Bio-diverse land stewards

regenerative experts

As stewards of Black Mountain, the Inventure Institute teachers are devoted to learning, understanding, and teaching local knowledge of regenerative agriculture and ecological practices, and the interaction between the two. Our teams co-create immersive events and unique outdoor classroom experiences to share these lessons and agri-tourism activities.


Black Mountain Ranch is an agricultural and ecological education ranch. We offer over 1,350 acres, eight vintage and modern buildings totalling 20,000+ square feet for private and corporate events, workshops, and photoshoots. We have a separate website for event planners which can be accessed by contacting hello@blackmountainranch.info


Kim Eichorn

Executive Director  

Kim grew up on a hay and cattle farm in Kansas. She’s from a long line of family farmers who are deeply connected to nurturing their land, and growing and preserving food. Her passion for gardening and healthy eating was inspired by the lessons passed down from her grandfather, who studied horticulture in the 1930’s. During her youth, Kim belonged to a 4-H Club and studied horticulture and artisan craft and art making, and raised pets, such as rabbits, chickens, bucket calves, and a heifer.

Following an inherited celiac disease diagnosis, she has become a health and nutrition advocate over the past decade. In addition to working with traditional and holistic doctors, she followed her lifelong curiosity of other cultures to learn about food nutrition, lifestyle and cooking practices from locals in 30+ countries. She has made multiple trips to Germany to better understand her ancestral roots. Kim is a global communications executive, advisor to startup social enterprises, and currently studying to become a holistic health coach. 

Tom Lamar

Founder and Director of Education 

Tom is the Director of Education of Inventure Institute and Black Mountain Ranch.  He is an impact driven cofounder with a socially responsible, culturally aware, passion for the land.  Tom is informed by an environmentally conscious industrial design background, complemented with corporate development, innovative technology execution, and creative go-to-market strategies. He has participated in the formation of a number of successful public benefit, infrastructure, and search engine companies, including Inktomi Corporation.  He has also built and run agricultural projects in multiple states.

Black Mountain

Rebecca Burgess


Rebecca Burgess is the Executive Director of Fibershed. She has two decades of experience working at the intersection of ecology, fiber systems, and regional economic development. She is the author of the best-selling book Harvesting Color, a bioregional look into the natural dye traditions of North America, and Fibershed: Growing a Movement of Farmers, Fashion Activists, and Makers for a New Textile Economy released in 2019. She has taught at Westminster College, Harvard University, and California College of the Arts. She also holds a new board position at the Livestock Conservancy and is serving on the leadership council of the Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems at Chico State University.



Mark Coleman

Nature Leadership Facilitator 

Mark Coleman is a teacher at Spirit Rock and has taught insight meditation retreats since 1997 worldwide. Mark is passionate about integrating meditation and nature and leads wilderness retreats through his organization Awake in the Wild as well as nature meditation teacher trainings. Co-founder of the Mindfulness Training Institute Mark also leads year long mindfulness teacher trainings in the UK and US. He is author of Awake in the Wild, Make Peace With Your Mind, From Suffering to Peace and his recent book A Field Guide to Nature Meditation. He lives in Sausalito, Marin and likes nothing more than hiking biking and kayaking in the outdoors especially in West Marin.

Molly Myerson

Regenerative Farming Teacher 

Molly Myerson grew up in a sixth-floor apartment in Washington Heights, a northern neighborhood of New York City, surrounded by concrete. It was not the usual starting point for a farmer, but as a child she was always drawn to plants. In 2013, Molly started Little Wing Farm in Bloomfield, selling her produce and quail eggs to restaurants in West Marin and at the Point Reyes Farmers Market. Molly believes in tending the land in a way that makes the soils richer, passes on clean water to the creeks, gives shelter and forage to wildlife, and provides food uncontaminated by poisons that tastes sweeter and is more vibrant as a result. She sees our time as a critical moment in history and wants her work to increase our understanding of nature and how to build better systems. Molly says the image of farming is shifting to include more women and BIPOC people. Molly is on the board of the Marin Agricultural Land Trust to represent the next generation of farmers. She is the only board member who does not own the land she farms. She says she is especially interested in helping the organization focus on farmworker housing, alternative conservation models, access for new farmers and regenerative farming practices.

