Permaculture is the harmonious integration of landscape and people. Permaculture, being bounded by the ethics of care of people, care of earth and reinvestment of surplus, can provide food, energy, shelter, and other material and non-material needs in a sustainable way. The specific purpose of the SF Permaculture Guild is to support a local community of those interested in permaculture by producing educational and social events, enabling permaculture projects and providing opportunities to exchange information related to permaculture design.
The San Francisco Permaculture Guild (SFPG) was started in the late 1990s as a series of informal gatherings of individuals who have studied permaculture, or who are looking for more information about this system of design and resources for putting to practical use in San Francisco. A listserve was started sometime around 2001 for faciliating communication amongst permaculture designers and enthusiasts in San Francisco. In the summer of 2006, the first Permaculture Design Certificate Course taught in San Francisco was facilitated at the SF Botanical Garden. There were more than 30 students in this class taught by Kat Steele, Kevin Bayuk and Fred Bové along with a number of guest presenters. Among those was Geoff Lawton, a respected world-renown permaculture teacher with many years of experience in community organizing. His advice to the class was to meet regularly, and form a more formal association for the advancement of community knowledge and skills. From this advice grew a more concerted effort to initiate regular SFPG meetings, first, held in the same classrooms at the SF Botanical Garden where the first SF permaculture classes were offered. These informal meetings grew in size and changed venues to accommodate the number and diversity of the attendees.
In the years since the Guild has been meeting, several themes have emerged in response to community need:
- continuing education
- sharing of resources
- creating opportunities and projects at the community level.
To that end, the SF Permaculture Guild decided to form an informal governance council, to sustain the original vision of the organization and plan the path forward. In 2010, the Guild decided officially incorporate in the state of California as a for public benefit corporation (a 501c3 organization) to respond to the needs of its constituents (i.e., enble the raising for funds and capacity through donations to be distributed to the community in service of the mission of the organization).
What do we do:
The San Francisco Permacutlure Guild engages in or plans to engage in (at least) the following activities:
- Produce regular meetings and events to provide opportunities for participants in the guild to connect and share ideas and resources.
- Facilitate the initiation of and incubate new permaculture projects in San Francisco.
- Solicit ideas and resources for new permaculture projects in San Francisco.
- Connect new permaculture design projects in San Francisco with resources, including volunteers and funding.
- Maintain a website for collection of information about existing and potential permaculture projects in San Francisco.
- Maintain an email listserve for the dissemination of information and discussion about permaculture in San Francisco.