Permaculture pioneer Chuck Marsh

Chuck Marsh

Ancestor, Permaculture Pioneer, and Innovative Spirit

Chuck was an environmental activist, bioregional educator, permaculture designer and landscaping pioneer. Chuck grew up in Aiken, SC and received a B.S. in Biology from Wofford College. A resident of WNC since the 1980s, he was one of the first Permaculture Design graduates taught by Bill Mollison, Permaculture’s co-originator. Chuck taught Permaculture Design Courses throughout the US and the Caribbean. He also was a co-founder of the Eastern Permaculture Teachers Association.

Chuck was an early member of the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association, a non-profit that works to develop local and organic food systems, and was a sought-after workshop instructor at their annual conference. He was a regular speaker at the WNC Organic Growers School. He helped organize and co-found Earthaven Ecovillage in the early 1990s, and also co-founded the annual Southeastern Permaculture Gathering, which celebrated its 25th year in 2018. A superb nurseryman, Chuck founded Useful Plants Nursery, the only regional nursery dedicated to edible, medicinal and dye plants. He trialed and evaluated hundreds of plants for winter hardiness and adaptability to the mountains. 

Chuck liked to be known as a “spirit warrior.” He was a member of Light of the Mountains Sufi community in Leicester, NC in the 1980s. Years later, he became part of The ManKind Project of Asheville. He was a compassionate friend and teacher to many. Chuck died in 2017 and is buried at Earthaven Ecovillage.