Director: New York Permaculture Exchange
P.O. Box 44
Tillson, NY 12486
2020 – present
Organizer: Rondout Valley Permaculture Meetup
Contributing Author The City is an Ecosystem: Sustainable Education, Policy, and Practice Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group
(Chapter 8) Community Design for Public Engagement
Claudia Joseph moved to the Mid-Hudson Valley in 2019 to expand her permaculture consulting work. Located in between Kingston and New Paltz, the New York Permaculture Exchange (NYPE) is accessible by public transportation. Ms. Joseph taught numerous Permaculture Design Consultant (PDC) and other training courses, as well as garden related classes and workshops. She is a cultural creative and has been the subject of articles and film projects. She was highly visible in community gardening and public compost systems in Brooklyn, where she lived and worked from 2001-2019.
Ms. Joseph was the first to teach permaculture design at Merritt College (Oakland, CA), Berkeley Ecology Center, Oakland Botanical Demonstration Gardens, and in NYC at the New York Open Center, Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Brooklyn Society for Ethical Culture, Just Food, The Old Stone House, and NYC Department of Parks and Recreation: participating in numerous panels, workshops and gatherings for diverse organizations. Ms Joseph is credentialed by Permaculture Institute of North America as well as Permaculture Institute USA.
Ms. Joseph designs for public and private projects at every scale and from various aspects. Social design, effective communication and event planning are additional areas of her practice. An independent artist, permaculture consultant and teacher, Ms. Joseph was employed as the Director of Environmental Education at the Old Stone House of Brooklyn & Washington Park in Park Slope, NY from 2004 – 2018, where she designed, installed and maintained an interactive, educational, public landscape that refers to the Dutch colonial period. Comprised of eight garden areas in Washington Park and four areas at the adjacent Middle School 51, the combined gardens beautified over an acre of ground while creating green infrastructure at the top of the Gowanus flood zone.
Shaped by permaculture principles and cooperatively installed with students and volunteers of all ages, themes of self-reliance and environmental stewardship are reflected in plantings for food, medicine, craft material, and wildlife support. By reinterpreting the historical uses of a landscape, a framework for relating to climate change and water flows, as well as health and well-being was created and thrives in Washington Park.
Ms. Joseph consulted for the UN Headquarters Food Garden 2016 – 2018, presenting and providing support with permaculture students on group gardening days. She contributed to the art project S.W.A.L.E., a floating food barge and education center, donating advice, plants and a workshop, in 2016. Her community garden work includes mentoring others on non-violent communication techniques, consensus process, increasing access and building leadership. She consulted with 596 Acres on their guide: Communication Tips for Community Gardeners.
A dedicated community gardener, Ms. Joseph helped design and manage the 14-ton compost system at the Garden of Union (GOU) from 2003 – 2018 as well as acting as President of the Board of Directors from 2003 – 2015. Two years were needed to rewrite operating agreements for the garden – in a consensus based process – as well as transforming the compost system from an unhygienic nuisance to a model system. One of the only communally operated gardens of over 6oo in NYC, GOU worked in partnership with the Park Slope Food Coop (PSFC), an organization that grew from 5,000 to 16,000 members during this period. Ms Joseph spearheaded the redesign of their compost distribution program, expanding it to 6 community garden sites. The training program and input schedules were also restructured to adapt to the larger scale. Six large capacity units were constructed at the OSH-MS 51 site under her guidance and incorporated in the PSFC program.
Ms. Joseph was raised on a Virginia horse farm, worked in arts and music production in Washington, D.C. and lived and gardened in California for ten years: she brings elements of her past into her present work.