My name is Markael Luterra (I go by Mark), and Luterra Enterprises is a portfolio of my designs, ideas, and knowledge that I feel sufficiently confident in to offer to others. I don’t wish to convince you to buy anything you don’t need. Rather, I wish to offer solutions that have worked for employers, clients, and my own endeavors. Suggested improvements are welcome.
I have never managed to fit conveniently into a category. As a child in rural southwest Minnesota, my passions cycled between gardening, biology, botany, astronomy, weather, natural history, music, conservation, engineering, and alternative energy.
I pursued conservation biology through a BA at Carleton College (2007). As education transitioned to career, I began to feel that I could not value the warblers, the prairie flowers, the seasonal cycles as I wished when assessing them as data points, and the engineering side of me wished to solve problems rather than simply understand them.
Following an idea for bio-solar hydrogen production, I completed a Ph.D. in Biological and Ecological Engineering at Oregon State University in 2014. Though my work redesigning the metabolic pathways of cyanobacteria to convert sunlight to hydrogen energy was largely a success from an academic perspective, I began to question the cultural mythology that new technology will bring a shiny future of space travel and unlimited energy. I wasn’t sure that I wished to inhabit that future, even if it were possible. Caught in an artificial world of pipettes, sterile hoods, and centrifuges, growing re-engineered cells under fluorescent lights, I wished to return to working alongside the myriad creations of three billion years of evolution.
Since 2014 I have worked for Wild Garden Seed, an organic vegetable and flower seed company driven by the passion and plant-breeding creativity of owners Frank and Karen Morton. Many of the designs offered here were created to solve problems and increase efficiency in the Wild Garden operation.
My goal in offering these designs and services is to help build and inhabit sustainable, soul-nourishing communities – communities where seeds, produce, equipment, and the “stuff” of life are supplied not by multinational corporations via big box stores but rather by friends, neighbors, family businesses, and cooperatives. I welcome opportunities to collaborate with others who share this vision.