Olive Watkins is an Analyst at Croatan Institute. She is also the owner and operator of Oliver’s AgroForest, a start-up agroforestry and timber farm, and sits on the board of directors for Soul Fire Farm. Previously, she worked as a farmer at Soul Fire Farm to manage the irrigation systems and help produce vegetables, fruit, and livestock for a community-supported agriculture program with more than 80 members. Olive also consulted with the soil team of Aloha Green Apothecary to develop a locally sourced, organic soil mix.
Additionally, Olive has been involved in grassroots organizing movements through Hawai’i Farmers Union United as a board member, and through Four Women Radicals by creating retreats for black women on O’ahu, Hawaii, to develop a connection to sustainable agriculture and the food system.
Olive earned her bachelor's degree in Environmental Biology from Barnard College, where she studied soil microbiology within tropical agroecological systems. During her senior thesis research, she developed research that examined the effects of different agricultural management practices on soil health and microbial diversity in the Cook Islands. Her fascination with the underground world that facilitates nutrient composition within plants led her to her career in agriculture.
Olive currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her cat, Kauri.