An interview with Permaculture Pioneer Rosemary Morrow

Rosemary MorrowA little bit about Rowe

Born in Perth, Rosemary Morrow (Rowe) was claimed early by the Earth; plants, animals, stones, weather. Some years in the Kimberleys as a young girl confirmed it.

Later she trained in agriculture science with which she was very disappointed, then moved to France where she lived in the L’Arche community. Later at Jordans Village in England she realised she would become a Quaker. Back in Australia in the 1980s Rowe’s Permaculture Design Course provided the basis for a concern for Earth restoration. She considers permaculture to be ‘sacred knowledge’ to be carried and shared with others. Since then, when asked, she has travelled to teach the PDC to others who, due to circumstances, could not access it any other way. This took her to immediate post-war Vietnam as well as Cambodia, Uganda, Ethiopia and other countries.

Rowe’s present concern is to make teaching sustainable and encourage others to succeed her as teachers.

A Permaculture Pioneer

Permaculture Pioneers: stories from the new frontierRosemary Morrow is one of the 26 contributors to Permaculture Pioneers – stories from the new frontier. In this short interview, introduced by co-editor Kerry Dawborn, Rowe talks about the limits that permaculture has to deal with the problems of the world. Permaculture can provide skills and build confidence to adapt to changing environments, but a changing climate illustrates that migration may become necessary in extreme situations.

Rowe’s advice? “Apply the design principles as closely as you can you’ll end up with wonderful production of good systems, and that there isn’t a whole lot of room to innovate… creativity is applying principles, it’s not in going much beyond the palette that we have of principles for designing well.”

10% of all sales of Permaculture Pioneers whether in print form, or eBook form, continue to go to Permafund, supporting Permaculture projects around the world especially those that assist with resilience in the developing world and in places of extreme need. So why not purchase a copy and dip into the stories of these inspiring early adopters. Permaculture Pioneers is now available on iTunes.



  1. The multiplying effect of donations to Permafund – Permaculture Australia - June 16, 2017

    […] patron, Rowe Morrow said, “Every donation received has a multiplying effect in many countries around the globe and […]

  2. International Permaculture Convergence IPC UK 2015 | Life With Nature - February 4, 2016

    […] Some of the keynote speakers were GEOFF LAWTON from, famous for his video productions and design works worldwide e.a Greening the Desert; the founder of the Transition Town Initiative ROB HOPKINS and one of the permaculture pioneers ROSEMARY MORROW, author of the book Earth Users Guide to Permaculture, watch her Interview. […]

  3. When Disasters are Man-Made ~ Disaster Risk Reduction | Emergency Planning and Management - June 24, 2014

    […] Rosemary Morrow (Permaculture Pioneer) also reminds us that many “disasters” are actually natural occurrences for which ancient cultures were completely adapted: they built houses according to these expected changes (such as the monsoons and yearly expected floods), kept the vegetation in place as a buffer (such as mangroves and palms) and prepared for them as a natural part of life. […]

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