Little Wing Farm

Nicole Becker

Ecology and Nature Teacher 

Nicole Becker is the Executive Director and Founder of The Viviculture Center. She holds degrees in Cultural Anthropology and Urban Ecology from UC Berkeley, and spent 10 years working at the grassroots level with mentor Karl Linn (landscape architect, community garden advocate, psychologist) on education and advocacy for community gardens, urban food security, greening the cities, and closing the “nature gap”. For the past 25 years she has been sharing the wisdom of nature through somatic yoga therapy, nondual meditation, spiritual ecology, and nature immersions. 

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Ido Yoshimoto

Regenerative Artist Teacher 

Yoshimoto’s (b. 1978) work is deeply rooted in the land and the forest where he grew up and currently lives. After over 40 years in West Marin and 20 years working as an arborist, his appreciation for the trees and thorough understanding of them has naturally led to his current practice. It is with reverence for the story of and within these trees that care is taken in selecting material and slowly peeling back the layers. Working with large chunks of raw material, Yoshimoto explores form, creating both functional and sculptural pieces. Each is also a conversation. The tree tells the story of its life through the grain, the annual rings, the scars. Then there is the response and the questions, the influence and inspiration that sees possibility in the story. Hopefully the outcome is a sum greater than the two. A record of a meeting in which each was heightened by the other.

Ryan DiGaudio

Ecology Teacher 

Ryan is a principal ecologist with Point Blue Conservation Science, where he currently serves as science director for Point Blue’s Working Lands Group. He is a San Francisco Bay Area native, a passionate naturalist, and a student of all things wild. The majority of Ryan’s 25+ year career in ecology has focused on bird conservation within California, though he has ventured to other parts of the world for bird conservation projects (from the Farallones to the Far East). Ryan’s current research revolves around understanding how bird communities respond to different management and restoration practices, especially on working lands, i.e., farms and ranches. He also works with agricultural producers and land management agencies to assist with developing management and conservation practices beneficial to birds, other wildlife, and ecosystems as a whole. Fun fact: When on Midway Atoll, Ryan met the world’s oldest known wild bird, Wisdom, a female Laysan Albatross who is now at least 72 years old.

Point Blue

Kelsey Bearden

Food Systems Teacher 

Kelsey leads the Agroecology & Local Economy program for Alianza para la Seguridad Alimentaria de Baja California Sur, Mexico, also known as ASA, the Food Security Alliance of BCS. Her focus is developing an integrated effort to shift to a regional food system grounded in local context, community, and an equitable food economy that nourishes both human and ecosystem health. Kelsey has been an educator and gardener-farmer from the Alaska to Arizona and from northwestern Mexico to New England with a longtime passion for leveraging agriculture for land and community health through regeneration and education. Kelsey received a BA in Biology and Spanish from the University of Alaska Fairbanks and an MS in Environmental Studies from Antioch University New England, with certificates in Climate Change Education and Food Justice for Resilient Communities. 

ASA, the Food Security Alliance of BCS

Susan Kegley

Bees and Organic Farming Teacher 

Susan Kegley is the owner of Bees N Blooms lavender farm. She is also a PhD chemist and is Principal Scientist at her company Pesticide Research Institute (PRI). At PRI, Susan worked with commercial beekeepers to study the effect of pesticides, pathogens, and parasites on honey bees. What the study showed was that exposure to insecticides and fungicides is a significant factor in the decline of honey bee colonies, a result that highlights the critical importance of organic agriculture. On moving to Santa Rosa in 2016, Susan and her husband Geoff bought an 11.4-acre piece of heaven, named it Bees N Blooms, and proceeded to transform a hayfield into an organic pollinator paradise. The Lavender Labyrinth and Flower Gardens are the centerpiece of the farm, providing clean food for pollinators and beauty for humans to enjoy. Susan also recognized that one of the missing pieces for expanding gardeners’ and farmers’ access to pesticide-free forage is the lack of certified organic, pollinator-friendly ornamental plants for sale. To meet this need, the Bees N Blooms nursery grows a variety of certified organic ornamentals for gardens and farms. Susan also maintains 5-10 colonies of honey bees on the farm, which keeps her in touch with these fascinating insects that our food supply depends on. 


