Michael Presley - Curator of Gardens
Michael is Curator of Gardens at Round Pond Estate. He oversees the organic practices that maintain the health of the orchards, olive groves and gardens behind the production of Round Pond Estate’s specialty gourmet red wine vinegars, citrus syrups, and olive oils.
Born and raised in Los Altos, California on a century old apricot farm, Michael studied atmospheric sciences, soils, botany and indigenous cultures at UCLA. Michael has been working in gardens, farms, restaurants and schools for thirty years.
Beginning in 1982 at the Farallones Institute in Occidental, he created an heirloom seed bank and specialty crops market and educational garden. Moving west of Occidental, Michael co-created the Oceansong Farm and Wilderness Center, with 5 acres of production gardens offering the first CSA in Sonoma county in 1988, as well as managing 200 acres of wilderness trails and animal husbandry. The call of the wild brought Michael to Taylormaid farms for 12 years developing an organic herbal tea line, aromatic distilled hydrosols, woodfired bakery and pizzeria and mountain goat raw aged cheeses on a 100 acre mountaintop to compliment the presentation of Taylormaid Organic Coffee Roastary. Further endeavors include a Biodynamic medicinal herb farm and design and consultation for numerous Winery gardens in the Russian River Valley.
Currently Michael is teaching weather, climate, polycultures and artisan food to college students, permaculture trainings, and Waldorf schools. Combining his love of nature, food, aromatics and beauty, Michael brings a dynamic sense of tradition, art and evolution to his projects and celebrations! Michael joined the Round Pond team as the Curator of Gardens in early 2013.