Toby Hemenway

Toby Hemenway — Home-scale Permaculture 

Keynote speaker, DCCCD Sustainability Summit

April 16, 9 a.m.; free; register online.
North Lake College, 5001 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving

Urban Permaculture: Growing Food, Healthy People and a Just Society in Cities, Towns and Suburbs

Workshop, April 17, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.; $99

North Lake College, 5001 N. MacArthur Blvd., Irving   

Permaculture was originally envisioned for farms and rural properties, but it works as well in cities and town. Urban permaculture designers are finding novel, productive ways to grow food on city lots, but just as important, they are reforming food policy in cities, developing garden-based comprehensive school curricula, reducing energy and water use, legalizing graywater, providing disaster relief and leading the food justice movement. Permaculturists are changing antiquated anti-farming laws in cities, bringing healthy food to upscale restaurants as well as the urban poor, raising the grades of schoolchildren through whole-systems curricula, providing the basis for the transition movement, and helping to convert sterile parks and office grounds into vibrant, food- and habitat-producing oases.

The workshop April 17 will show you how to find, harvest and integrate the many resources in our cities in sustainable ways, including high-yield, small space gardening methods, getting access to land for gardening, creating business guilds and networks, working with local government and policy makers, learning the pattern language of the city, creating public space in neighborhoods and building urban ecovillages. This workshop will offer specific techniques and strategies for food production, energy security and community resilience in metropolitan areas. You'll learn how permaculture's principles and design methods apply to the challenging yet rich environments of our cities as well as the sprawling, car-requiring spaces in suburbia, and will provide ways to leverage the special opportunities that cities and suburbs provide.

About Toby Hemenway 

Toby Hemenway is the author of Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture, which was named by the Washington Post as one of the 10 best gardening books of 2010. Hemenway has taught more than sixty 72-hour permaculture design courses. He has presented lectures and workshops at major sustainability conferences such as Bioneers, SolFest, and EcoFarm, and at Duke University, Tufts University, University of Minnesota, University of Delaware and many others. His writing has appeared in magazines such as Natural Home, Whole Earth Review and American Gardener.

After obtaining a degree in biology from Tufts University, Toby worked for many years as a researcher in genetics and immunology. At about the time he was growing dissatisfied with the direction biotechnology was taking, he discovered permaculture, a design approach based on ecological principles that creates sustainable landscapes, homes and workplaces. A career change followed, and Toby and his wife, Kiel, spent 10 years creating a rural permaculture site in southern Oregon. He moved to Portland, Ore., in 2004 and spent six years developing urban sustainability resources there. Toby and his wife now live in Sebastopol, California. 

Thanks to our sponsors.