Biography: Alane O’Rielly Weber

Alane Weber’s devotion to nature and dedication to the sustainable care of gardens is evidenced by her 50 years of study, work and volunteer service in the field of horticulture. Her passion has led her to write and lecture extensively, and she has been a guest on radio and local television. In 2009, Ms. Weber was the creator of a 4X award-winning display, showcasing Permaculture principles in a sustainable home garden setting, at the renowned San Francisco Flower and Garden Show.

Botanical Arts, Alane’s multi-faceted consulting business, focuses on sustainable landscape management and soil fertility. She is a national certified advisor for Dr. Elaine Ingham’s Soil Foodweb, Inc., lecturing, producing and advising on the use of professional grade compost, compost tea, and organic amendments.

Alane began her lecture career with Sustainable San Mateo County, then working for 10 years as lead teacher/trainer for the county’s Master Composter Program. Alane now lectures nationally and throughout California and the Bay Area, representing various agencies and organizations such as Alameda County’s Bay Friendly Landscape Coalition (now ReScape California), Bay Area Water Supply and Conservation Agency (BAWSCA), UC Master Gardeners, and Soil Foodweb, Inc.

Previously, Alane worked as a groundskeeper and farm/garden manager for George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch, where she studied with leaders in the field of organic farming, to design and install a 2-acre vegetable garden. She spent the previous 12 years gardening and working at retail nurseries, earning her Master Nurseryman’s Certificate in 1974. Her earliest academic focus centered on Botany, Biology and Horticulture at both Humboldt and Sonoma State Universities, and locally at the College of San Mateo. However, it was while studying Permaculture design and the soil foodweb principles simultaneously, that the concepts of cooperation with Nature and the synergistic use of biological tools became the focus of her maintenance and consulting business.

Alane has been an active volunteer over the years contributing to a number of organizations, including the Bioneers, Ecological Farming Association, San Mateo Arboretum Society, Sustainable San Mateo County and the National Tropical Botanical Gardens of Lawai, HI. She spent seven years volunteering her services designing, fundraising and managing a production vegetable garden for Samaritan House, for the benefit of the homeless and needy of San Mateo Co.

2016 opened a new chapter in Alane’s horticultural endeavors, due to medical issues that caused her to retire the landscape portion of her business. Her subsequent relocation to Nevada County, California, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada, has provided time for an intensified period of research on composting. Alane’s inspiration is the work of Dr. Elaine Ingham, through www.soilfoodweb.com, an internationally-respected soil microbiologist, working and lecturing in agriculture, horticulture, and related fields.

Alane’s first focus will be to rescript the details of compost production discovered over 20 years in the San Francisco Bay Area, to suit the very different environmental influences of her new home in the foothills. Soil microbe populations and healthy diversity respond exponentially to the subtle influences of the compost producer. Imagination, data collection and copious testing reveal which details work best to produce to most beneficially alive and active compost.

Alane hopes to develop a program on her land to teach proper aerobic composting using all the hands-on methods she has developed over the years and to make available for sale the high quality compost she produces there.

Stay tuned for further developments.