“I am Turtle Woman.” Interview with Permaculturist Jeanette Acosta by Willi Paul, PermaculturExchange.com


“I am Turtle Woman.” Interview with Permaculturist Jeanette Acosta by Willi Paul, PermaculturExchange.com

Are you participating in any OWS events?

Not directly, but members of my family are being directly active in the process. I have been traveling too much and too often, serving The People in more direct ways with my time, for approximately a decade now.

What do you think the protesters want in the long-term?

A Sense of Stability, Security, Safety, Respect, and For the Greed to Stop. The key to your question is that People are starting to remember and to THINK clearly and coherently about how we should be living life on Earth.

I quote two dear friends:

“We humans must think for ourselves. That’s what we need to give to the next generation.” – John Trudell


“This is not merely philosophical… as humans, we were the last to be created…not to dominate the creations of a Creator….but to take care of those creations. We have violated that gift we were given and THE reason we are in such a mess. We perceive ‘power’ as the accumulation of resources (to be used and consumed). Rethink ‘Power’ – how much you give and take care of…a true demonstration of wealth.” – Cindi Alvitre

How is your design process and result different than a traditional landscape firm?

I view life and the landscape from an Indigenous lens/perspective.

Is there a recurring permaculture principle that seems to standout in your work – more than others?

The First One. Value The Land. Respect The Land. Know The History of The Land.

What are your key marketing messages for your consultancy?

I don’t have one. Knowing me is a personal experience. I serve the Earth and The People in many different ways, both Physically and Spiritually.

Do you think that Permaculture is dominated by men?

In the courses I have taught in, there appears to be a balance in the number of men/women/children taking the course. I am not certain what it is like out there as far as the balance between Men/Women Teachers and Teacher Trainers in the Field. As long as there are teachers teaching, be they men or women, this is good.

What is localization?

This is a big question. So best to go to these links to get an idea. They’re great articles.



How do you design this?

By implementing personal local knowledge into the space/idea being created.

Please critique the Permaculture Guilds in general.

People Guilds can be looked upon as an association, society, union, league, organization, company, cooperative, fellowship, club, order, lodge, brotherhood, fraternity, sisterhood, sorority.

Are they leading the way?

The Permaculture Guilds are taking the time be creative together for the mutual aid and pursuit of a common goal they share, which is the life practice of Permaculture. Permaculture is a new word for an old way of being/living.

How could they improve?

I don’t know how these Permaculture Guilds govern themselves. Improvement would be to keep doing good together. Be conscious in their communication with one another. Be authentic in your relationships to each other and to the practice of Permaculture Principles.

Can permaculture gain by extending its reach into the political system?

I think we just need to keep doing what we do as permaculturists. In time, we’ll be like mycelia, eventually growing together In Strength, In Spirit, In Respect, to make a collective difference that makes this world healthier, happier, and whole.

What strategies would be worth trying?

Nature is very patient.
We as a People need to learn patience.
Patience pays.

Who is Turtle Woman?

I am.

What is sacred to you?


What symbols are here?

I don’t understand this question. Everything is symbolic since everything is sacred.

What songs, poems, symbols and/or Heroes come to mind when you think about permaculture mythology?

My Permaculture Heroes and Sheroes are the Teachers/Educators in the Field. They are passing on the information, their personal knowledge, their wisdom, their precious time, and their energy. I give credit to my Permaculture Lineage: Bill Mollison, The Bullock Brothers, John Valenzuela, Robyn Francis and my dear friend, Penny Livingston-Stark. I also give credit to all the students, as they are my teachers as well. The people I get to meet and know are truly incredible individuals. It’s a great journey to be alive and to live life fully engaged in its process.

I do not think that Permaculture is old enough to have established its own “Mythology”. I do know there are a number of great Permaculture Storytellers out there, so I suppose it’s a good place to start a Permie Myth!

About Jeanette Acosta –

For all her life, Jeanette and her family have applied their shared experience to create cultural preservation and teach sustainability, with emphasis on our symbiotic relationship with the Earth and Sky.
Jeanette/Turtle Woman is actively involved in educating people about sustainable land use design based on these ecological and biological principles. {Please ask to see her presentation for the Land Restoration work she did on Nambe Pueblo and her presentation on Maritime Culture.}

She helps to develop and implement practical solutions for sustainable living while offering hands-on permaculture courses, orkshops,Biodynamic Gardening practices, and more.

“What permaculturists are doing is the most important activity that any group is doing on the planet. We don’t know what details of a truly sustainable future are going to be like, but we need options, we need people experimenting in all kinds of ways and permaculturists are one of the critical gangs that are doing that.” – David Suzuki, International Environmental Advocate

Connections –

Jeanette Acosta, PermaculturExchange.com

About [ open myth source ]

The [open myth source] project gathers conversations, symbols, songs, visual art and stories. Building a house for Myth in the Sustainability Age.
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