Tour Managers/Guides

Aspen Madrone

aspenProfile (1)Aspen is a water ecologist, farmer, chef, entrepreneur, homesteader and health enthusiast who shares permaculture principles, explains watershed health, and facilitates an understanding of the full spectrum of agro ecology. Her food-as-medicine tour shows how what we eat can also help heal our bodies. Aspen’s farm-to-orchard tour gives people a chance to experience an apple cider pressing. She also:

  • Co-created Conscious Dancer magazine and organizes Sebastopol Ecstatic Dance.
  • Is exploring new paths  to utilize waste to create fuel or other products in Sonoma county and beyond.
  • Aspen holds a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science from Evergreen State College

Constance Washburn, Marin and Sonoma County
Constance has more than 35 years of experience designing and directing educational outreach programs. For 18 years, she served as Education Director at the Marin Agricultural Land Trust (MALT) and Marin Organic which reached more than 5,000 people a year. These programs included farm tours, talks, art shows, volunteer and teacher trainings, as well as the Farm Field Studies program, which brought more than 2,000 students out to farms.Constance also:

  • Co-founded, and is currently the chairperson of, the Marin Agriculture and Education Alliance, and is a member of the Northern California Slow Money Steering Committee.
  • Is a facilitator of Joanna Macy’s “Work that Reconnects.”
  • Was a member of the Marin Food Policy Council and the Marin Food Systems Project, as well as agricultural representative for the Marin Economic Commission.

Is a graduate of the Ecology of Leadership and Permaculture Design programs at the Regenerative Design Institute.

Aaron Lander

12695059_10100284572072421_8281786588019937191_oPrior to working in the technology sector and starting PopUpsters, Aaron began his career in marketing and communications working on various political campaigns, the state senate and the state treasurer’s office. He soon found a love for sustainability, specifically in the food industry, and began working on helping local farms with their sales, marketing and distribution models. Earlier this year, Aaron chosen as a fellow in the “Top 30 Under 30” Next Generation LGBT Leaders. His expertise in sustainability and innovation has been acknowledged by others leading him to be a Global Urban Innovator by the New Cities Foundation, a Westly Young Innovator, and the San Francisco Congressional Delegate at the Slow Food International Congress.

Marley Benshalom

Marley Bio picMarley enjoys guiding others on local and global journeys that connect them to the environment and their food source. She is the co-founder of the Mindful Garden Collective, which began as a garden restoration project at Laney College in Oakland. The collective provides organic food to those in need and hosts gatherings that inspire community healing. She leads our urban garden/farm tours with a focus on food justice. Marley is excited to start leading visits to the Capay Valley where she works with some of the Bay Areas main sources for organic ethically raised crops and animals. She currently works with Pasture 42 at the the San Rafael farmers market.

  • In 2014, she was selected as a Dalai Lama Fellow, a global secular program authorized by His Holiness the Fourteenth Dalai Lama whose young members promote peace, justice and ecology.
  • Marley has been accepted by UC Berkeley to study Community Healing through Environmental Regeneration under the College of Natural Resources.

Peter Ruddock, San Francisco, South Bay and San Mateo Coast

Peter is a food systems advocate, working for change through education, local economy and policy. His tours of the Central Valley, Brentwood, the South Bay and the San Mateo Coast, highlight people and programs who are at the forefront of these changes, showing the great work they are doing, and what they would like to do in the future, while not forgetting to celebrate and enjoy our food, from farm to table. He also:

  • Coordinates the California Food Policy Council, a statewide effort to improve food policy
  • Leads the South Bay group of Slow Money, which looks to rebuild the local economy by funding local farms and food businesses
  • Leads the Ark of Taste – a catalog and promotion program for heirloom food – for Slow Food California

Leah Dockstader

 Leah has led programming for Bay Area Green Tours, featuring leaders across various sectors of sustainability, such as food justice, green building, renewable energy, waste and water. She also serves as a contractor for administrative assistance and event management, with clients such as Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Pure Water, and Global Inheritance and manages yoga and wellness programming for Wild-soul and Yogascapes.

  • Served as an environmental educator at Anneliese’s Schools and visited classrooms around the East Bay.
  • Ran a Rising Sun Energy Center’s youth empowerment and conservation program in Union City and crafted their city-wide marketing campaign
  • She received a bachelor’s in Sustainable Development and Environmental Justice from the UC Berkeley.

Lowell Downey, Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino

Lowell Downey tells stories of world culture and the environment through his photographic and poetic lenses. A principal of Art & Clarity, an international green photography and video company, Lowell is an active member of the Napa Valley environmental and educational community and is documenting the changes of the Napa River. He serves on the board of the nonprofit ICARE (Institute for Conservation, Advocacy, Research and Education) whose mission is to restore and conserve the biological ecosystem of the Napa watershed where he has a close working relationship with local farmers and vintners in the Napa Valley.

  • In 2001 he formed POISON (People Opposed to Insecticide Spraying on Neighborhoods)
  • His assignments have taken him to the Czech Republic, India, Chile, Nicaragua, Dubai, Bolivia and lands in between.
  • He has an M.F.A. in dramatic writing from New York University.

Susan Silber

After having grown up in the suburbs of Los Angeles and Orange County, interspersed with healthy doses of nature through frequent trips all over the United States, I graduated with a B.A. in History from U.C. Santa Cruz. I merged my twin passions of education and the environment shortly after college through various jobs as a naturalist and program coordinator, including an adventurous two years as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Costa Rica. I received a Teaching Credential and Masters in Education through a Peace Corps Fellowship at San Francisco State, and continued my work at several Bay Area environmental education organizations. My work as a community organizer has been inspired by, the Transition Town movement and permaculture principles. I founded the NorCal Community Resilience Network in 2015,

I currently live with my husband and daughter in Berkeley, CA. I love nature, bicycling, gardening, music, outdoor adventures, traveling and hanging out with my wonderful community of amazing family and friends.

Founder and Director, NorCal Community Resilience Network
Consultant: Strategic planning and fundraising for environmental education and grassroots community resilience projects

Jessie Flo

IMG_0139Jessie Flo has been working with organic food and farmers in the Bay Area since 2007. She is a farm-to-table chef, a large scale event manager, a storyteller and a surfer. Her work in organic farming spans from cooking small farm dinners, to creating entire residential food programs, to producing the 1,700 person conference EcoFarm in Pacific Grove. Jessie currently resides in San Francisco, where she freelances her skills as a chef, most often on Pie Ranch, and as an event manager, annually with Dreamforce.

• She holds a BA in Philosophy from University of Colorado in Boulder, CO.
• You can find a sampling of her culinary creations at

Afiba Johnson

My Name is Afiba and I love food!

Growing up in Jamaica I was exposed to all the natural resources and cultures the island had to offer. From the age of five, I have explored the beaches, rivers and learning all the island had to teach me. It was this that inspired me to become a Chef.

Since then, I have moved to the United States and taken my culinary journey to the next level. I have worked with renown chefs in restaurants all over the world. I’ve hosted countless pop-ups and supper clubs, and I’m still learning.

One of the many treasures of cooking is that it brings people together. Learning about food is best hands on; getting attuned with the meal your preparing and the people your about to serve is a spiritual experience. Now, as a Bay area resident I want to share the love and experience I have from the food industry and by sharing my knowledge on sustainability so that it will empower people and build communities.