Braden Trauth, A native Cincinnatian with roots in the city going back 150 years, grew up on the east side of Cincinnati. He initially went to school for Automobile Design, however after waking up to the ecological problems the planet faces today he shifted his focus to Sustainable Design.
During his years at University of Cincinnati he had the opportunity to to pursue several Sustainable Design internships including a summer of designing exhibits on sustainability for the New England Aquarium in Boston, building fully sustainable homes known as Earthships (Earthship.com) in Taos, NM, and traveling Europe studying Sustainability for several months. He graduated in 2004, with a BS in Industrial Design (AKA Creative Problem Solving)from the College of DAAP at University of Cincinnati.
After Graduation he purchased an Earthship (completely off grid sustainable housing made of recycled materials Earthship.com) in the Greater World Earthship Community in Taos, NM to find out how comfortable off grid living could be. Over the next several years he learned just how wonderful that could be, learning to slow down and live with the cycles of the year again. During this time he rehabbed his Earthship and worked at Plenish Skincare, the nations 2nd largest Organic Lip Balm Manufacturer. Here he got to practice his creative problem solving & systems thinking skills by researching, designing and implementing an FDA compliance program for this million dollar company. After completing this task he felt the calling to bring sustainable living back home.
Fortunately before his return he pursued a year long detour of studying Permaculture around the Globe. After dabbling in Permaculture for 5 years he finally pursued a full Permaculture Design Certification at the Ecoversity in Santa Fe with Scott Pittman. This course changed the path of his life from focusing on Sustainable housing, appropriate technology & Organic Agriculture to focusing purely on Permaculture, which included those subjects but brought a holistic approach to truly eco-logical living.
Braden went on to study with the leading names in Permaculture over the next year. First, he did a teacher training course with Peter Bane (Permaculture Activist Magazine Publisher, PermacultureActivist.net) & Andrew Goodheart Brown at Jerome Osentowski’s Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute in Basalt CO (CRMPI.org). After this He went on to receive his 2nd Permaculture Design Certificate with Bill Mollison (Permaculture Co-Originator & Author) & Geoff Lawton (Head of the Permaculture Research Institute & UN Consultant) in Melbourne, Australia 2007 (permaculture.org.au). Immediately prior to this 2 week course, Braden spent 10 days working at David Holmgren’s farm, Melliodora in Hepburn Springs, Australia; the other Permaculture Co-Originator & Author (Holmgren.com.au). Over these 10 days Braden had the great fortune to work & live David & his wife Su Dennet, picking David’s brain, one on one, while working in the fields or eating meals with them. It was these experiences in Australia that convinced Braden on the idea that humanity, if it is to maintain its level of comfort and progress, will by no choice be living in a permaculturalized world in 500 years for certain if not in the next 20 years. Since then Braden has had the opportunity to study with other Permaculturalists like Dave Jacke (co-Author of Edible Forest Gardens) & Mark Shephard (MidwestPermaculture.com) and connect with many others including Sam & Doug Bullock, Patricia Allison, Chuck Marsh just to name a few.
Braden has also visited many Permaculture & “Green” sites around the Globe including some of the most well known Ecovillages like Findhorn in Scotland, Christiania in Copenhagen Denmark, & Earthaven Ecovillage in North Carolina just to name a few. He has also visited some of the most mature temperate food forests in the country including Jerome Osentowski’s 20 year old 1 acre food forest in the mountains of Colorado & the Bullock Brothers Permaculture farm (some of the first people to bring Permaculture to these shores) on Orcas Island, a site Braden often describes as Willy Wonka’s Garden of Eden due to its diversity of edible delights! He has also visited some of the top LEED sites in the country, including the Lewis Center at Oberlin College.
Since His return to his hometown Braden has focused on living and sharing this knowledge. He has organized and/or taught 7 72 hour permaculture certification classes along with over a dozen other guest teachers including Peter Bane. These five courses have created 76 certified permaculturalists here in Cincinnati. He has also taught at Cincinnati State Community College and given numerous Permaculture introductions around Cincinnati. He also created the Cincinnati Permaculture Guild, installed a food forest garden at an inner city property he owns and is currently creating a full Permaculture demonstration paradise in the heart of Cincinnati in Northside.
OM Valley Permaculture is his latest endeavor to bring Permaculture to Cincinnati, to Ohio, the Nation and the Globe on all fronts possible. He looks forward to working with all people motivated to become more green, ecologically aware and economically sensible!