When I first travelled to Cortes Island, off the coast of British Columbia, in 2012, Oliver Kellhammer was one of the first people I met. Kellhammer is a landscape artist and permaculture instructor. He splits his time between New York City, where he teaches at the New School, and working in his garden on this small island in the fjords between Vancouver Island and mainland B.C.
Kellhammer has described Cortes as a "mostly overlooked, densely forested blob of rock," so idyllic and seemingly far from the real world that it can feel like inhabiting "the label of a Celestial Seasonings tea box." The small island is also a living laboratory of innovative forestry projects.