1.  Mission Statement 1-2 sentences that describe your overall intention for this project.

Our team’s mission is to harmoniously integrate and express the client’s vision with the permaculture principles; we intend to respect the needs of the land first, and apply the lessons from class in a way that solidifies our learning and respects the needs of the client as well.

Mission Statement bullet points: (Generated as a team)
-Fully express the client’s vision
-Listen to the “other” (land, nature). Understand the land, while promoting the premaculture principles.
-Maximize what we learned in class.
-Facilitate the client’s needs effectively
-Find the common ground between the client, land, and premaculture principles.
-Harmoniously integrate client’s vision with premaculture principles

2. Set Group GoalsBullet list of group process-oriented goals and outlook including how you will be making decisions.

To achieve our mission statement we have relatively defined roles in our group to effectively move toward our goals. Our decision making is based on a group consensus.

(Current thoughts): We intend to listen to one another in a respectful way, and have agreed to give and receive constructive criticism openly and honestly. We intend to respect each others needs as individuals moving through this group process, and be transparent about how we feel regarding not only the project goals, but the group process itself.

Group roles:
Jenti- Meeting minutes, emailing meeting notes to the team
Aaron- Facilitator
Anala- Feeling out the vibes of team.
Jim- Team Moderator
Tom- The “Face”/representative of team

3. Personal StrengthsIdentify each group member’s skills.

  • I enjoy working with, playing with, using words.
  • I am devoted to health and well-being, and notice these things in various situations ~   opportunities to make something more optimally geared towards an ideal degree of well~being, balance or health.  On the large scale as well as small.
  • I tend to be better at expressing myself, and clarifying my thoughts, through writing, than speaking.
  • I like being thorough and fully informed.  On that note, taking my time enables me to access my most intelligent ideas, suggestions &c.
  • I tend to be patient, and understanding ~  enjoy empathizing with others, putting myself in their shoes, mediating.
  • It is important to me to slow down and really absorb and digest things, and to encourage others to take a breath, notice, slow down, as well.
  • I really enjoy being the one holding awareness of the ‘vibes’ in a group, and bringing attention to one anothers’ feelings and honoring one another with kindness and patience.
  • Holding awareness of the heart~space.
  • I am most alive in the realm of the subtle.   And therefore tend to be aware of and sensitive to subtle energies and interactions.  Beneath the surface, behind the scenes; the un-obvious.
  • Attention to detail.  Noticing the ‘little things’.
  • I have some experience with plant ID (mostly in OH and PA), experience working on organic farms…I enjoy observing and listening.
  • I also tend to be flexible, in what role I’m playing ~ I can lead or support one leading, fill in where I am needed; leading can be an edge for me.  I can often feel misunderstood or not completely heard or listened to.
  • I resonate with the idea of being process-oriented, allowing things to arise organically, not attached to a particular agenda or outcome.
  • I appreciate how this project is very much a learning process, and opportunity to accept it as such and just flow with it.
  • Areas I could work on, and/or others might have more strengths in, than me:I can get long-winded, in writing    ;P
  • ‘Thorough’ can sometimes translate into ‘meticulous’  ~ ~
  • easily overwhelmed
  • follow-through . .  .
  • punctuality  (ties in with overwhelm, and too many things on my plate)
  • speaking confidently in front of a group is an edge for me.


