Participant Forum: Permaculture?

Week 1 Forum

Picture of Pamela Sonn
Week 1 Forum
by Pamela Sonn - Wednesday, October 28, 2020, 9:34 PM

One reaction I have to the articles, videos, and other materials is: where are women?  One woman's name was on an article, most of the videos I found had all or mostly men.  What does this mean about Permaculture?  Something?  Nothing?


At this point, a defining characteristic of Permaculture seems to be design - this infuses the various rubrics and areas of intentionality, planning, hope, experimentation, ethics, observation, etc.  I appreciate the triumvirate of earth care, people care, fair share.  A few months ago I watched - started watching but had to stop - a video by a 'successful' green farmer and he started it off with a bit on how he couldn't care less about polar bears; he was all about human success... and I was struck by how he was missing the big picture of what was, essentially, care and share!        


Other philosopihies or approaches that Permaculture seems similar to: biodynamics and the Natural Farming work of Masanobu Fukuoka (One Straw Revolution and Sowing Seeds in the Desert).

Picture of Debbie Sexsmith
Re: Week 1 Forum
by Debbie Sexsmith - Thursday, October 29, 2020, 7:43 PM

Hi Pamela

I would love to see more dialogue on women and permaculture design.  I firmly believe the women are definitely there :)


Picture of Kathy Partridge
Re: Week 1 Forum
by Kathy Partridge - Thursday, October 29, 2020, 9:17 PM

Good question.

I think there are a lot of women in permaculture, doing it on their own or with their families. For example, in this course, 3/4 of those enrolled are women. But the list of "celebrity" permaculturists does seem to be mostly men. Men appear to write nearly all the books, make the videos, do the podcasts.

Just off the top of my head, the exceptions would be Penny Livingston, Morag Gamble, and Rosemary Morrow. Of these, Morag Gamble seems to be the most visible, with a very robust YouTube channel called Our Permaculture Life. Not sure if she's written any books. Rosemary Morrow has written at least one, The Earth User's Guide to Permaculture. Penny Livingston founded the Regenerative Design Institute in California.

Picture of Lyssa Black
Re: Week 1 Forum
by Lyssa Black - Thursday, October 29, 2020, 11:02 PM

I highly recommend checking out Heather Jo Flores at I think she will be (or is) a driving force in permaculture. Besides a weekly course, she also has "Permaculture Women Writing Challenge." The site is informative, colorful, and inspiring!

Picture of Christopher Schmitt
Re: Week 1 Forum
by Christopher Schmitt - Friday, October 30, 2020, 1:21 PM

Hi Pamela,

My family was wondering the same thing as you: where are the women's voices in permaculture? We read people's responses to your post, and we cannot wait to look up the various women in permaculture who were mentioned. For us and our farm, our goal is to focus on creating a matrilineal succession of leadership and care, starting with my wife and my daughter being the "keepers of the land", and my son and me using our own skills to implement the designs, ideas, and creativity originated by the women of our family. We see this as being a part of a natural system that we hope to align ourselves with!