This article examines attempts by the permaculture community in England to interact and influence the Agriculture Knowledge System of the mainstream agro-food regime. Strategic Niche Management and Communities of Practice theory are combined to examine the ways in which the permaculture community has evolved and has sought to develop its agro-ecology message and influence the agro-food regime. Evidence of second order learning and networking with stakeholders outside the community of practice is limited. A tension between internal activities that reinforce a boundary between the permaculture knowledge system and the wider Agriculture Knowledge System are evident. Some external activities designed to cross boundaries are noted. However, activities designed to translate permaculture ideas into mainstream agriculture have had limited success. This reveals the way that beliefs, values and epistemologies make the process of sustainability transition challenging and complex, particularly when different knowledge systems clash with one another.