  • Team player
  • Attentive
  • Flexible
  • Observant on needs for overall project
  • Fully committed to a success project
  • Responsible
  • Reliable
  • Helpful hand on anything involving project
  • Will take initiative
  • Good Organization
  • Ability to see the bigger picture/vision
  • Have available space for meet up
  • Willing to do plenty of research, print, sketch, etc.
  • Enjoy hands on work
  • Do not take things personal (able to hear constructive criticism)
  • Potential Limitations
    • Observer not a talker (depending on situation)
    • New with Premaculture terms
    • Slight trouble in communicating concepts (Bilingual mind)
  • Client relations, 30 yrs in sales
  • Survey and site layout skills, development experience
  • Site and Floor Plan drawing and beginner AutoCad
  • Good spacial and design vision
  • Some plant and animal knowledge
  • No allergies, and not afraid of creepy crawlers
  • Understand construction and materials used
  • Able to design structures and build them as needed
  • Use of all hand tools and most computer applications
  • Stay calm when upsets happen, and they do
  • Don’t mind being told to do things
  • Self motivated and will ask for help when needed
  • Have a car and 2 cell phones, computers and printers
  • Potential Limitations
    • Program at 4:45-dinner
    • Slow to remember names and recall concepts
  • Good people skills
  • Non-violent communication skills
  • Responsible, consistent, and follows through when taking on or receiving assignments and responsibilities
  • Reliable team player
  • Flexible in all roles of a team/group
  • Group project leadership experience
  • Even tempered, understanding, empathetic
  • Always cooperative
  • Loves to get dirty and do hands on work
  • Capable and willing to do thorough research
  • Great writer, grammar, etc.
  • Rigorous planner – high attention to detail
  • Very strong initiative
  • Potential Limitations
    • Rigorous planner, too much attention to detail
    • Very strong initiative (when initiative might not be most appropriate).
  • easy listener
  • artistic and creative minded
  • empathetic
  • easy to work with
  • punctual
  • professional
  • fun loving
  • I love to get dirty!
  • I take criticism well
  • Potential Limitations
    • need improvement with being articulate
    • have more than a couple things going on at once, so I need a little bit of a heads up for meetings or whatever.
    • program
    • Im not a “visual learner” or a “book learner”. I learn by “doing”
    • I have a hard time holding my attention on one thing at a time


Our first official group meeting went really well. I am happy with the maturity and honesty of the other members of the group, and I think we will thrive because of the time we took to discuss our individual strengths and potential limitations. Our relatively defined roles were generated in an organic and spontaneous way, which makes me feel like they are best suited for each individual (myself included). I see myself working well with Tom, Jenti, Anala, and Aaron, and I feel like our group will be able to hold the space for each of us to thrive, grow, and learn in our own unique ways. Further, the sincerity of our mission statement and group goals leads me to believe that we will fulfill our course objectives and create a most appropriate and fun design!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

4. Site Visit & First Impressions– Record Neutral Observations, follow the five senses, record and blog them with a few pictures of the site

The first impressions of this site include a LOT of edge; great space potential for developing beds and playing with diverse locations within the property. The property slopes high to low from the front of the property (and street) to the back, with the house more-or-less in the center and the back property line bordering a creek. There is a lot of potential for creating beds on the south-facing slope beside the house, and potted plants on a sizable east-facing deck. Entrance faces east, and the eastern edge of the property also has some pre-formed garden beds with a lot of potential to extend and remodel. The north side of the property has a great location near the side of the house for flowers and herbs on a potential swale berm. I noticed a lot of diverse growth around the edges of the property, including a lot of trees and a lot of newly planted trees. There are at least 5 young willow trees, which indicates the high moisture content of the property, but historically there has not been any problems with flooding; water drains to the borders/sides of the property and the abundant edge (with trees, shrubs and undergrowth) soaks up the water well. There is a strong presence of deer on her property who like to be by the creek, so we will need to consider their needs as well as their appetite in what food we plant and how we protect it.

It seems like our client will be fun to work with; she is enthusiastic and has expressed clear intentions while at the same time is open to our design recommendations.

5. Client Interview and Previous Land Use – Refer to needs of client, taking into account any information regarding the history of the site.

6. Goals Outline- Summarize Goals From Client Interview- Organized by values (WHY), goals and criteria (HOW)


Theme:  Suburban property with revitalized home structure occupied by mature single woman.

Scenario ~ 
Our client, owner of two businesses and nearing retirement, has done much renovation and beautifying of her home and area in the 3 years she’s owned it.  Her home is located on a 1.3 acre sloping property, with an expansive lawn and lots of edge with trees. She is continuing to make it into a beautiful, tidy, aesthetically~pleasing sanctuary for herself and her friends, children and someday~grandchildren, including some production of food, herbs, fruit trees.  She is implementing the elements and functions supportive of this end now, while she has the means, so that she can enjoy it with less maintenance in the years to come.  Her overarching value inspiring her vision and design is: Simplicity of Lifestyle, and Peace.

