Meet the Team

Zev Friedmn

Zev Friedman


Creative Director


Zev Friedman

Founder, Creative Director

Zev works as a permaculture educator, consultant, and researcher, based at Earthaven Ecovillage outside of Asheville, NC. For 12 years, he has focused on empowering others through transformative education to find the skills and mentorship they need to develop a meaningful role in the process of reconnecting humans to nature in a way that takes good care of both. After growing up in a patch of kudzu in Sylva, North Carolina, Zev earned a B.S. in Human Ecology at UNC Asheville in 2004, completed an apprenticeship in Permaculture education with Patricia Alison in 2009, and now seeks to grow community and multi-generational village culture through his consulting work and land projects, most recently the WNC Mutual Aid Initiative. Visit for more information.


Carmen Lescher

Community Savings Pool Project Coordinator

Carmen is a dedicated community member and leader at Earthaven Ecovillage where she has lived for most of the last 13 years. She is a "jill-of-all-trades" -- comfortable on the farm or construction site, around the kitchen, and in the garden or at the computer. She has owned and operated a pasture-based poultry farm; worked on construction crews building passive solar, off-grid houses; made herbal medicines; and organized large events. Currently, she supports many small businesses with financial planning, administration, and bookkeeping. She is happy when she's cooking, solving problems, or practicing nonviolent communication.


Mari Stuart

Regional Carbon Credit Program Coordinator

Mari Jyväsjärvi Stuart (PhD) is the program coordinator for Carbon Harvest, Co-operate WNC’s new initiative for community-supported regenerative agriculture. She is an ecological landscape designer, teacher, writer, and regenerative farming advocate. Mari grew up in Finland and spent many years studying, traveling and volunteering on five continents before finding a home in Western North Carolina. She holds a PhD from Harvard University. Mari teaches regenerative design and modern homesteading skills, and writes about locally sourced, land-based living at

Co-operate WNC

Regional Mutual Aid for a Regenerative Future

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Co-operate WNC.  Nonprofit est. 2018.