Penny Livingston Stark devotes herself to sustainable land use principles based on observing and learning from the efficiency and balance inherent in natural systems. The results are increased food production, the conservation of resources, and the re-integration of built environments (farms, homes, even towns) into their natural environment.
13 September 2009
Regenerative Design Institute
permanent – “nent” + culture (as in cultivate) = permaculture
I asked Penny for a “pithy” definition for Permaculture and she said it’s…a “whole systems” approach to the design of human settlements that integrates landscape, water, plants, animals, built structures, agriculture, ecology, energy, economy and social justice into a framework that provides opportunities for humans to become a benefit to the planet and all creation while supplying resources for an abundant existence.
Penny Livingston-Stark is internationally recognized as a prominent permaculture teacher, designer and speaker. She has been teaching internationally and working professionally in the land management, regenerative design and permaculture development field for 25 years and has extensive experience in all phases of ecologically sound design and construction as well as the use of natural non-toxic building materials. She specializes in site planning and the design of resource-rich landscapes integrating, rainwater collection, edible and medicinal planting, spring development, pond and water systems, habitat development and watershed restoration for homes, co-housing communities, businesses and diverse yield perennial farms.
With her husband James Stark, and in collaboration with Commonweal – a cancer health research and retreat center – Penny co-manages a 17-acre organic and certified salmon-safe farm in Bolinas, California, called the Commonweal Garden. In addition, Penny and James are stewarding and working to restore 200 acres of land in Trinity County, California. She co-created the Ecological Design Program and its curriculum at the San Francisco Institute of Architecture, and she co-founded the West Marin Grower’s Group, the West Marin Farmer’s Market and the Community Land Trust Association of Marin. Penny has also worked with the Marin County Community Development Agency and Planning Department to develop recommendations on sustainability for updating the Community Plan.
Penny is a founding member of the Natural Building Colloquium, a national consortium of professional natural builders, creating innovations in straw bale, cob, timberframe, light clay, natural non-toxic interior finishes and other methods using natural and bio-regionally appropriate materials for construction.