Permaculture Design


The Permaculture design process is a holistic approach to understanding the dynamic life systems at work on your site, and putting them to use to optimize the yields that you would like to see. Our Permaculture design services can be as simple as troubleshooting a particular aspect of your site, like creative solutions for stormwater management, to a full-scale master plan, implementation schedule, and management plan. The Permaculture design process is flexible, and can be tailored to fit your needs and budget.

We recommend a site master plan is in place before implementation of any major scale development, such as ponds or other major capital/labor investments, occur on your site, as a full design planning process takes into account the numerous factors affecting your site and will lead to an integrated, highly functional, beautiful, and productive site well into the future.

Site Walkabout

The Permaculture design process starts with a site walkabout. This process usually takes from 2-4 hours, and includes time for quiet observation, preliminary site assessment, and gaining a sense from you about your hopes and visions for the site. We will be looking at the plants, the patterns of water and air movement, presence of wildlife, soils, topography, and other facets of developing a holistic understanding of your unique site. By overlaying these observed site attributes with your hopes for the site, we can help come up with some preliminary ideas about how you may move forward.

During this initial visit, we usually find out whether you are interested in moving forward with a comprehensive site plan. If this is the case, we will provide you with a detailed questionnaire that you can fill out on your own time that will help tell us in more detail what you have observed on your site as well as further information about your participation in making your dreams and visions a reality.

Permaculture Design Master Planning

If you choose to move forward with a comprehensive site plan, the next step is for us to make another visit with our surveying equipment. We like to have a firm sense of the movement of water on your site and are equipped to help you make the best decisions about this valuable resource as we move forward with the planning process. The earthworks and water harvesting features of a site are like the bones of the master plan, and serve to inform placement of all other elements.

From the information we gather through surveying your site and having another chance to observe various facets of it, we will be able to start drawing up a plan for the entire site that you can use in the future to implement the recommended elements. We will weave in your goals and objectives, as well as knowledge of the site in general to come up with a series of recommendations from specific plants and varieties, to incorporation of animals, fencing, water systems, habitat enhancement, and many other things.

This process generally takes at least 10 hours, but can vary greatly depending on the size and complexity of the site. We will provide an estimate of the time required for your site before the design planning begins.

The Permaculture Master Plan will include:

  • An overhead map of your site with recommended additions
  • Plant lists
  • Phase plan
  • Rough budget

Phase Planning

An extremely important part of the master planning process is phase planning and budgeting for time and other resources. We have lots of experience implementing various projects on many scales, and want to give you a realistic picture of what it will take to make your visions for your site manifest based on your own realistic assessment of personal, family, and community resources of time, money, and energy. We usually recommend a 5 year phase plan, and provide reasonable estimates for construction and implementation of all elements included in the plan.

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