Heather Jo Flores
Director of Permaculture Women's Guild, author/founder of Food Not Lawns, interdisciplinary artist & ecofeminist writer.
In 1999, I founded the original chapter of Food Not Lawns, a community of avant-gardeners dedicated to sharing surplus food, seeds and resources towards a more sustainable future, and did my PDC in 2001, when I organized and attended a city-funded permaculture design course for twenty neighbors in Eugene, Oregon, taught by Toby Hemenway and Jude Hobbs.
I then attended Jude Hobbs' permaculture teacher training in 2002, and earned a BA degree in Interdisciplinary Studies, focused on the pedagogy of permaculture, and how to organize communities around the idea of ecological sustainability. Later, my Master's degree incorporated this pedagogy toward understanding how to use permaculture in practice to help people overcome trauma and develop healthy interpersonal relationships.
I make a lot of my core life decisions based on plants and based on what I want to grow. I have a passion for beauty, for hard work, and for a life spent noticing natural phenomena and allowing it to be my guide. I believe that the only way to change the world is to be deeply happy with your life, and that the path to happiness is the way of authentic, creative expression.
In 2017, seeing a clear need for an ecofeminist approach to permaculture education, I founded Permaculture Women's Guild and tapped 40 of the world's most brilliant permaculture teachers to collaborate on a double-certificate, low-cost online design course.
Meanwhile, from 1999 through now, I've remained knee-deep in hands-on organic agriculture, specializing in food forest design and installation, with special emphasis on seed stewardship. My portfolio ranges from a 33-acre mixed-use working organic farm/permaculture education center boasting almost a thousand fruit trees and a 500-species botanical sanctuary in Oregon, to a tightly-designed, acequia-watered Mediterranean polyculture in Andalucia, and many zones between. As a "vagabond farmer," and lifelong renter, I have had the distinct experience of cycling through a dozen ongoing sites, interacting in the evolving designs, changes, mistakes, and improvements, and then applying the evolution of this learning to my writing and to my curricula.
For more than twenty years now, I have devoted every growing season to organic farming, seed stewardship, and sustainable living, in action! I have designed and installed a dozen food forests in a wide variety of climates and locations. Growing food, saving seeds, and generating surplus to share continues to be one of my top priorities.
- What is Permaculture? It's Not Just About Gardening!
- On permaculture, entitlement, and that pesky third ethic: all aboard the elephant in the room
- Grow Food Not Lawns! How and Why to Turn Your Yard into a Garden
- Wisdom of the Weeds: What Weeds Indicate About the Condition of Your Soil
- How to organize a community seed swap
- Small is Beautiful: Big Yields From a Small Garden
- Gaining Ground: 8 Places to Grow Food if You Don't Have Access to Land
- How to Learn Permaculture for Free, a Handy Guide from Somebody Who Learned Permaculture for Free...