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Jeff Nugent was born in Perth, and moved to Nannup in the south-west of Western Australia in 1975. He was a founding member of the Sustainable Agricultural Research Institute (SARI) in 1982, a small, non-government, non-profit organisation dedicated to working toward sustainable human existence.
SARI is based on a 30 hectare property where Jeff teaches permaculture and accumulates information on useful plants. He has been establishing a gene-pool of useful species relevant to local climatic conditions, with success with plants from the Mediterranean and temperate regions along with the highland tropics. He is the author of several books, including Permaculture Plants: A Selection, Permaculture Plants: Agaves and Cacti and more recently Permaculture Plants: Palms and Ferns.