Toby Hemenway

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Toby Hemenway
BornApril 23, 1952
DiedDecember 20, 2016(2016-12-20) (aged 64)
OccupationWriter, educator, environmentalist
Alma materTufts University
SubjectPermaculture, peak oil, sustainability
Notable worksGaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture
SpouseKiel Hemenway

Toby Hemenway (April 23, 1952 – December 20, 2016)[1] was an American author and educator who wrote extensively on permaculture and ecological issues. He was the author of Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture and The Permaculture City: Regenerative Design for Urban, Suburban, and Town Resilience. He served as an adjunct professor at Portland State University, Scholar-in-Residence at Pacific University, and field director at the Permaculture Institute (USA).


After obtaining a degree in biology from Tufts University, Hemenway worked for many years as a researcher in genetics and immunology, first in academic laboratories including Harvard and the University of Washington in Seattle, and then at Immunex, a major medical biotech company.[1]

At about the time he was growing dissatisfied with the direction biotechnology was taking, he discovered permaculture. A career change followed, and Hemenway and his wife, Kiel, spent ten years creating a rural permaculture site in southern Oregon. He was the editor of Permaculture Activist, a journal of ecological design and sustainable culture, from 1999 to 2004. He moved to Portland, Oregon in 2004, and after six years of developing urban sustainability resources there, Hemenway and his wife divided their time between Sebastopol, California and western Montana.

Hemenway died of pancreatic cancer on December 20, 2016.[2]

Selected works[edit]


  • Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture (2001, ISBN 978-1890132521),
  • The Permaculture City: Regenerative Design for Urban, Suburban, and Town Resilience (2015, ISBN 978-1603585262)


  • Foreword to Jono Neiger's The Permaculture Promise (2006)



  1. ^ a b Mason, Clark (22 December 2016). "Toby Hemenway, leading permaculture promoter, dies at 64". Santa Rosa Press Democrat. Retrieved 24 August 2019.
  2. ^ "Update on Toby Hemenway's Battle With Cancer". Toby Hemenway. December 19, 2016.

External links[edit]