Penny Livingston-Stark is internationally recognized as a prominent permaculture teacher, designer, and speaker. She holds a MS in Eco-Social Regeneration and a Diploma in Permaculture Design. Penny has been studying the Hermetic Tradition of alchemy and herbal medicine making in Europe and the United States for 4 years.
Penny has been teaching internationally and working professionally in the land management, regenerative design, and permaculture development field for 25 years and has extensive experience in all phases of ecologically sound design and construction as well as the use of natural non-toxic building materials. She specializes in site planning and the design of resource-rich landscapes integrating, rainwater collection, edible and medicinal planting, spring development, pond and water systems, habitat development and watershed restoration for homes, co-housing communities, businesses, and diverse yield perennial farms.
With her husband James Stark, and in collaboration with Commonweal — a cancer health research and retreat center — Penny co-manages Commonweal Garden, a 17-acre organic and certified salmon-safe farm in Bolinas, California. In addition, Penny and James are stewarding and working to restore 200 acres of land in Trinity County, California.
Penny co-created the Ecological Design Program and its curriculum at the San Francisco Institute of Architecture, co-created the Permaculture Program at Occidental Arts and Ecology Center with Brock Dolman and she co-founded the West Marin Grower’s Group, the West Marin Farmer’s Market, and the Community Land Trust Association of Marin. Penny has also worked with the Marin County Community Development Agency and Planning Department to develop recommendations on sustainability for updating the Community Plan. She is currently serving on the Marin County Building Appeals Board after being unanimously approved by the Marin County Supervisors.
Penny is a founding member of the Natural Building Colloquium, a national consortium of professional natural builders, creating innovations in straw bale, cob, timberframe, light clay, natural non-toxic interior finishes and other methods using natural and bio-regionally appropriate materials for construction.
She has been featured in the following films: Symphony of the Soil by Lily Films and Deborah Koons Garcia, 2012: A Time for Change by Joao Amorim and Daniel Pinchbeck and Permaculture: The Growing Edge by Belili Films and Starhawk.
She has been apprenticing in Germany and Italy at the Arven School for Medicinal Plants, Aromatherapy and Wilderness Wisdome with her teacher, Susanne Fischer-Rizzi in Germany since 2011. Susanne is an herbal master alchemist and holder of the lineage of the ancient line of women European herbalists and author of 13 books: The books translated into English include: The Complete Aromatherapy Handbook, Medicines of the Earth, The Complete Incense Handbook, The Complete Earth Medicine Handbook. Penny is holding this lineage here in the United States and is embarking on sharing what she has learned over the years.