Homepage 2019 » Forums » Permaculture Design » Anyone else working on a design project??

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This topic contains 62 replies, has 28 voices, and was last updated by  mkelleygc 3 years, 7 months ago.

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    The design project + exam are the paid certification component. You get those details when you pay for them.



    Hello all,
    I’m working on my design project also. I live in Montana in an area that is semi-arid (12 inches of rainfall per year), prone to -40 F temps a few times during the long winters and has very poor soil. Sounds like the place a smart person would pick to “homestead” huh? LOL. The positives are a nice south facing slope at about 5-10 degrees, on 12 acres of open field and a mature ponderosa pine forest on the eastern side. The property came with an earth sheltered home and an attached glass lean-to greenhouse. Although a very nice greenhouse it doesn’t really fit into the basic plan for the house. It will be moved from the front of the house to a location above and behind the house. The house isn’t the friendliest design for a large family as it has smallish rooms with rather low ceilings, 8-10′ sloping up to the front/south. So the plan is to build a timber frame great room across the entire front to tie the house together and provide some common livable area. The southern exposure will still be used for passive solar gain and amazing views by banks of windows.
    The poor quality soil-gravel and lack of surface water on the property are my biggest challenges. We do have rocks… that might just prove to be a very good thing. The rocks may be useful to moderate the extreme temperatures of -40 to 110 F. Even adding a couple of weeks of extra growing time to each end of the season would be a God send and I’m sure Holzer would approve.
    Needless to say, installing swales and increasing the soil’s organic matter are going to be the first steps to the fertility that I envision. Second step will be planting the orchard. It will start with apples and continue to grow and diversify as we go. I really want nut trees and the sooner I plant them the better. So much to do… I’d better get back to my design project.



    Hi Trisha

    I’m also working on my own property, and using it for my design project. I had to get an extension to the year course, as I was late getting the property and didn’t have the opportunity to see it in spring and early summer, and now the time has come to put pencil to paper and I’m finding it difficult. I have an old 5 acre homestead property in southern Nova Scotia, Canada.

    My goal is to turn the front 3/4 acre of the property into a free table farmers and crafters market, leading to a community food forest. I have all my plants chosen, along with my supplier, and I have the vision in my head but it’s so difficult to put such a large project on paper where all the elements can be seen and can be integrated to the whole. Right now I’m working to find a good design software program, and struggling through some bad ones to find the right fit.

    As far as your property, and the challenges you face for weather, altitude, etc.. I would recommend having a look at Sepp Holzer’s permaculture book. He has very successfully incorporated permaculture principles into his farm, in an area where no one thought it was possible. It was an inspiring read, and gave me some ideas for my own project even though my challenges are very different.

    Best of luck with your project! I would love to hear what experiences you have putting your ideas into practice, and to share whatever info, links and stories we can to help the community grow 🙂

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