So, I was surfing through some Permaculture sites today and ran across THIS one. What I really like is they have posted several of the projects that they have completed, in full. As a planner myself, albeit in a different culture, it is fascinating for me to take a look at a completed plan and deconstruct it. By doing so, I am able to identify the key componants and re-work them into a planning system that works for me. Let’s see what that might look like.
The key outputs of these plans seem to be:
1. An initial assessment
2. A Master Narrative
3. A graphic depiction of the completed project
4. Annexs describing in detail certain key aspects and things like Plant Lists, etc.
The initial assessment is based on a master set of goal statements provided by the property owner known as the Owner’s Program Requirements (OPR) and the ten steps of the Scale of Permanence outline. One of the plans on the website lists them as such:
1) Fit with the landscape
2) Use sustainable construction techniques and materials where possible
3) Include options for passive solar, geothermal, wind, and/or other power sources where possible
4) Keep it simple but high quality in design
5) Function is more important than size
6) Details are important and really can make or break the look of the place
7) Incorporate a theme throughout the design and construction – perhaps a Sun or circle
8) Include some mystery about the place if possible (secret passages, unexpected rooms, special places to be, paths that lead to…?)
3. Water Systems
4. Access and Circulation
7. The Built Environment
8. Zones of Use
They added an 11th point for consideration, Spirituality.
I will delve into these further. They are really fascinating, seeing how others have taken a piece of property and designed a complete Permaculture design system. I am really looking forward to doing the same on my own piece of property. In the mean time, I plan to begin to compile some items that will enable me to work more efficiently when I can eventually begin to do so. For example, I know the general USDA Zone for the area I plan to buy land in. So, I am beginning to compile a plant list for that zone. The info I want to gather on plants which will eventually give me a comprehensive list to pull from includes: sunlight preference, soil ph preference, water needs, nutrient effect on soil, useful attributes, cautions for use, growth pattern, etc. I am also looking at major weather patterns, such as primary wind direction by season, temp hi and lo averages, rainfall averages, first and last freeze dates, etc. All of this will help me build the knowledge to create a useful and accurate plan that can then be amended easily as reality meets the plan.
Next step, begin to formulate my own OPR…