Rosemary Morrow

SEEDS is delighted to feature Rosemary Morrow in the first profile of Women in Permaculture. Rosemary is one of the pioneering women in permaculture: for almost 40 years she has worked extensively with farmers and villagers in Africa, Central and South East Asia, and Eastern Europe. She has especially dedicated much work to the people of war-torn nations such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Bosnia and Afghanistan.

She has also developed several of her own rural properties as models for sustainable living in Tasmania and near Sydney, Australia, where she co-founded the Blue Mountains Permaculture Institute. In 2004 Rosemary suffered a severe stroke. Making a remarkable recovery, she was forced to downsize, and thus bought a small suburban brick veneer house in the suburbs of Katoomba, Australia, and set about retrofitting it to her standards. From this project came her book and DVD “A Good Home Forever.”

Here’s a more recent interview with Rosemary, at the IPCUK 2015 Convergence in London.

Rosemary is the author of the Earth User’s Guide to Permaculture and the Earth User’s Guide to Teaching Permaculture. You can preview these books and see an interview with Rosemary on the U.K.’s Permanent Publications website.  For folks in or near the U.S., we suggest you buy the books from the Permaculture Activist.

You can contact Rosemary at

Here is Rosemary, in her own words:

“Everyone has a place where they feel natural and comfortable. Everyone has a dream about a place or people they would be passionate about working with. Not everyone finds it. I wasn’t young when I found mine. My professional life had been as an agricultural research scientist.

RosemaryMorrow teachingI found my vocation in permaculture, in its content and possibilities. And, I found I was a natural teacher: but not an ‘up front’ lecturer, rather someone who likes to stay behind the group and motivate, and think about each person’s abilities and gifts. I like giving enough information to enable people to think and act in ways that match their potential.

Understanding learning types and then offering teaching methods that incorporates processes and techniques for each student is a skill that needs to appear seamless.

And as a teacher I also enjoy intellectually the ordering of knowledge of permaculture so it appears to participants as self-evident and creative.

"I often wear pearls as a joke because I don't go to cocktail parties... I wear them in the garden."

“I often wear pearls as a joke because I don’t go to cocktail parties… I wear them in the garden.”

I introduced an integrated teaching methodology which matches methods to different content and which exemplified the second permaculture ethic, Care of People. As a teacher and individual who desires to model ‘treating each other well” I believe, the only way to live.

Permaculture offers these enticements in a teaching vocation.

I often say “I am a specialist generalist. But there is the challenge to convey useful, tangible knowledge accessible to all learning types. That is mysterious.

My conviction is that it is the teacher’s graduates that speak most loudly, and where the PDC graduates are competent, engaged permaculturists contributing enormously to Earth’s restoration, then the teacher is reflected in that achievement and inspired to continue teaching.”

Rosemary(Rowe) Morrow August 21, 2013


  1. praveen verma

    Thanks madam for explaining the p.culture in easy way

  2. Rosemary, thank you thank you thank you! I have met many people who hAve studied with you and I think they shine a bit brighter coz of it. :-). Nicholas of PRI in Kenya gave me the highest compliment when he said I reminded him of you! I have been inspired by your legacy and writing to become more of the teacher I want to be. It is my sincerest wish that our paths will cross in this life. Again thank you for all you do and give out to the world because it is sorely needed!!!

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