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Somer Shook​ info

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Somer Shook


For more than 15 years, Somer’s work centered around wilderness expeditions and adventures, guiding and mentoring teens in Alaska, Arizona, Montana, and California: an array of wild places that offer doorways into deeply knowing one’s heart and soul. During this time of living more in sync with the natural rhythms, she became a mother, leading her to delve into her inner landscape in new and different ways. Somer holds a Masters’ Degree in Psychology and spent several years employed as a social worker, assisting families within the foster system. She is a former volunteer and circle facilitator with Restorative Resources, a non-profit diversion program that addresses non-violent crimes in a community context, with the aim of repairing relationships while taking accountability for the crime committed. She has led dream groups for teens and young adults, and attended the California School of Herbal Studies, where she studied the various body systems and learned to make herbal remedies to share with family and friends. Over the years she began to incorporate mindfulness practices into her daily life, which can assist with stress management and overall wellbeing. There is growing acknowledgement around the interconnectedness of all life and the ways in which our very thoughts can effect our personal health and the health of the relationships we engage in. Working with teens holds a special place in Somer’s heart, knowing how much she would have benefitted from having strong role models in her life at that time. There are so many internal and external changes occurring in the tween and teen years; an extended community to rely upon is incredibly valuable and affirming, as is understanding that the path each of us are on can take many twists and turns along the way. She looks forward to connecting with the young people in Ashland, sharing stories and learning together.
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Kerrick Gooden


Kerrick was raised in the Hill Country of Austin, Texas where he studied at the University of Texas. After some travel, he moved to the Rogue Valley of Oregon with a vision to farm and support youth. He completed his Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Cultural Anthropology with Honors in 2004 at Southern Oregon University, and devoted over a decade supporting youth and their families navigate  local and state social service programs. During this time, he and his partner cultivated a food forest at their home and founded Verdant Phoenix as an educational mini-farm in 2016.

Verdant Phoenix Farm became an expression of a way of life for Kerrick. He is interested in the relationships between humans, soil, microbes, plants/trees/shrubs, food, culture, time, and the web of life. As these elements inform his horticultural practice, Kerrick enjoys supporting landscapes, gardens, farms, and their people who are interested in belonging to the land.