Francis is presently a professor and master gardener, growing gardens in the Pacific Northwest for 50 years. He came from farm and forest country in Montana and Idaho, to Mt. Shasta in 1981. With BS cum laude in Forestry 1970 and MS in Zoology 1976, Francis also has “minors” in many conservation and natural resource subjects: soils, geology, botany, bugs, fish, agriculture, range, wildlife, and conservation management.
Francis retired from district biologist for Mt. Shasta-McCloud USFS in 2008, where he did range, wildlife, botany, mushrooms, fisheries, and other input to timber sales and other natural resource projects for 35 years. He also was a USDA Soil Conservationist for the Soil Conservation Service and served farms, ranches, orchards, and gardens.
Francis maintains membership in over 30 conservation, arts, religious, community action, and educational groups. He plays over 50 musical instruments with a variety of other interests and pastimes, such as ancient history, ancient music, luthier, bluegrass, military history, literature, religions, astronomy, philosophy, corporate propaganda, poetry, farm engineering, practical handyman, and community sustainability. He also writes medieval romances, technical papers, and contributions to various newspaper columns.
Francis provides free services to gardens, orchards, and vineyards by his belief that local communities should become self-sustaining as soon as possible. He also believes in thrifty living and cooperative effort among townsfolk and businesses. “Everyone has something to offer; hopefully something as practical as possible.