest.  They seek to connect professional partners and collaborators to generate research, initiatives, and a technical assistance network that can advance knowledge and the adoption of agroforestry by agricultural producers, forest landowners, and communities. Through collaboration with farmers/landowners that are early adopters of agroforestry they seek to increase ecological health, biological diversity, and resilient production on our regions working lands.

Carrie helps lead the Agroforestry Northwest workgroup to advance agroforestry throughout the Puget Sound and beyond. She is passionate about agroforestry as a solution to competing land use, climate adaptation & mitigation, and farmland resilience. Carrie’s focus includes working with agroecological systems and agroforestry focuses to include multifunctional riparian forest buffers, food forests, and alley cropping.


Carrie Brausieck