My Own (Uncertified) Permaculture Design

I spent the winter studying permaculture, and created a design for our family property as I went along, just like a “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.

However, before you read my design report, there are three things you must understand:

  1. It reflects a student’s practice design, not a certified permaculture designer’s work.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

Site Evaluation

Functional Analysis of Elements

List of Plants

Poultry Assessment and Poultry Evaluation   **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.

Design Options

Final Design

Phases of Implementation



3 Responses to My Own (Uncertified) Permaculture Design

  1. heather says:

    incredibly elegant and totally functional! i love the design of the new annual beds, the poultry runs tucked into the forest edge and the stacked strawberry grower. i love the way every potential cyclic possibility is harnessed… wrigglers under the coop, homemade bonemeal, fish and meat scraps for poultry, even the spent raspberry canes are accounted for! and all with a totally enjoyable layout. a plan to be proud of. really proud. now, on to the other fun part!

  2. thanks!! i am not sure whether the spines on the raspberries will hurt their feet. we’ll see. i’m sure not EVERY cyclic possibility is harnessed. yield is theoretically unlimited, right? just think of all the things i’m missing! but, it is a good start. on paper anyway.

  3. Thanks for sharing all of this (I have only just had a chance to look at it, been meaning to since you posted it). I really like the way you have set out the design document. This will help me to get started. I have been doing a lot of thinking and reading and walking around with a GPS, but nothing written down yet! I think that’s when you really start to consider everything. I had forgotten about the wood pile too…. and bees, its a good idea to include future maybe plans so there’s a potential spot for them when you get to it.

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