Andrew Benson

Beekeeper Teacher 

Andrew Benson was born and raised in Southern California. He moved to Sonoma County to attend college where he studied biology. The field of entomology fueled his interest in the hobby of beekeeping which eventually turned into a full-time position. Most days, Benson assists local beekeeper, Mike Turner of Marin Coastal Bee Company, in monitoring and managing over 100 small apiaries throughout Sonoma and Marin Counties. As a member of the Sonoma County Beekeepers Association, Andrew Benson volunteers to help educate the public on the importance of pollinators and their role in the ecosystem and offers lessons to beginner beekeepers that are figuring out how to manage bee colonies in a modern and changing environment. 

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Nicole Myers

Geology Teacher 

Nicole Myers, M.S. in Geological Sciences, developed a passion for understanding the Earth from a childhood fascination with rocks and volcanoes, and now teaches others to appreciate planet Earth. Nicole has been teaching earth science classes, including geology, climatology, & earth history for more than fifteen years. She currently teaches at Sonoma State University, and through Appreciating Earth (www.appreciatingearth.com) Nicole brings her enthusiasm to the community by offering earth science field explorations and presentations.

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John Karachewski

Geologist Teacher 

John Karachewski, Ph.D., has over 40 years of experience conducting geology and environmental projects throughout the western US from Colorado to Alaska to Midway Island and throughout California. He enjoys teaching and leading geology hikes and field trips for non-profit organizations throughout the Bay Area. John was the photographer for a popular book by Doris Sloan about the “Geology of the San Francisco Bay Region,” published by the University of California Press. In 2022, he received the Northern California Geological Society – Honorary Member award. John enjoys biking, hiking, and landscape photography. Note: The photo above was taken on Eldfell volcano in Iceland, which was created during a 1973 eruption. 

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Jordan Cattolica

Farrier Blacksmith Teacher 

Hi, my name is Jordan Cattolica, and I am a Farrier.  As a Farrier, I spend my days driving from farm to barn trimming and shoeing horses. On my own time I ride my own horses, and spend time on my forge. I have wanted to be a farrier, since I was 13 years old. when I was 17, I found someone to take me on as an apprentice, at 18 I went to Pacific Coast Horseshoeing School. When I was 18, I started my own practice.  I have been living my life’s dream, of freedom though this career. I hope to share the beauties of a life kindled around a forge, to anyone willing to let the spark light something in themselves!  

COntact Jordan


Falona Joy


Falona channels her passion for social justice into supporting philanthropy that drives a wide range of innovative partnerships and projects. In her role as a consultant and advisor to philanthropists, impact investors and social impact leaders, she has guided organizations of all sizes through the challenges of raising capital, ensuring organizational relevance, developing strategies to sustain impact, and realizing the potential of new initiatives. 

Falona is also an impact investor and advisor to startup social enterprises.

Falona brings her passion for parks, wellness, arts and culture to her volunteer service. She serves as a Trustee of the Seattle Art Museum, Friends of the Seattle Waterfront, Adler University and the Impetus Fund. She was also named a Life Trustee of the Chicago History Museum and was the founding garden leader for the 42nd Street Garden in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood.

Falona received her BA in Political Science with honors from Stanford University.

Peter Martinelli


Peter Martinelli was raised in suburban Marin County. As a boy he developed a deep love for his grandparent’s Paradise Valley Ranch near the coast north of Bolinas. From the age of 8 Peter grew annual vegetable gardens behind the old ranch house with his father. He also hunted and fished the local hills and waterways,  thus embarking upon a lifelong adventure with the plants, soil and wildlife of West Marin.  After graduating from U.C. Berkeley with a degree in history, Peter went to work for his neighbor, organic farming pioneer Warren Weber. After several years working at Weber’s Star Route Farm, Peter founded Fresh Run Farm.

Over the years Peter has worked on various causes related to sustainable/organic farming and the promotion of small scale, local agriculture. He currently serves on the board of the Marin County Farm Bureau and The Wild Farm Alliance, a national organization dedicated to the promotion of wildlife habitat on farms and ranches.  

