A thoughtful and well researched site design is the basis of permaculture. Where you choose to place the elements on any given piece of land defines their relationships with one another, and relationships are what it’s all about. The assessment and design process as presented by permaculture offers a sensible, organized way forward through a very complex situation. It can be applied to any property, no matter how small. In fact, many people apply the design process to other aspects of life as well, outside of land use.
Although I have been working on this property for 5 years, it wasn’t until last winter that I discovered permaculture. I enthusiastically set to my design, treating it as if it was the “practicum” in an official PDC course. I highly recommend this as a way to exercise the permaculture thinking tools as you learn them.
If you decide to undertake such a project, Treeyo Permaculture’s Online Course Handbook offers all kinds of guidance, both for the reading of Mollison’s Manual, and the creation of a site design. Also, check out my resource page for TONS of links to various research sites.
I offer up my own design, not because it is so brilliant or perfect, but because I was able to find so little online myself in the way of examples or inspiration.
For a simple overview of this design, check out the Design in Progress page. What follows here is the complete, unabridged winter’s worth of research and speculation.
Before you read my design report, there are three things you must understand:
- It reflects a student’s practice design, not a certified permaculture designer’s work.
- I am an obsessive person. The thoroughness and lengthiness represented in these (many, many) pages is due to that obsessive nature, not to any actual requirement of permaculture.
- Although I am pretty good with a shovel, and no stranger to paper and pencil, I am still coming around to computers. Some of my techniques are a bit… rough.
I have attached the design in several PDFs; perhaps I should have combined them into one, but it would have been a monster file. Not having any experience with mapping software, all my maps are old-fashioned graph and overlay paper, conveyed to the virtual world by way of photographs– which makes them very large files.
If anyone actually reads these and finds them useful or interesting, please, please leave me a note below in the comments section….
Site Assessment (this was by far the most interesting and enlightening piece of this project for me)
Additional, specific research:
**Because poultry play a key role in my design, and are the element with which I am least familiar (and because of that ole’ obsessive personality), I did a separate exploration of the subject.