Meet the Founders of PERMA-EARTH
My name is Mariah Jade Campbell and I am the creator of PERMA∞EARTH LLC Farm and Apothecary. I am a certified Permaculture Landscape Designer and a self-taught herbalist. I originally handcraft and formulate all Perma-Earth products with some help on the side. My husband and I also grow some of the ingredients that we use in Perma-Earth products.
I was born and spent the first part of my childhood where we have settled now in Southeastern Indiana between fields of corn, soybeans, and grazing farm animals. I learned to enjoy the outdoors in all of its seasons from an early age. I fell in love with the four seasons and the magical splendor of a shady forest grove in the middle of summer, or running through a corn-maze and playing in the fallen leaves during autumn. Icy winter turned into glorious spring with a much-needed refreshment of color. “How does all of nature work together to create those lush woods abounding with life?” was a question that never crossed my mind. I was content in taking it all for granted and basking in the miracle of life whenever I could get away from the usual daily routine of school, homework, and television.
Spending the summers with my father on his horse farm in Kentucky gave me a small glimpse into a life of hard-work on a piece of land. I also heard stories from my grandfather of the life he lived on his father’s conventional crop farm in the mid-20th century. It did not sound like a fun time at all. The excessive labor and dangers of physical and chemical exposures were not appealing to me, even if I did get some food out of it. But to them, there was no other alternative in sight; it was the new “tradition”.
When I was 12, my mother and I moved to Florida where I spent the second half of my childhood. I began to appreciate sea life for it’s worth and loved to learn about it. Some of my most memorable times were kayaking through the mangrove forests, Hurricane Wilma, learning about the environment at the local wildlife centers, and participating in Community Theatre programs as another way to give back to the community.
I was of course expected to attend college, so I did for about two and a half years, studying mainly philosophy and psychology, then I decided to leave and explore life a little more to find my true path…
I became more aware of wellness, ethics, and the impacts of my lifestyle on the planet. I learned more about the needs and sensitivities of my body and I decided to start making my own bath and body products in 2011. I even became a vegan for 3 years to show my commitment to “environmentally sustainable” and “ethical” efforts that I was taught by philosophy professors in college, and I also believed it would make me healthier… More about where that ended in a moment.
I became obsessed in making the best life decisions, which was an extreme challenge. I began to learn more about living a healthy life while being kind to the animals and the Earth as I was working in health food stores and a vegan restaurant. I worked hard to learn about nutrition and environmental impact, although mainly from vegan-based sources.
I considered living a simpler life without all of the accelerating modern-day hysteria. This lead me down a long road of research and eventually I came across the term “permaculture” farming, which means “permanent culture.” This is to emphasize our needs as humans for high-quality food, water, air, and overall sustainable ecosystems to thrive in any situation.
I received my Permaculture Design Certificate from Oregon State University’s PACE Program through the Cascadia Permaculture Institute in December of 2014, which taught me how to create and maintain an abundantly self-sustaining ecosystem in all of the different biomes on Earth.
During this time I also started to experience some more serious health issues that I could not quite put my finger on the source of, and my plant-based diet was the last thing on my mind to change. I tried experimenting with raw vegan, cooked vegan, fruitarian, soaking legumes and grains, supplementation, but to no avail. As I started to loose enough weight to put me near the underweight BMI, I began to finally question my vegan diet. With the help and encouragement of my family, whom I had tried to convert to veganism for years, I decided to try eating animal products again for a quick test to appease them and my fears… And then a “dreadful” thing happened: my health problems that had been plaguing me for many months disappeared almost overnight. Instead of being happy for myself, I became distraught in thinking I was hurting the environment and animals with my body’s “special nutritional needs”.
This led me down another rabbit hole in research to look at the other side of nutrition and environmentalism: the ancient hunting and gathering way of living. After a few more years of studying environmentally-sound animal-based agriculture, animal-based nutrition, and learning about hunting and fishing from my husband, it became very clear to me that it is actually more sustainable for the environment to support natural settings where animals and ecosystems can live in harmony and where people can take what they need from these systems in a controlled way to ensure resource replenishment for future generations. This should be obvious as it is very similar to what tribal communities did for many thousands of year prior instead of flattening landscapes, stealing the habitats of native wildlife, and tilling the soil. Plants and animals need each other to be at their optimal peak and we should be encouraging this instead of separating them in our annual-based agricultural society.
The way our modern society consumes and produces as a whole is not sustainable and will become more apparent very quickly. I believe in the value of what our ancestors knew hundreds of years ago about living off of the land, so I learn as much as I can about self-sustainability and teach this to others. I share my knowledge and services in the effort to help create strong, stable, and happy communities.
This is one of the reasons why I created a more animal-based bath and body product line from local and environmentally-conscious farms. I believe in the superior nutrition that animal products can give our body, whether applied interally as food or topically as a product such as a soap and shampoo bar.
Check out our Shop to see our product selections. My husband and I are in the beginning stages of growing and producing foods from our garden and perennial orchards on our young 1.5 acre homestead. To learn more about our farm, please visit Our Farm page.
Using organically and sustainably grown plant and animal products to create natural products is a humble and busy living that I very much enjoy as it helps our local farmers and other striving communities all over the world. It fulfills so much in my heart and soul, if this is something that resonates with you, I highly recommend that you start your own unique little homestead too as I truly believe that local smaller farms and businesses are what will save us in the long-run.
After all, if everyone supported their local businesses, we could go back to being mostly farmers and craftspeople, YAY!
My husband Brandon Campbell is a more traditional nature-lover has been an avid hunter and fisherman since he was a child. He often spent his childhood fishing around Hardy Lake in Deputy, Indiana. He grew up in the same area I did and we even attended the same elementary school, but we never knew each other as children as we were in separate classes. He and his father also started a small beekeeping business when he was 14 years old, which we have now moved to our farm. He often considered becoming a professional fisherman, fishing guide, or a conservation officer before attending school to become a certified Radiology Technician. In many ways he has help kept our business going!
Perma-Earth would not be where it is without him, he is my biggest assistant and often calls me “boss lady”. He contributes so much in every way he can from helping at craft shows and events to everyday shipping, packing, and labeling. Like me, he is also passionate about homesteading, growing plants, and caring for our animals.
My mother and grandmother also come out to help me by watching our baby boy Zander and with the general work of soapy dishes, organizing ingredients, unpacking shipments, cleaning, and the like. I am very grateful since they have decided to come on board so that we can make and bring more products to you!