~ Our Vision ~ 

Sanctuary ~  My home and property offer a beautiful, comfortable space of ease, respite and relaxation, with a private and secluded feel.  Self-sustaining compound-like.

~ hedging or some sort of trees or visual border obscuring the road and traffic on the North side of the property

 I don’t have anything that requires too much maintenance
~ working with relative location and stacking functions ~ ~   maximum efficiency and symbiosis [this is our idea/solution].

Aesthetic ~  When I return home or gaze out of my window, I feel ease, calm, serenity and joy at the beauty, life and color I see around me.  My property is tidy and park-like, low maintenance; less is more. [Our interpretation:  a “manicured Eden” feel.]  In addition, within this ambience, I enjoy having small, tucked~away areas, little magical havens where children or fairies might play.  I like to feel and remember the magic of childhood, in this way. 

My style is, “Less is more.”

Balance between natural and tidy.
~ I grow a wide-array of flowers, herbs, and vegetables
* aesthetically pleasing and functional for eating
~ My deck offers space for pots of beautiful flowers and useful plants for my kitchen
~ Wildflowers and prairie flowers (including scented flowers) in some areas, ~ in some of the more ‘natural’ sections. Echinacea, too.
~ Butterfly Garden

My home and land is a serene, beautifully maintained, park-like space where I feel cozy quietude.
~ I enjoy open space in my yard where I can see green grass and possibly some chickens running around.

Various little havens around the yard where children can escape from view and enjoy secret play-places and imagine.
~ 4-year-old weekly visitor
~ grandchildren

Food Production ~   I like being able to walk around and pick berries here and there; and for my friends and younger~generation relations to have the joy of doing the same.  I love having fruit trees.  I enjoy having vegetables, herbs and other foods available to harvest and share with my friends when they come to visit.

I create spaces for growing food ~ vegetables, herbs for my own and my friends and family’s consumption
~ My deck offers space for pots of beautiful flowers and useful plants for my kitchen
~ I have a few (2+) 4 x 8 raised beds for primarily food cultivation, including:
– Tomatoes
– Peppers
– Butternut squash
– Cucumbers
– Lettuce
– Scallions
-Jerusalem Artichoke
~ I have a south-facing deck attached to a greenhouse
* I grow a plethora of seedlings
* This provides additional warmth for my home
~ Chickens benefit from plant and food scraps
~ My new compost pile / worm bin offers additional nutrients and organic matter; micro-organisms and fungus, to enrich my soils and increase the health of my plants.

Having several varieties of berries growing on my property
~ reminds me of my childhood
~ is fun for the children and others to pick and eat when they are visiting
~ they are tasty!

I love having fruit trees.
~ I have 2-3 apple trees on my site, replacing the ones which were destroyed by deer foraging.
* fencing for these new trees
* manuring / pest control (chickens?)

I grow a wide-array of flowers, herbs, and vegetables
~ aesthetically pleasing and functional for eating

Chickens run around the property
~ provide me with eggs, and their presence and liveliness (also pest control, manure…).

Family/Friends/Community ~  having welcoming space to share with friends and family to come and enjoy quality time and meals together is important to me.  {Contributes to meeting social/emotional needs.}

My friends, children (and grandchildren), including a four-year-old who visits weekly, enjoy the ambience of my property. 
~ adds to my quality of life, and theirs

Children have places to explore and and imagine, play and wonder.
~ several magical~feeling havens, tucked away from the wide open space.
* smaller, arching trees/shrubs, shade and partial shade, decor which promotes this ambience.

