When starting down your permaculture journey, it helps to have like-minded people surrounding you as often as possible.
As motivational speaker Jim Rohn said, “you are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” If you can surround yourself with people who are doing the things you want to be doing, your success will be just that much easier.
That being said, finding a community of likeminded people in the permaculture and regenerative living world can be challenging.
Having gone through this struggle myself, I thought I’d share some tips and tricks to help you start engaging with like-minded communities both in person and online.
Meetup.com is a platform for finding local community gatherings and events used all over the world. I’ve found it especially useful in finding my community of permaculturists.
A quick search on meetup’s website for permaculture lists over 500 permaculture meetups around the world. You could also broaden that search to green living, which has over 1800 meetup groups globally.
These meetups can be educational or just for fun. There’s also groups that are simply communities that meet on a regular basis to share ideas or help each other out.
If you can’t find a meetup group that has something to do with permaculture around you, it’s very easy to start one yourself.
Alternatively, if there’s an inactive group near you, you can start posting events to encourage people to engage, or even message the organizers to see if you can lend a hand. Most people will gladly welcome help with organizing, and it’s a great way to meet people in your community that have the same passions as you.
A permaculture convergence is exactly what it sounds like- a group of permaculturists getting together to network and share skills and ideas.
There’s not a single directory of convergences around the world, so the best way to find one near you is to do an online search for “permaculture convergence” and your city, state, or region. There’s local, regional, continental, and global convergences that happen on a regular basis.
I’ve attended the Northwest Permaculture Convergence in Washington and was amazed at how many people were there sharing knowledge and networking to build their local permaculture community.
One of the best ways to gain hands-on experience while supporting your community is to find volunteer opportunities near you.
Most places, especially non-profits, are ecstatic to have some extra help and will welcome you with open arms. There are many ways to find opportunities- I’ll share a few with you to get your mind going.
When I first moved to the Seattle region, I did a quick google search for “permaculture near me” and was able to find a few places locally that had active permaculture projects. From there, I reached out to the organizers to see if they host volunteers. Within a week, I was on a site getting my hands dirty. It’s that easy.
You could also look for local community gardens that have open work-party days and lend a hand. Community gardeners have a wealth of information on growing food, and often permaculturists find outlets for their passions in these settings.
These two websites require a membership to access details and talk to hosts, but offer amazing opportunities to gain experience while getting to know the local culture wherever you end up.
There’s often listings in your hometown on these websites as well, so you may be able to find something close to home. Just search “permaculture” when looking through the listings to find projects that may interest you.
Social media has its positives and negatives, but one strong benefit is the ability to find a community from the comfort of your home.
Facebook groups offer an easy way to connect with like-minded people no matter your location. There are dozens of groups relating to permaculture full of experts and amateurs alike.
These groups vary in scope from very local (town/city groups) to global. I’d suggest doing a few searches and looking through the group members and discussions to find one that resonates with you.
One facebook group that I’m a member of an find value in is Regenerative Agriculture. This group has experts as moderators that are able to answer questions and has a regular flow of posts and discussion.
Permies is an online forum founded by Paul Wheaton. It’s community is full of self-proclaimed permaculture and homesteading goofballs.
This forum has been around for a long time and is full of useful information from experts and questions from novices. You’re sure to find some great (and funny) discussions among the pages at permies.
You’ll also find products like e-books and micro-documentaries for sale in the forums at very affordable prices. These products are often created by members of the forum itself. This is a great way to support the wider permaculture community, and perhaps to share your products as well.
This website will feel like home especially if you hand out on other online forums like reddit.
The Permaculture Circle
The Permaculture Circle (TPC) is Geoff Lawton’s free online resource for permaculture education. While the main draw of this site is the video content, a large network of permaculturists hang out in the Disqus comment sections below each of the videos.
Many of the moderators in this forum are also teaching assistants for Geoff’s online course, so the knowledge base is solid.
Moderators and community members alike will answer questions, and Geoff himself will stop by occasionally to respond to comments.
At the time of writing this post, TPC is pretty new, but this community is growing at a rapid pace and is sure to become an amazing resource for education and idea exchange.
Permaculture & Community
The more you learn about permaculture and regenerative living, the more you’ll realize that community and permaculture go hand in hand.
Permaculture teaches us to integrate rather than segregate. Simply choosing to reach out to others and find community means you’re on the right track.
Who knows? You could be the next leader in your local permaculture community simply by reaching out and being of service.
I’m happy to help you find your community however I can, so please reach out in the comments or on the contact page. If you have any community resources you think would be helpful for others, please share it in the comments!
You are my community, and I’m thankful for your support.
Best of luck, and thanks for reading.