Permaculture: Design for Permanence

Imagine your front lawn or backyard transformed into an edible home garden, a lush food forest, or a refuge for butterflies. Picture that abandoned public space up the road repurposed into a beautiful pocket park, with a diverse community of flora, fauna, and neighbors. What if your fruit orchard were interplanted with bright native flowers, medicinal herbs, and your favorite vegetables?
All of this and more is possible with permaculture.
ForestRDesigns is the permaculture design program of, a San Francisco East Bay nonprofit with a mission to clean, green, and feed local communities. Permaculture design is key to our greening strategy, along with wildfire and climate change mitigation, and environmental education.
What is Permaculture Design?
Permaculture is a lifestyle and practice of stewarding our human communities and natural ecosystems in a way that meets everyone’s needs today and leaves behind an abundant world for future generations. Compared to a ‘sustainability mindset’ where the goal is ‘to do no harm’, Permaculture takes a regenerative approach to rehabilitate the ecological health of a place and all the trees, plants, animals, bugs, and humans sharing the land. If we took care of Earth in a way that could continue forever, we could call it a PERMAnent CULTURE aka Permaculture.
The term “Permaculture” was coined by Australians Bill Mollison & David Holmgren in 1978 with a key emphasis on a whole systems thinking approach to designing agricultural systems (including our own small gardens) based on patterns in nature. An integral foundation of Permaculture is the bio-regionally specific input of traditional ecological knowledge by indigenous land-based communities across the world today. While techniques of Permaculture change from place to place, the ethics of designing abundant systems that are resilient, abundant, self-maintaining, and lovable align us all. To understand better why Permaculture is important to the East Bay and beyond, check out this short 5-minute video in which Bill Mollison and David Holmgren explain the concept:
Permaculture is inherent to ForestR's vision as an organization and the activities we do, from educational workshops, to land regeneration, to seed and harvest exchanges, and to gleaning produce for East Bay food banks. Permaculture also comes to life through our organizational practices of paying volunteers for the time they invest into Forestr, so that volunteering and working with us is accessible for everyone, not just those who can afford to donate time for free.
The ForestRDesigns program is led by Permaculture Designer Kavi Reddy, who is pursuing a Masters of Development Engineering from UC Berkeley and a Diploma in Permaculture Community Development from the Permaculture Institute of North America.
Current Projects
Current ForestRDesigns projects include working on CalTrans land to mitigate rainwater runoff, prevent the spread of fire, and create community spaces for local neighbors to enjoy. We also do Permaculture landscape design projects for homeowners, including mapping, soil analysis, rainwater harvesting or greywater designs, and planting plans.
Get Your Own Permaculture Analysis, Design, and Report
Anyone who donates $250 to ForestR is offered a free design consultation for your home, a friend's space, a school, or another site. The free consultation includes a 1-hour site visit from our permaculture expert, as well as an initial design report with key information such as climate data, your growing zone, suitable species lists, and recommendations on how to move forward to achieve your goals for the site. Your donation is tax deductible.
Donate and Share
This #GivingTuesday and over the Holidays, please donate to help promote and strengthen permaculture in the San Francisco East Bay. Don't forget to check whether your employer will match your donation (many will double, triple, or even quadruple it, especially during #GivingTuesday and the Holidays).
Donations of any amount will help us grow our ForestRDesigns permaculture education programs.
$25 provides a scholarship for a low-income neighbor to one of our online or in person permaculture workshops.
$50 supports the development of a new topical permaculture factsheet or how-to guide.
$100 supports the development of a new online permaculture workshop.
$250 covers the cost of a one hour permaculture site analysis and report.
$500 allows us to create, supply, host, and record a local, hands-on permaculture workshop and demo.
$1,000 provides a scholarship for a young person's registration fees for a permaculture design certification program
$2,500 allows us to develop a permaculture education and demo site, with demo spaces and hands-on trainings in a range of practical and accessible permaculture practices, such as biochar, vermiculture, Hugelkultur, and swales.
Thank You!
Donations made to this GoFundMe are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law and are processed in U.S. dollars. ForestR is a U.S. nonprofit, tax-exempt, charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code. EIN: 84-3405350. ForestR has the Guidestar bronze seal of transparency. 


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