When I first started reading about Permaculture over a decade ago, I searched all over for examples of Permaculture designs. I was very frustrated. There were so few books available, and there were almost no websites on the subject of Permaculture let alone ones with examples of quality designs. As the years have passed, there have been a growing number of very good books written on various aspects of Permaculture. However, I am still frustrated with the relative lack of designs available to investigate, to review, to learn from, and to see the wide variety of design possibilities within Permaculture.
I know this is not from lack of designs. Every person who takes a PDC (Permaculture Design Certificate) course, based on Bill Mollison’s (the co-founder of Permaculture) 72-hour course, must complete a design project to become certified. Then there are all the designs that these graduates have done since completing the course. This means there are thousands and thousands of designs out there.
This lack of availability of designs is likely based on a few things:
First, many people do their design work with paper and ink or pencils. They may not be computer-literate enough to get these large-paper designs into an easy to view electronic format.
Second, many people are a bit nervous about making their designs public. They don’t want other people critiquing their work or pointing out errors or pointing out better ideas for the project. I understand that to a point. There is a sense of pride in the work, and you don’t want that to be crushed. I think this is the most common reason by far.
Third, and I think this is the least common reason, is that consultants who are getting paid for their designs do not want their work to be out there for others to use for free. The reason I doubt this is very common is that Permaculturists are, by far and large, very sharing people. Also, Permaculture design is so site specific that it would be very difficult to transfer one design to another property.
With all that said, I am going to share the design project I completed in the PDC I did with Geoff Lawton. I am sure people will see mistakes and have critiques. I welcome this. Seriously! My personal motto while I was in medical school and residency was, “If I don’t feel uncomfortable at least once a day, then I am not learning.” I have applied this to anytime I am trying to learn anything. Permaculture is no different. I want to be stretched. I want to learn. I want to become better.
I invite you to share your designs with me, and I will in turn post them on this page. I will remove any personal information if you would like. Some people will have amazing designs and fantastic illustrations or drawings. Others will have very basic pen and ink sketches. It doesn’t matter. Permaculture is not about presentation. It is about design! If you have photos of your design put into reality, I would love those as well. Please share your designs with the world. You may be the inspiration for another Bill Mollison or Geoff Lawton. You may have the design element someone was looking for. Please contribute to the Permaculture community!
My Project: Minnesota, USA Permaculture Design Project. Click here to download the PDF. This is a project I completed for a good friend of mine. It is a 1 acre suburban lot in a small rural town. I was honored to have Geoff Lawton highlight this design on his Facebook page!
Indiana, USA Permaculture Design Project. Click here to download the PDF. This is a project Rick Beach did for a 6 acre farm.
Washington, USA Permaculture Design Project. Click here to download the PDF. This is a project Cliff Reinke did for a suburban lot in the Pacific Northwest.
Wisconsin, USA Permaculture Design Project. Click here to download the PDF. This is a project Dustin Cote did for a 5.4 acre lot on what used to be a dairy farm many years ago.
Calpulalpan, Mexico Permaculture Design Project. Click here for the link to this design. This is a project Jeinny Solis did for a 10.1 acre property northwest of Mexico City.
Iowa, USA Permaculture Design Project. Click here to download the PDF. This is a project from an anonymous contributor for an approximate 5.0 acre farm in northwest Iowa.
Tasmania, Australia Permaculture Deisgn Project. Click here to download the PDF. This is a project Judy Micklewright did for a suburban house and garden on 720 square meters (about 2/10th of an acre).
Whidbey Island, Washington State, USA. Click here to download the PDF. This is a project Sukey Jacobsen designed for a 5.0 acre farm (Wyndy Nwyps) located within Ebey’s Landing, a National Historic Reserve, part of the National Park Service.
If you are interested in contributing, please contact me!
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