Ken Crouse is a native of Wilkes County, NC where he has lived for most of his life. He grew up working on a farm that raised cattle, tobacco, corn, other grains, and a large vegetable patch. Having always had a love of plants, he went on to study horticulture and mycology and got involved in the nursery and landscaping business. Twenty-seven years ago, Ken and his wife Cindy bought a place in the mountains known as Peaceful Valley. At about this time, Ken was introduced to the concepts of permaculture and decided to adopt these principles whenever possible. Living and working on the land allowed him to bring together his plant knowledge and more than forty years of study devoted to the field of mycology. Peaceful Valley is now a botanical collection, garden, and food forest where he lives with his wife Cindy, two cats, and a small flock of chickens. Ken often teaches classes on mushroom identification and cultivation as well as permaculture topics. His current interests are gardening and producing food using sustainable methods as well as studying plants and mushrooms and their uses as food or medicine.