Play / Active Area

Wide open spaces remain for children to play and be active in, and others to enjoy as well.
~ expansive lawn spaces remain
~ hedge and other natural borders around the property enclose this area

Some food production areas share these spaces.  Multi-functional.
~ Some berries here
~ fruit trees {climbing, too?}

Various spaces around the yard where children can escape from view and enjoy secret play-places
* I have a sandbox for kids to play in

Additional possible values, goals, objectives, criteria:

“What you’re doing [Permaculture] is very, very good.  For everything.”
Very willing to do modification of existing areas and elements, layout.
Wanting to do as much design and implementation of goals as possible now, so that it will be in place in the coming years.
‘Why put off until tomorrow, what can be done today?’   ~ goal-oriented, gets things done!  Very efficient. 
Minimalist, high quality
~Butterfly garden
~More berries
~Raised beds ~ this year

Has a lot of deer
Healthy relationship to outdoors work: “Anything I do outside, it’s not because I have to; it’s because I want to.”  Working out in nature is Good Medicine. 
Can afford to pay others to do maintenance work for her at this point in time.
Attention to / modification of North-side island . . .
Hidden magical spaces
Wants to invite birds
Wants lots of color
Keep the visual horizon ~  this is soothing.
Native species
Wants to be reminded of childhood with playful, imaginative place
Self-sustaining compound


7. Goals Statement- Mission Statement of the Design, encapsulates the inspiration of the design, addresses the WHY

Suzie Zolo’s Permaculture Paradise is a natural sanctuary that reflects a Park perfect environment within the self sustaining compound. The elements and landscape are upgraded to perform many functions, including food production with a mix of garden beds and wild edibles, components for butterfly and bird attraction, composting and energy cycling with chickens, and simple, aesthetic and recreational beauty. From native species of fruits, vegetable, flowers and nuts to redesign of special places for reflection, appreciation of nature, child’s play and outdoor’s creative expression, this comprehensive design is perfect for enjoying with family and friends. Best of all, the landscape is aligned with the design principles of permaculture and honors the natural functions of the surrounding ecology.


Creating the goals outline and statment was challenging at first because as a group we didn’t have a clear enough understanding about the “why” of the steps themselves. Regardless, it seems like we all have a good understanding of the clients desires and vision. The Visioning process as a whole is becoming more clear to me after being confused at times during the design time in class. This process has helped me understand the importance of learning the process itself. It has felt overwhelming at times thinking about the details of choosing an optimal diversity of plants, earthworks, animals, and the relative location of everything.

In short, we almost over-complicated things when thinking about the goals outline and articulating her vision. Going through this visioning process as a group today helped us remember and clarify a key component that our client is seeking: Simplicity. Our client’s vision has provided us a with an interesting challenge. Creating a simple, manageable, low-maintenence permaculture design while fulfilling many functions for her property. The challenge is to take all the aspect of her property that seem to be distinct from one another (the north side of the house, east-edge garden beds, east-side porch, south side porch and green house, south side garden beds, compost pile, pathways and serene niches for relaxation and play, high aesthetic value, visual cover from the neighbors and streets, etc) and creating a simple, minimalist design that is at the same time lush, colorful, and filled with different elements, edibles, and zones for childlike discovery and play.

I feel like the best result will come if our group is able to remain grounded in the permaculture principles and remember to utilize patterns in nature, and not get caught up in a compartmentalized, detail-oriented approach to the design.

8. Functional Analysis of Desired Species from the Client- from the interview, identify species or elements that you need to know more about

Element 1.0: Cold/Slow Compost Pile

Primary Source:

>Brown materials
>Kitchen scraps
>Plant food
>>Increased soil microorganisms, worms, and decomposed organic matter/nutrients
     -Innate Characteristics
>Dimensions between 3x3x3 and 5x5x5

Element 1.1: Hot Compost Pile

Primary Information Source:

-Enough Oxygen to maintian aerobic activity
-Proper Carbon to Nitrogen ratio
-Organic materials
>50% woody/high carbon materials
>40% green materials
>10% high nitrogen
>>animal manures, fertilizers, or commercial starters
-Soil microorganisms
>top soil or active compost
-Close monitoring of temperature
-Physically turning or flipping of pile when time is right
-Plant food
>Insects and soil microorganisms, including worms
-Accelerated decomposition of organic material
-Produces/creates heat
Innate Characteristics
-Dimensions between 3x3x3ft and 5x5x5ft

