Cathe’ Fish is passionate about Permaculture. She has been working as an experienced drylands Permaculture Designer and Consultant since 1987. She has designed ranches, 40 acre farms to small suburban plots and apartments.
Cathe’ has taught hundreds of classes and workshops. She has been an inspiring pioneer in permaculture education in the US and internationally and is a sought out instructor. She was the founder and original editor of the Drylands Permaculture newsletter in 1987 with Bill Steen, which later became the Permaculture Drylands Journal.
Cathe’ has studied with Australian ecologist, eco designer, and all around character Bill Mollison, who created permaculture wih David Holmgren as an interdisciplinary approach to land use and community development. In May 2008, Cathe’ spent two weeks at Geoff and Nadia Lawton’s Zaytuna Farm working with Geoff’s amazing swales, dams and ponds, planting food forests and bamboo cuttings and doing other farm activities. In May 2008, she was also able to visit Tagari, Bill Mollison’s long term farm in Tyalgum, NSW, Australia (abandoned since 2001) with its amazing still functioning earthworks: 43 bodies of constructed dams, ponds, and water harvesting swales, as well as many lush food forests.
Cathe’ has also studied with sustainablity instructors Tom Ward, David Bainbridge, Barbara Kerr, Sally Fallon, Mary Enig, Elaine Ingham, Ian Davidson, Rosalind Creasy, Robert Kouric, Joel Salatin and Mark Shepard. She has also worked with Barbara Kerr who was a solar pioneer and solar cooking inventor. Cathe’ has used and taught about Practical Sustainable Kitchens since 1996. She has been teaching about Practical Sustainable Kitchens at Quail Springs International Permaculture Design Courses.
Besides being a Permaculture Designer and Teacher since 1987, Cathe’ has been a Master Gardener since 1988. She is the Speaker’s Bureau Director for the Nevada County Master Gardeners. Until 1999, she lived on a 1/4 acre permaculture homestead for 25 years in the high desert town of Bisbee, Arizona. She says, “Wherever you live, make water catchments and plant appropriate trees.” She was the gardening editor for the Bisbee Observor for three years.
Cathe’ became a member of the Arizona Solar Action Team in 1980, traveling around the state of Arizona conducting Passive Solar Greenhouse Workshops. She has taught her Passive Solar Greenhouse slideshow at AZ and CA State Master Gardener Conferences, as well as many Master Gardener classes, and Permaculture classes.
Cathe’ was involved in the renaissance of super insulated strawbale buildings in 1987, and has taught passive solar building design at straw bale workshops for many years.
Cathe’ loves trees, particularly rare fruit trees in food forests, and she has planted 1000s of trees. She was the previous director of Cochise County Global ReLeaf. She has helped several cities create tree protection ordinances, and was instrumental in starting Chico California’s Tree Action. She believes the future is tree farming and water harvesting.
She is a member of the California Native Plant Society, NAFEX North American Fruit Explorers, California Rare Fruit Growers, Sierra Harvest and the Local Food Coalition, and is a chapter leader of the Weston A. Price Foundation.
Cathe’ holds a Professional Diploma of Permaculture Design in the disciplines of both Site Design and Education. She is a Course Teacher for the Permaculture Institute of North America and is known for well organized, practical, high energy classes. She regularly teaches Permaculture Design Courses, and will custom teach an Intro to Permaculture class or PDC for your group. She has been to Mexico many times to work with local people. In July 2009, she went to Mexico to help low income families start a permaculture demonstration site. She has also taught in India, Jordan, and Cuba, and will be a speaker at the International Permaculture Conference in Hyderbad, India in November 2017.
In the early 1970s, Cathe’ lived in Santa Fe, New Mexico where she started a natural foods cafe called the Country Kitchen (now Harry’s Roadhouse). She built a little greenhouse outside the cafe, where she grew the cafe’s tomatoes and greens. To this day, she refuses to eat disgusting corporate tasteless food, especially tomatoes.
As a permaculturist farmer, Cathe’ was selected as a delegate for the Women’s Earth Alliance India Learning Exchange Delegation in Oct 2009. She saw first hand the damage of the Green Revolution in India, visited organic farming pioneers, exchanged permaculture information, and photographed ancient water harvesting sites. She was happy to visit Vandana Shiva’s farm in Northern India.
In September 2011, Cathe’ was a delegate to the International Permaculture Conference and Convergence in Jordan. She visited permaculture sites in Jordan, Palestine and Israel after the Convergence. In November 2013, she was a delegate to the International Permaculture Conference and Convergence n Cuba. In August 2014, and September 2016, she attended the North American Permaculture convergence. At all of these, Cathe’ gave a well received presentation on Practical Sustainable Kitchens.
Cathe’ lives and works at the Practical Permaculture Farm School on her organic certified permaculture farm “Sunshine Works” in Northern California. She is the director of the Practical Permaculture Research Institute where she teaches permaculture and solar design courses, gives permaculture consultations, and creates permaculture designs. Cathe’ grows organic food and has a horse, sheep, pigs, ducks, chickens, rabbits, bees and raises Old Time Scotch Farm Collies who work with her around the farm. She is the co-organizer of Sierra Harvest’s Sustainable Food and Farm Conference which takes place every January in Grass Valley, California.