90 Minutes with Geoff Lawton (Podcast)

Permaculture is an ethical design science.
Geoff Lawton

Today I, Paul Wheaton, sat down with Geoff Lawton to discuss all things permaculture in the 195th edition of my podcast. We spent 90 minutes on topics ranging from the issues of being a leader and having detractors to aquifers under the Sahara.

Geoff will be a special guest on the forums where you can ask him all your detailed, complex questions and get detailed, complex answers in return. Four lucky members will receive a free edition of his Food Forests DVD.

But most importantly, Geoff says I am right that plants do exchange loads of nitrogen with the soil while they are still alive as Geoff has a meta-review of the review that Helen Atthowe and I did of his Food Forests DVD. He also says Helen was right, but you should focus on the fact that I was right!

Geoff then goes on to share his wisdom about all things permaculture including:

  • Using the word ‘permaculture’ without taking a Permaculture Design Certificate (PDC) course.
  • How permaculture is an inclusive design of all elements, not an exclusive design.
  • The importance of self-sustaining fun and how whether we are having fun or not can inform our design.
  • Being a spiky pioneer plant and trying to transition to a more peaceful, sophisticated understory plant in the shade of the next-generation canopy.
  • Non-native plants, our global food party and our need for a global system of connection.
  • The advantages of temperate climates.
  • Permaculture as facilitation of creative events in nature on the right side of chaos and agriculture as excess energy on the wrong side of chaos.

Being Geoff Lawton, he wasn’t done there. Geoff talked about the evolution of the chicken tractor and using the chickens in succession in a food forest, possible new DVDs, permaculture projects all across North Africa and the Middle East, and stacking time in functions. Submit your ideas for his next DVD here. And tune in for a special secret gift for members. You’ll have to listen to the podcast to find out more.

Click play to hear the interview!

Interview with Geoff Lawton


Paul Wheaton is the administrator of the forums at and He is kicking off his Symphonies in Seed and Soil Tour throughout the Western United States on August 16 in Woodinville, WA.