Element 2: Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus)

Primary sources: Edible Forest Gardens, Vol.2 (Dave Jacke, Eric Toensmeier);

-Zones 2-10
-Part Sun, part shade
-Moderate water, not too wet
-Neutral, acidic, or moderately alkaline soil pH
-Partial shade and wind break
-6-12’ tall 
-Edible uses
>Tuber (raw or cooked)
-Medicinal Uses
>Leaf, flower, and tuber
>>Digestive aid
>>Aperient; Cholagogue; Diuretic; Stomachic; Tonic
-Lots of biomass
-Flowering (yellow)
Innate Characteristics
-Indefinite width, growing expansively
-Grows fast
-Native plant of eastern North America

Element 3: Sage (Salvia Officinalis)

Primary Source:

-Zone 5
>Well-drained soil or moist soil
>Neutral or alkaline soil pH
-Full sun
-Flowering (light purple)
-Edible uses
>Leaf and flower
-Medicinal uses
>>Digestive aid       >>Antihydrotic; Antiseptic; Antispasmodic; Aromatherapy; Astringent; Carminative; Cholagogue; Galactofuge; Stimulant; Tonic; Vasodilator
-Other uses
>Compost activator
>>Tooth cleaner
>Ground cover after year 1
Innate Characteristics
-Not frost-tender
-Evergreen shrub
-Native to southern Europe and Asia minor
-Deer resistant
-Moderate growth rate

9. Analysis and Assessment Questions: Given your goals, what do you need to know about the site and the context in which the site exists?

Themes – Ranked by order of permanence:

  1. Climate
    What zone are we in and how will that effect decisions and planning for support?Functioning around the site due to weather considerations?How will we handle snow accumulation without destruction to plantings?

    Protection from frost, to much sun, wind?

    Supporting plants in time and space to accommodate each others needs?

  2. Landform
    How will the slopes benefit the design or drive it’s decisions?Where is water collecting for use, or detriment to planning?Have we handled the big rain erosion potential?

    Is there too much cover not allowing direct sun, open up?

    What is the quality of our soils, Check it?

  3. Water
    Where will water need to be transported?
    Can we build swales?
    >how many swales do we need?
    >where is the best location to put swales?
    -What other methods of water catchment can we implement?
    >Rain barrel? More than one?
    >Cistern? – How many gallons?
  4. Legal Issues
    -Are any building permits required for any of the elements?>Will engineer, architect or designer need to draw plans?>Will there be inspections for these permitted jobs?>> Greenhouse, deck, storage?-Is a survey required for the purpose of identifying neighbors lines?-Is work permitted in the area between property line setback to the road?

    -What are the hours of operation for workers using power tools?

    -What is the setback from roads and property lines for plantings?

    – Will we be calling 1800 Dig??

  5. Access & Circulation
    -Where are the main storage areas?
    >If they are to be built, where are optimal locations?
    >>Relative location to garden beds, mulch/compost piles
    -Where are the walking paths going to be?
    >how wide will they be?
    >how will paths be defined?
    >>mulch, pebble, or dirt?
    -Where will the lawn mower need to go?
    -Where is the designated driveway/parking area?
    -How would a potential addition, porch, or greenhouse change access to compost pile, tool/equipement shed, and garden beds?
    -Where will the wood pile go?
    >Where will fallen limbs, extra biomass, and twigs/sticks be piled?
  6. Vegetation & Wildlife
    – As far as the deer are concerned, who tend to visit your property– when it comes to keeping your produce safe from munching, would you prefer to use man-made fencing, or something more natural, which will likely need occasional tending (though they each may)?

