Lydia Neilsen is a gardener, educator, soil builder, and earth lover. She grew up near Cleveland, Ohio and in 1995 earned a BA in Studio Art and Biology from Carleton College in Northfield, Minnesota and a Diploma in Permaculture Education through the Permaculture Institute of North America (PINA). In 1996 she moved to Santa Cruz where she earned a certificate in Natural Science Illustration from UCSC. From 1998 to 2008 she was the co-designer and manager of the Westside Permaculture House in Santa Cruz, a demonstration garden for the use of home-scale permaculture design. From 2008 – 2015 she was the Garden Teacher and Garden Manager of the one-acre permaculture and biodynamic garden and small orchard at the Santa Cruz Waldorf School, where she brought permaculture to the children, the campus, and the community. Lydia has also worked extensively in invasive species management and native habitat restoration.
Lydia is dedicated to the development and implementation of beautiful regenerative designs and practices on a do-it-yourself scale. She believes that animals and animal husbandry are a critical element in landscape, human, and planetary health. Lydia specializes in teaching, soil building, greywater, integrated poultry systems, water harvesting earthworks and productive water conserving landscapes, polyculture and efficient uses of limited space. She has been working with RDI since 2007 as the Four Seasons Program Manager and co-facilitator. Contact Lydia by email or phone: 831 247-5767