Sparkroot Folk


ALISA esposito

Alisa is the Director of Sparkroot Farm. She creates beautiful, intimate events for the surrounding community. She lives at the 115-year-old renovated Sparkroot Farmhouse with her children, their homeschool community and a few wwoofers. She grew up in Chicagoland consumer culture, and then lived “on the edge of nowhere” in a distant swamp, supporting her late husband's work in endangered Red Wolf recovery. Her husband, Chris Lucash, co-founder of Sparkroot, died of the industrial disease ALS in 2016.

Alisa enjoys working on creative, collaborative, restorative projects. Oil painting, wildlife conservation, endangered species restoration, permaculture, falconry and a couple of years in a Park Service Ranger uniform form some of her work history. Alisa founded a migratory bird protection non-profit and has won conservation awards for this work. A Death Doula, soapmaker, and dedicated scholar of Stephen Jenkinson's Orphan Wisdom School, she is a student of culture, decolonization, mythic imagination and folklore. She paints mythic portraiture which can be viewed at Sparkroot’s instagram site.


whitney dane

Whitney Dane is a dreamer, visionary and culinary alchemist. She's a chef and medicinal herbalist, mother to Jack and twin toddler boys, Hugh and Cosmo with partner Ben Schikowitz. She sometimes cooks for our visiting teachers and events.

Arlo Estill

Arlo Estill is the co-founder of Hempsmith, a pioneer of an ancient fiber. Arlo is a musician and songwriter studying studying sustainable textiles at NCSU. He’s taking a portion of the permaculture farm to phase two, with perennials, berry bushes and fruit trees.



Njathi Wa Kabui

Kabui is an organic chef, farmer and food activist, and he brings a deep knowledge of history, culture and village-making experience to the table.

Understanding food and politics came naturally to Kabui; he was born in central Kenya to a coffee farmer mother and restaurant owner father.  Kabui received a dual Masters in Medical and Urban Anthropology from the University of Memphis and is a proponent of decolonization of minds and lands. 

He is committed to changing the lives of local peoples through food sovereignty. Chef Kabui provides eclectic dinners in various settings. Check him out here.


Tami Schwerin

Tami and Lyle bought most of the land adjacent to Sparkroot over 20 years ago. She's now Executive Director of the community resilience non-profit Abundance NC, an Eco-Industrial Park developer and a partner in Fair Game Beverage Company distillery.

Tami likes to take on new challenges especially if it effects change and especially if people say you can’t do it.  Working on a healthier community through local food, renewable energy and local economy are a thrill.  A native of Raleigh, North Carolina, she's a true southern girl.

Tami likes to socialize, and fund raise and make things fun.



Cathy "Brooksie" edwards

Cathy Brooksie Edwards is a licensed therapeutic counselorbodywork therapistartist and singer, and the adoptive mother of two daughters from East Asia with her husband.

Brooksie has developed an integrated personal change model embodying talk therapies, body therapies, creativity and spiritual practices. She applies it in individual and group therapy, and workshops.

Brooksie is a sound healing practitioner and hands on healer, Death Doula and help manage the Green Burial Ground Sanctuary. 



Luke Mcmullen

Luke is a permaculture designer who offers home systems installations and maintenance through Branches Ecological Landscapes; he offers consultation, design, installation and coaching. 

His business ethic is bound to health and education for family, community, and planet.  BEC strives to follow an ethic of thoughtfulness and compassion from designing and building gardens to raising children.




Janice and Joe Kenlan live and work just through the woods. Janice is an incredible tile and mosaic artist. You can find much of her work in the dwellings nearby. A self-taught artist, she's creative in fiber, wood, stained glass, metal and cement sculpture, hand made paper, beads and mosaic. She’s is a landscape designer and gardener, her home is surrounded by floral beauty and the necessities of her art.

Janice is a contributor to the work at Sparkroot, where she delves in to story, myth and poetry. 


Ben schikowitz

Ben is kick ass massage therapist, visionary artist, drummer and father. He lives in the nearby funky town of Goldston with his wife Whitney and three sons.

He worked and lived at the Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, NY for 10 years where he completed a 4 year apprenticeship in Bodytuning with master bodyworker and yoga teacher, Glenn Black.

Ben studied art with various visionary artists while at Omega, including Alex Grey and Robert Venosa. His other interests include playing the drumset and the vibraphone, gardening, and capoeira. 



You can find much of Joe's incredible stonemasonry at the dwellings and gates here. He's the stonemason's Stonemason, a skilled master craftsman. 



Eden River Lucash is a permaculture princess who love her dogs, her community, going to summer camps, singing, making gorgeous art and playing ukulele.



Noah Lucash enjoys roaming the woods and lanes with his friends, building forts, going to summer camps, sculpting with clay, drawing and playing with his dogs.  

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Amie Lucash likes to draw, play ukulele and guitar. She's homeschooling and enjoys summer camps and spending time with her friends. 

Not yet featured: Sarah Perry, Derek Stevens, Pam Fleishauer, Aaron Fleishhauer, Sara Brinson and others.