Penny is internationally recognized as a prominent permaculture teacher, designer, and speaker. She holds a master’s degree 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, 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, 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.
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.