Ver · dant / ˈvərdnt / adjective;

Covered with healthy green plants or grass

The color of green and life

Phoe · nix / ˈfēniks / noun;

A mythical bird rising from the ashes to be born anew

A town in Oregon nestles in the heart of GMO-free Jackson County

About Verdant Phoenix 

Come join us for a hands-on class, interactive workshop, skill share, or community swap. We are nestled on a dreamy little acre just outside of Phoenix, Oregon with a great view of Mt. Ashland and Wagner Butte. Our organically and naturally farmed silty loam soil nurtures teaching gardens featuring a buffet of edible plants, herbal medicines, Northwest native plants, and pollinator gardens.

Inspired by the work of Masanobu Fukuoka, Rowen White, and Elaine Ingham, we have cultivated a naturally farmed food forest specializing in holistic horticultural education, super-select organic plants, and boutique handmade products. Our urban farm hosts a refurbished barn turned school-house and a commercial propagation greenhouse, which serve as a venue for classes, skill sharing, and gatherings of all kinds.

Come experience something new, and walk-away with something you learned to make yourself.

Check out this video of Verdant Phoenix Farm featured by the Jackson County Master Gardener Association!

Rhianna Simes M.S.Ed.



Rhianna was born in Whitefish Montana, just outside Glacier National Park on an 80 acre alfalfa farm and horse ranch. When she was 10 her family moved to Stonewall Texas to be closer to family and to help with the family business. Rhianna grew up on a 100 acre farm in Central Texas which included 500 peach trees, an acre garden,  25 acres of French viniferous grape vines, and a winery. Grape Creek Vineyard has the first underground cellar in Central Texas and was a leader in the Central Texas wine boom. 


Rhianna grew up working on the farm, she had her first landscaping client at 16, and 20+ years later still offers landscaping consultation and design. After completing her Bachelors in communication, humanities and Spanish, Rhianna moved to Oregon for the culture and the climate! Since this move, Rhianna has worked in plant nurseries for 13 years, and is a self-professed plant nerd. Rhianna worked for Oregon State University Extension Service for ten years where she developed 3 programs and coordinated the Master Gardener program. Rhianna went back to school and earned a Master’s of Science in Education and Botany from Southern Oregon University in Ashland. Rhianna has been lucky to learn from influential horticultural thinkers such as John Jeavons, Dr. Elaine Ingam, and Larry Korn.

In her spare time, Rhianna has enjoyed weaving with willow and red twig dogwood for over 20 years and is excited to offer organically grown willow cuttings, hand woven baskets, and rooted willow starts. She also offers gardening consultation, plant identification, plant nursery starts, and “La Tierra Verde” gardening resource guide. 

Rhianna is an excellent teacher, devoted mom, and also co-owns and operates a nonprofit consulting business called Growing Assets for Nonprofit Excellence

Rhianna Simes M.S.Ed. holding a basket in front of a shelf containing numerous seed containers

Kerrick Gooden

Kerrick Gooden was raised in the Hill Country of Austin, Texas where he studied at the University of Texas. After some travel, he moved to the Rogue Valley of Oregon with a vision to farm and support youth. He completed his Bachelor’s of Science in Applied Cultural Anthropology with Honors in 2004 at Southern Oregon University, and devoted over a decade supporting youth and their families navigate  local and state social service programs. During this time, he and Rhianna cultivated a food forest at their home and founded Verdant Phoenix as an educational mini-farm in 2016.

Verdant Phoenix Farm became an expression of a way of life  Kerrick and Rhianna continue to discover in the wake of the inspirational work of Masanobu Fukuoka, Ruth Stout, Elaine Ingham, Rowen White, John Kempf, and the so many other contributors to regenerative farming and horticulture.  Kerrick is interested in the relationships between humans, soil, microbes, plants/trees/shrubs, food, culture, time, and the web of life. As these elements inform his horticultural practice, Kerrick enjoys supporting landscapes, gardens, farms, and their people who are interested in belonging to the land.