Fresh Run Farm

Jim Jensen

Silent Advisor 

Rancher and Land Steward, Tomales

Jim is a rancher and land steward currently working for Audubon Canyon Ranch. He supports land stewardship and facilities on their Tomales Bay positions. Prior to this role, Jim served as a stewardship staff member with Marin Ag Land Trust, and before that he worked in wildland fire management with the National Park Service. Jim also manages his family’s sixth generation Tomales sheep and cattle ranch. He carries deep personal connections to this working landscape, enjoys time with his family and community here, and is hoping to conserve it for future generations. 

Audubon Canyon Ranch

Arron Wilder

Silent Advisor 

Arron Wilder operates a patchwork of certified organic mixed vegetable farms totaling 14-acres in Point Reyes called Table Top Farm. The farm provides produce for a Community Supported Agriculture program, two farms stands, and 12 restaurants in Marin County. Arron is also an adjunct instructor of organic farming at the College of Marin. Prior to farming, he worked as a soil scientist for over 12 years. While at the Mesa Refuge, Arron wrote about farming—exploring the relationship between people, nature, and agriculture.
In 2010 Arron founded Table Top Farm on the Point Reyes Mesa and the historic Black Mountain Ranch in West Marin County. He leases a total of 11.5 acres on four separate parcels: three-quarters of an acre on Cypress Road, another three-quarters of an acre on McDonald Lane, three acres on Toby Road, and seven acres at Black Mountain Ranch. Initially Arron began farming row crops at the Cypress Road location with the idea of marketing to Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) customers, but as his business developed, his customer base expanded. He now also sells his produce to local restaurants, West Marin grocery stores, and two farm stands.”
In addition to cole crops, tomatoes, alliums, root vegetables, snow peas, potatoes, beans and chicory, Table Top Farm also produces fresh cut flowers. They planted a mixed fruit tree orchard 2014. The family-run Black Mountain Ranch has been in agriculture since the 1850s and the current landlords are strong proponents of agricultural sustainability and environmental stewardship. In 2015 Table Top Farm achieved organic status through certification with California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF).

Tabletop Farm

Daniel Hoffner

Advisor | Fire Safety & First Response 

Daniel Hoffner is a Marin County local, who grew up in Sausalito. He developed a keen interest in the outdoors from an early age, taking wilderness self-reliance classes and practicing primitive living skills, such as traditional kayak building and flint knapping. His interest in this field led him to volunteer for Marin County’s Search and Rescue unit throughout highschool, before attending the University of Colorado Boulder for Environmental Studies, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. Daniel is now working toward getting involved in the Marin County Fire Service, in addition to helping with fundraising efforts and fire safety on Black Mountain Ranch. 


Virginia Ryan

Counsel of Record 

For 25+ years, Ms. Virginia Ryan has counseled clients on complex business law and intellectual property matters in various industries and in various stages, from entrepreneurs and start-ups to fortune 100 companies, as well as estate planning matters. She practiced law in the San Francisco Bay Area at large law firms, including Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP, Perkins Coie LLP and Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich LLP (now DLA Piper). In June 2022, Ms. Ryan received her law license in Minnesota, and now maintains her primary location in beautiful St. Paul, Minnesota.

Since the early 2000s, Virginia has been learning about organic food and sustainable agricultural practices. She’s gone to farm school in Sonoma County and has taken courses on urban gardening and beekeeping. After moving to Grass Valley, she started her own backyard organic garden and took courses on permaculture and became a beekeeper. She is excited about regenerative agriculture and its ability to heal the plant and to create food security all over the world. Virginia loves to read and considers herself a “life-long learner/student.”

She grew up in Sacramento, California and at the age of 18 received her B.S. in Mathematics with honors from the University of California, Davis. She went on to law school and received her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall) at the age of 20, making her the youngest graduate of Boalt Hall and the youngest lawyer in California from 1998 to 2007 and seemingly the nation.

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Tyler Young

Creative Director

Tyler started working in the Bay Area design world in 1996 and fell in love with its close connection to nature and all the stewards that occupy it.  Keeping a constant eye towards American life, its culture, consumption, religion, politics, ethics, media and the art it produces. This allows him to have a better understanding of how to reflect and communicate the benefits of living a more thoughtful life.