The Permaculture Podcast

    Episode 1460: Jono Neiger on Professional Permaculture, Education, and Community Building


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    My guest for this episode is Jono Neiger, one of the organizers of the Permaculture Institute of the North East, and a partner at Regenerative Design Group, LLC.

    In our conversation we touch on his practices as a professional designer and some of the business of that, permaculture education, collaborating with colleges, and the need to develop one’s own niche.

    If you enjoy this episode, support the podcast by making an ongoing monthly contribution to the show. Find out how at

    There is a gotcha question in the middle of this episode that put Jono on the spot. I ask him what percentage of his work with the Regnerative Design Group, LLC, would he consider permaculture. I didn’t mean to put him in that space like that, but I appreciate his ability to respond to the question in the way he did by addressing the question, “What is Permaculture?” I find his perspective points out how varied permaculture can be. This is a system of design, not a dogma. There is no rote description for what it looks like. We all practice it in our own way, and need experience to design well in whatever niche it is that we fill.

    This conversation also reinforces what I continue to learn by speaking to more individuals who have practiced permaculture for years: there is plenty of room underneath this umbrella of design than just design and teaching, but we need to find our own way forward. Our own fit. We apply permaculture to what it is we do that we want to do, not ourselves into the models of permaculture that we already see.

    The more that I walk down this road the less my work is about landscape design and about communicating permaculture to the world through this podcast and other media. Ever more I am a permaculture journalist and producer. What roles do you see filling when you combine your life with permaculture?

    Class Announcements

    Jen Mendez at is continuing her EDGE Alliance series via Google Hangouts.

    Thursday, August 14th 7:00-7:45 p.m. (EST)

    Jeanne from Move & Groove, helps us explore how and why to integrate music into our lives as a way to build community. In this Edge Alliance, we will explore the following questions:

    • How do children experience music?
    • What is a normal musical development process for children?
    • What are some ways we can integrate music into our lives?
    • How can music help our children connect with themselves and their communities?

    Sunday, August 17th 12:15-1:00 p.m. (EST)

    Amy from Supporting the Unschooling Life and Amy Child’s Happiness Consultant, inspires us to explore the idea of and the social-emotional components of alternative forms of education. In this Edge Alliance, we will explore the following questions:

    • What is happiness?
    • How can we develop an education based in freedom, trust, and fun?
    • What are some emotional challenges to educating and learning this way?

    There are also spaces still available in the Open Enrollment Online PDC. Contact me if you would like more information or to register.

    Taking the Show on The Road

    As I mentioned a few weeks ago I am taking the show on the road, and now it begins.

    Coming up on September 6th, 2014, Photographer John and I attend the First Annual Finger Lakes Permaculture Tour. We’ll be touring a number of sites between 10am and 4pm before attending a reception at 6pm. As I record this there are currently twelvee sites available to tour. If you are able come out please do. You can find out more at Full Event Page:

    Finger Lakes Permaculture Tour

    September 12-14, 2014, Photographer John and I attend the Mother Earth News Fair in Seven Springs, PA at the Seven Springs Mountain Resort. He and I, along with his assistant, are arriving late Thursday the 11th, and staying through until the close of the event on Sunday, so be sure to look for us or send me a note if you are going to be in attendance and we can see about saying hello somewhere. Or maybe we can do a flash mob reception somewhere on-site (are those still a thing?).

    This is my first time attending and by every indication it’s a massively good time. Guests this year include Joel Salatin, Stephanie Tourles, Ed Begley Jr., Barbara Pleasant, Dan Chiras, Barbara Damrosch, and many many more. Find out more information about this at:

    Last of my currently scheduled late summer and early fall tour is CHABA-Con on October 11, 2014 in Bridgeton, NJ. Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute will be a keynote speaker and festivities start at 7AM with a run in the Park with Mr. Brown, followed by lectures and round table discussions in the morning and early afternoon, with street theater in the afternoon, drumming in the part from 5:30 until dusk, and wrapping up with “An evening of Cabaret with Jane Seaman” from 8 until 10pm. Come and see how a town in New Jersey is facing a changing world by raising awareness and taking action. More on this event at:


    If you have an event, project, or site you would like me visit and cover, I am availabile in late October through December, 2014 for field reporting so contact me and we can work out the details.

    Get in touch with the show:

    Phone: 717-827-6266
    Twitter: @permaculturecst

    The Permaculture Podcast with Scott Mann
    P.O. Box 16
    Dauphin, PA 17018

    (Episode: Jono)

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