Erik Peterson


Resilient Communities Program Director


Erik Peterson fell in love with Southeast Ohio as a student at Ohio University. After graduation, Erik found work locally at Community Food Initiatives, a non-profit focusing on regional food security through community and school gardens, and farmers’ market programs. In the spring of 2014, Erik attended the Permaculture Design Course at Solid Ground Farm in Athens, later completing a Permaculture Teacher Training, and working closely with Midwest Permaculture, co-teaching 16 Permaculture courses across the US and Canada at various farms, colleges, and other venues.

In 2015, Erik and his wife Olivia launched Fern Hollow Farm in Perry County, with the intention of creating an education and demonstration site for regenerative agriculture practices, and a community learning and engagement hub. The business wing of the farm was launched in 2016, focusing on Permaculture and native plant design, consultation, and installation for private and commercial properties, masonry, and other niche work such as natural playgrounds, and natural building. After 7 years of entrepreneurship and hundreds of installations, most involving travel, Erik was feeling called to make more of an impact locally.

In October of 2023, Erik was hired on as the Resilient Communities Program Director, where he builds on the mission of Rural Action through collaborative work with local watershed restoration, community workforce development, and building local food economy and resiliency. Erik is excited to implement these big picture Permaculture ideas in Perry County, where he and his family call home.