Amanda Jo(AJ) Boener
AJ grew up with memories of ice fishing with Dad on Lake Latonka & bright, adventurous Summer days at Grandma & Grandpa’s, with plenty of trails to explore & trees to climb. Memories spent in nature as a child are her fondest!
She went off to college first at Heron School of Art in Indy, but then switched to complete her college education at Harrington College of Design in Chicago, earning an Associates Degree in Digital Photography. Upon completing college, she moved back Plymouth to be with family & get back to the lakes & green spaces she missed so much, but never expected to stay in Plymouth for long. Life had other plans for her when she met her husband, John, & they pretty much instantly fell in love, decided to start a family right away, & she found great purpose in life when she began working with her own children.
In 2015, she started running nature-based programs at their farm that involved other parents, but through the process she yearned for more & realized she was well suited to be a teacher. After deciding to stay in Plymouth, she was very frustrated & dissapointed in the lacking of diverse opportunities for her children & others in the community. So she decided to be the change you want to see in the world and began to cultivate, in a much more focused & serious way, unfound & much needed learning spaces for kids when her & John opened the Luna Hill Wild School in 2019. They taught everything from Nature Journaling, to making medicine, to how to identify Wild Edibles & provided so many unique opportunities for families from all walks of life, from a wide ranging area throughout Northern Indiana & even into Illinois! Their Wild School, other farm events, & gatherings were met with such excitement and gratitude that she began to feel a call to develope the school further & expand. After furthering her Naturalists skills by taking & achieving the Purdue Master Gardeners course & furthering her natural ability to connect with & teach children by obtaining her National Geographic Certified Educator status, she had established through experience, certification, & knowledge that she was ready, oh-so-willing, and quite able to lead her community into new opportunities-filled with chances for community members to connect, where curiosity could be celebrated, & where folks could begin to ‘Nurture Wonder, with Nature!’
AJ also writes-you may have seen her article in Rosemary Magazine’s Winter 2020 edition, her articles in the local Pilot Newspaper, or read her family’s stories shared on her blog or the Farm’s Facebook page. And with a background in design, creating promotional pieces for other artists over the years, she also does all of the promotional work for the farm herself, including the website & any print work you have seen in the past.
John was born and raised in Plymouth, Indiana. After graduating High School, he chose to follow in his father footsteps and pursued carpentry work, eventually ending up at Boener’s Countertop Shoppe, a family run business owned by his Uncle. Fifteen years and four children later, John is now using many of his accumulated skills & knowledge to help teach here at the Wild School.
John utilizes his many specialists skills around the farm & home, building things from cubby holes for the school, wooden toys for his children, fencing, to whatever project Amanda can dream up! He’s great at making the dreams on paper, come to life around here. And it would be wrong to leave out the special temperament & skill set John has when working with children. He is a true asset in many ways around here, but his ability to connect with children on their level, the patience he demonstrates, the respect he gives, & fun he has with the kiddos is invaluable. Parents that observe John with children always walk away with a great amount of respect & appreciation that their kiddos get to have such a positive male role-model in their lives!
John is also trained & certified by the American Red Cross for CPR.
Love what we’re doing & want to get involved?
We love supporting other community members who share core values & have knowledge and skills to pass on to others. So, if you’d like to get involved, see if you fit the description & reach us at AJBoener@gmail.com
Place presence, over praise when working with children.
Encourage & support curiosity.
Treat children with respect.