Marisha Auerbach

Marisha Auerbach is an internationally recognized permaculture educator, designer, and speaker based in Portland, OR.  Marisha has lived and practiced permaculture in both urban and rural environments.   As an avid gardener and herbalist, Marisha specializes in food production, ecology, and useful plants.  Marisha believes that it is possible to respond to the current environmental challenges, lower our ecological footprint, and continue to live equally delightful lives through permaculture design.  This passion is what drives Marisha's active teaching schedule throughout the year. 
Currently, Marisha teaches permaculture online through Oregon State University.  The Oregon State University Permaculture Team offers an online Permaculture Design Course during fall, winter, and spring semesters.  In the winter, we offer an Advanced Course in Climate Resilience.  Marisha designed and developed the Permaculture Food Forests Online course in 2020.  The self-paced Food Forest course is offered on demand throughout the year. Once the self-paced course is completed, students can continue on to the Food Forests Practicum, offered during fall, winter, or spring semester,  where Marisha guides students through the design of their food forest on a site of their choice. 

Marisha Auerbach's Bio picture

Permaculture Experience

Marisha Auerbach has taught over 50 permaculture design courses and numerous advanced workshops on a diversity of topics.  Since 2004, she has worked in diverse environments from the humid temperate climate of her home in Oregon to the tropical rainforest in Belize to the arid landscapes of Colorado and Montana. Marisha has a BA from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA.  She completed her permaculture design certificate with April Sampson-Kelly and  Leisure Coast Permaculture Visions in Australia in 1998.  Marisha holds advanced certificates in Keyline Design, Working with Cultural Diversity, and 2/3 World Permaculture Design.  She has also completed an advanced permaculture course with Sepp Holzer.  Marisha has offered permaculture consultancy services since 2008. 
Currently, Marisha teaches permaculture at the university level at Oregon State University, and Portland Community College.  She developed the Certificate in Holistic Landscape Design at Bastyr University and was the lead permaculture instructor for this program from Fall 2011 - 2014.  Marisha teaches a permaculture design course annually at the Maya Mountain Research Farm in Belize in February.
Marisha teaches in Montana with Skeeter

Permaculture based Food Production

Driven by her passion for local food production and permaculture systems, Marisha has developed the "Grow Your Own Produce" Workshop series.  It is possible to grow your own food year round in Portland, OR.  It surprises many people to learn that you can generate enough food for a household of 4 on a standard urban lot with good sun exposure.  Marisha has been practicing year round food production for the past 12 years.  During this time, she noticed that many people wish to grow their own food, but lack the rhythm of food production throughout the year.   From February - November, this workshop series is similar to a support group where participants learn each month what they need to do to maximize their garden yields for a year round harvest.  Handouts are provided each month including a checklist of things to do and other supplemental materials that support the theme of each month.  2021 will be the 11th year of offering this series. 
Marisha's plant nursery offers many of the varieties that are highlighted as reliable producers in this series.  Plants are available by appointment or at our plant sales. 
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Current Projects

Marisha moved from the Wild Thyme Farm in Western Washington to Portland, OR in 2010 to develop an example of how permaculture can be applied in an urban setting.  Together with her partner, Zane Ingersoll, she has been demonstrating their low impact lifestyle through the remodel and retrofit of their home and their permaculture landscaping choices.  Marisha and Zane grow most of their own food on their urban lot, capture rainwater to support the needs of the landscape, raise heirloom rabbits and chickens, welcome in wildlife, generate most of their soil fertility onsite, and share the surplus with their neighbors and community.  She maintains a seed exchange and permaculture plant nursery onsite.  Plants are available throughout the year.  Check our upcoming events page for future plant sales.  Marisha has been cultivating numerous medicinal herbs on site and has some herbal products available by special request. 
Marisha's neighborhood scale nursery
bunny on roof
chickens in zone 2
Polyculture planting
Kiwi Trellis
Aronia Berry in flower
Front of our home
Garlic drying
Pollinator plants
Aerial from roof
Herb spiral
South side Grapes
grapes & tomatillos
Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Summer garden
leaves in bike trailer 2
squash 2016

Marisha Auerbach in the News

Radio Interviews

Videos Featuring Marisha Auerbach


Marisha's Plant Nursery

If you are looking for unique permaculture plants and heirloom vegetables in the Portland, OR area, look no further!  Marisha has been collecting useful plants including perennial vegetables, medicinal herbs, nitrogen fixers, dynamic accumulators, insectary plants, edible flowers, groundcovers, and berry bushes, and culinary herbs for the past decade.  Our plants are available by appointment or during our seasonal plant sales in the Spring and Fall.