    -Would you be interested in / open to the idea of having a ‘chicken tractor’, in which to move your (potential) chickens around the yard, to ‘mow’ and fertilize your lawn (plus chickens get fed and are healthier this way)?
    -Would you rather fence in your chickens or your vegetable (& al.) gardens?
    -Would you rather fence in your entire yard, or just fruit trees, produce…  anything that deer might nibble?
    -When there might be an option between native and cultivated varieties of fruits and other species, would you rather go for the native (and likely hardier, though perhaps not as familiar) variety, or the cultivated (likely more disease-prone)?   (for example, pawpaw vs. apple.)  Natives tend to be better-suited to this climate, soils, &c.* – -As far as the deer are concerned, who tend to visit your property– when it comes to keeping your produce safe from munching, would you prefer to use man-made fencing, or something more natural, which will likely need occasional tending (though they each may)?

    -Would you be interested in / open to the idea of having a ‘chicken tractor’, in which to move your (potential) chickens around the yard, to ‘mow’ and fertilize your lawn (plus chickens get fed and are healthier this way)?
    -Would you rather fence in your chickens or your vegetable (& al.) gardens?
    -Would you rather fence in your entire yard, or just fruit trees, produce…  anything that deer might nibble?
    -When there might be an option between native and cultivated varieties of fruits and other species, would you rather go for the native (and likely hardier, though perhaps not as familiar) variety, or the cultivated (likely more disease-prone)?   (for example, pawpaw vs. apple.)  Natives tend to be better-suited to this climate, soils, &c.
  7. Microclimates
    What is Fairfield’s climate in relation to zone 5?What impact does the current unbuffered northern road cause on the property with wind and frost?Will the development across the street create new wind patterns from the south east?
  8. Buildings & Infrastructure
    -Should we identify all existing infrastructure and buildings by survey?-How will we work around and protect the buildings and infrastructure?-Should we have the municipality and utility companies meet us on-site?>Should the utility companies mark all lines underground?-We need to find out what plans exist for taking of lands or right of ways?-Are any improvements such as sidewalks road widening or otherwise planned?

    -How does the height of the home affect sun light and tracking for plants?

    -What is the box to the west of home, where is septic, water etc?

  9. Zones of Use
    -Where are they?
    >Which zones apply to this property/design?
    -How does existing vegetation influence zones?
    -Other structures
    >House, walkway/driveway, garage, lawn, existing beds
    -How does sunlight influence zones?
    -How do aesthetics influence zones?
    -How does slope of land influence zones?
    >Flow of water?
  10. Soil
    -Is the soil mostly clay, sandy, or loamy?
    -Neutral, acidic or alkaline pH?
    >Do we actually need to take simple samples?
    -What is the soil pH around the edges of the property areas?
    -If the soil is generally not good, how will we incorporate soil-building into our design?
    >What are the different strategies for repairing and rehabilitating soils? (EGP, 65)
    -Where is the best soil?
    -What does the soil biology of the existing garden areas look like?
    -How is drainage different in different areas of the property?
    -Where will we get the soil for raised beds and new garden areas?
    -Will there be a compost pile(s)?
    >If so, what kind of pile will it be?
    >>Hot or cold?
    >>Will there be a heap compost pile?
  11. Aesthetics

    *  If, in general, there had to be a compromise for some element of the design, in either the aesthetic of the thing, or its level of sustainability and ecological responsibility (which may not ever end up needing to be an either/or situation), which would you rather favor?
    *  Would you say that “magical fairy~haven” might be an apt description for the sort of look & feel you are going for, at least in the more ornamental-areas of your property?
    *  Are you hoping to do away with the square raised bed in front, altogether, or move it?
    *  Where, specifically, are you hoping to do the butterfly garden?
    *  Do you like the look/feel of structures built with natural materials (cob, &c.)?
    *  Would you like to make any changes/improvements/additions to the thicket~y area on the East side of your property?
    *  Would you consider a constructed wetland or other greywater system, somewhere on your property?
    *  Would some fruit trees and/or gardens be a welcome addition to the North side lawn, or would you rather keep that open?


2 responses to “Vision

    • Thanks. I appreciate the feedback on the reflection.
      And yea, you’re right on the Mission Statement of the Design. I just reworded it so it would fit the active, present tense voice. I also just sent you an email saying this same thing. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s