Permaculture Eastern Ontario (formerly Permaculture Institute of Eastern Ontario) started in 2011 and is a collaboration between Bonita Ford, Sébastien Bacharach and Douglas Barnes.

This website is connected to Bonita and Sébastien's larger site, livinghEARTH.net; as their work has expanded beyond permaculture and Eastern Ontario, the new website features all that they do.


Our Purpose is to:

  • Provide permaculture education
  • Create collaborative relationships to help increase interest and opportunities for permaculture in Eastern Ontario
  • Be a living social model of permaculture principles and permaculture design in action


The Permaculture Eastern Ontario team brings a diversity of experience:

  • Collectively, we have studied with: Geoff Lawton, Bill Mollison, Eric Toensmeier, Brock Dolman, Christopher Shein, Christopher Peck, Kat Steele, Michael Kramer and other teachers.
  • Collectively, we have worked on permaculture sites and projects in: Eastern North America, Western North America, Australia, Japan, France, India and Haiti.
  • Our expertise includes: edible forest gardens, organic and urban gardens, composting, green building, alternative economic systems, permaculture design applied to land-based and social systems, and experiential permaculture education.
  • Since 2011, we have taught four Permaculture Design Courses in Ontario.


Our Team

Bonita Ford

Bonita aims to inspire people, giving them tools for healthier living.  She teaches permaculture, Reiki and Nonviolent Communication, and has led workshops around the world for over 13 years.  She facilitates community design projects and does design coaching with individuals and small businesses.  She offers 1-on-1 Reiki and spiritual coaching for individuals. 

Bonita has a B.Sc. in Biochemistry from Queen's University, a M.A. in Holistic Health Education from J.F.K. University in California and a diploma in Permaculture from l'Université Populaire de Permaculture in France.  Her permaculture teachers include Brock Dolman, Christopher Shein, Kat Steele and Eric Toensmeier; she also did work exchange with Steve Read, Andy and Jessie Darlington. 

Bonita and Sébastien grow most of their own food.  They have been (re)learning skills in: growing annual and perennial food plants, food storage (fermentation, canning, drying and cold cellaring), seed-saving and starting, backyard and worm composting, edible wild foods, herbal medicines, bread-making, butchering, fire-making, animal tracks, tanning and more.  The land they call home is 1/5 of an acre in Perth, Ontario, which is unceded Algonquin Territory on Turtle Island.  They have collaborated with Anishnaabek (Indigenous) communities in Ontario to connect permaculture and Traditional Teachings.

Bonita and Sébastien's current work has grown beyond permaculture in Eastern Ontario; visit www.livinghEARTH.net to learn more.


Sébastien Bacharach

Sébastien Bacharach, originally from France, is an Eco-logical Educator, Community Builder and Web Architect. He is the former Education Director of the San Francisco League of Urban Gardeners (SLUG) and co-founder of the San Francisco Permaculture Guild. Sébastien became certified as a permaculture designer in the spring of 2001, at the Permaculture Research Institute, New South Wales, Australia, by internationally renowned PRI Director Geoff Lawton. He trained as a Permaculture Teacher in 2004 at Ocean Song, California. He has applied his knowledge in many different settings, in France and especially in San Francisco, California.

Sébastien is very involved in his local community of Perth, Ontario. Amongst other projects, he is a part of the steering group ofTransition Perth. Sébastien strongly believes in holistic ways of thinking, whole systems design and applies these principles in his personal life and his work. Sébastien and Bonita's current work has grown beyond permaculture in Eastern Ontario; visit www.livinghEARTH.net to learn more.


Douglas Barnes

Douglas Barnes is a permaculture designer, consultant and teacher. He has designed and implemented permaculture systems in India, Japan, and Canada as well as consulted on projects in Japan, Canada, and Australia. He has taught permaculture seminars in Japan and Canada and is in the process of becoming a certified permaculture teacher qualified to teach the 72-hour design certificate course.

Douglas holds two Permaculture Design Course certificates: one from a course taught by Geoff and Danial Lawton in Brisbane, Australia in 2004, and one from a course taught by Geoff Lawton and permaculture founder Bill Mollison in Melbourne the following year. Douglas has been active in permaculture since 2004 and has been an educator for 20 years.  Check out Douglas' online courses and blog at www.permaculturereflections.com, and his design company at www.ecoedge.ca.