photo: Daniel Dent

The Founders

NV-chaparral.jpg

Noël Vietor

Noël has been in an ongoing apprenticeship with sacred gardens and wilds of California. Her work and interests are dedicated to helping people relate more meaningfully with the land, themselves and each other. Noël served as the Program Coordinator for the Esalen Institute Farm & Garden in Big Sur from 2010-2015 – organizing its land-based educational programs and practice of Relational Agriculture, rooted in Esalen’s Gestalt lineage. Noël found a deep sense of belonging in the Big Sur wild while hiking the steep trails, learning the history and stories of the place, and experimenting with wild-crafting and homestead arts. Noël is certified with NOLS Wilderness First Aid.

 photo by Colin McCarthy

photo by Colin McCarthy

Fletcher Tucker

Fletcher is a California Central Coast native, and a former inhabitant of Big Sur. An experienced teacher of adults and children, Fletcher ran Big Sur's elementary school garden program from 2011-2016, and also worked for the Esalen Institute's Farm & Garden and its Gazebo Park Pre-School. Fletcher is an ancestral skills practitioner, Deep Ecology disciple, lifelong student of California natural history, and a dedicated student of Gestalt practice in the lineage of Esalen Institute co-founder Dick Price. Having hiked and backpacked throughout the American West, Europe and Japan, Fletcher has become a devotee of trail-craft and minimalist backpacking. Fletcher has also studied and participated ceremonially with teachers within indigenous North and South American spiritual traditions, which have deeply informed his spiritual relationship to nature. Fletcher is a NOLS certified Wilderness First Responder.

Also a professional musician, Fletcher is the founder of the nature-mysticism oriented independent record label Gnome Life Records


Herbal Program Director

kelsey-barrett-wildtender.jpg

Kelsey Barrett

Kelsey is a western clinical herbalist, organic gardener, and traditional food enthusiast. She believes that embracing plants as part of our larger community creates a greater opportunity to reconnect with our health in meaningful ways. 

Kelsey initiated her herbal studies on a pilgrimage to France, gathering wisdom from traditional European medicine masters. She expanded her engagement with the plant world through an apprenticeship in organic farming at the Esalen Institute in Big Sur, followed by three years of study in Western Herbalism at the Ohlone Herbal Center in Berkeley. She sharpened her herbal application skills in a three-year mentorship with Dr. William Morris in Ding lineage pulse diagnosis as presented by Dr. John H. F. Shen. Kelsey served as a Director at Ohlone for three years, and on the core faculty team teaching European and clinical herbalism, and pulse and tongue diagnosis. She continues clinical work as the creator and lead coordinator of the Wellness Den herbal first aid clinic at Spirit Weavers Gathering. Kelsey's herbal and environmental insights have been published in Vogue, Edible East Bay and GOOD Magazine.  She is now based in San Diego and has a private practice across California, counseling students and clients on creating life-changing strategies for wellness. 


Co-teachers & Guides

charles-sq.jpg

DOROTHY CHARLES

Dorothy has been a Gestalt practitioner since 1985. She began her work at Esalen Institute in Big Sur, California where she was inspired by the wildness of the land and experienced the way that time spent in nature enhances wellbeing. Dorothy now practices in Santa Cruz, California, and is the co-founder of Tribal Ground Circle, an educational community studying and practicing Gestalt Awareness Practice, Relational Gestalt Practice, and other work evolving from the lineage of Richard Price, gestalt teacher and co-founder of Esalen Institute. Dorothy received her training at Esalen with Richard and Christine Price, and at the Pacific Gestalt Institute in Los Angeles, California, with Lynne Jacobs and Gary Yontef.