Training for Professional Permaculture and Ecological Design

    Available courses

    Backyard Orchards and Woodland Harvests

    Food forests and forest gardening bring together the best ecological systems that allow us sustainable, low input, and high-yield harvests.  Forests and woodlands exist in almost every climate to some extent. In temperate northern climates, tropical climates, or coastal setting,  we have the best resources and environment for a wide selection of plants and trees.  This forest gardening presentation will focus on site assessment, resilient plant systems, poly-culture design, and assembling the best species suited for each participant’s property.

    Join us in building natural capital by designing polyculture resources into our landscape.

    Design your landscape working with nature. Our ecological landscape is filled with possibilities. Locked in the urban lot, fields, or broad acres may be the means to sustain an abundant lifestyle for growing food, collecting fresh rain water for drinking and reducing dependence on purchased resources. This series will unlock the ecological capital that abounds within the landscape and the neighborhood that surrounds it. Participants will be taught the skills and foresight needed to assess, concept and design a property into a perpetual harvest garden.  Learn ecological landscape design language and technique while using the permaculture design process to create a ecologically resilient residence and harvest abundant landscape. Small intensive design classes are limited to 20 participants each session. Register early. Classes will be held weekly with on-line resources available for self paced instruction. See details below. Any module can be taken individually, however the series is a progressive learning format building from all sessions.

    The series will culminate with each participant completing a technical design ready for implementation. Make sure you keep time available off-line to complete the assignments. Students working on a personal design for their property should purchase the site assessment workbook 2 weeks prior to the class.

    Class 1- 4 are 3 hour lectures, demonstrations, and practice sessions with extensive homework assignments (4-5 hrs)
    Class 5 is a  LIVE design workshop finishing the concepts with plants, materials, and final critique.

    Day 1 Homestead Design I: Base Plan and Homestead Site Assessment    
    Day 2   Homestead Design II: Permaculture Concepts for the Sustained Homestead
    Day 3   Homestead Design III: The Design Progression 
    Day 4   Homestead Design IV: Concept and Draft Design Workshop
    Day 5   Homestead Design V: Final Design and Supervised Work Session

    Call SouthWoods for sponsoring a design series at your location.  612-720-5001  

    Site news

    International Ecological Design Services

    by Moodle Admin -

    SouthWoods Design supplies site assessment, ecosystem restoration, and ecological design. Our scale is of work is applied to villages, homesteads, farms and entire ecosystems for ecological restoration. All across North America and the  tropics, SouthWoods has designed living systems for residential and commercial food production. A complete ecologically based strategy supporting long-term harvest and resilience. We supply the expertise for your future prairie oasis, dry land sanctuary, or cold climate paradise. Call us or fill out the inquiry on the contact page.

    Molokai LAnd Use Restoration

    Condensation Dome

    International projects have brought important information and insight to our ecological design. Extreme climates need deep thought, research, and strategies suited to the environment and culture. I bring our design experience to these remote sites and return with new stratagies for all the diverse conditions we have here in the USA.


    International and Professionally Accredited Permaculture Design for Residential, Homestead, and Broad Acre Systemss

    Building Capacity in Soil, Water and Plant Systems for Designers, Families, Neighborhoods, and Community.





    North American Site Assessment and Design

    USA: Minnesota, Texas, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Georgia, Mississippi, California, Oregon, New York, Maryland, North Carolina, Idaho, Canada - Ontario, Costa Rica - Turrialba and La Fortuna

    Current International Consulting & Projects:

    Ecological Restoration Camp       Spain

    AFENBO Village Design                Haiti

    Deing's Demonstration Farm        Senegal

    Fleri Farm Restoration                   Haiti
    Mubaraka Farm                              Saudi Arabia                           Ecosystem Restoration                 Sanai Penninsula                                Hope Foundation                           South Africa                                       Fumba Town                                   Zanzibar  Molokai                                            Hawaiian Islands

    SouthWoods is located in the Spring Lake watershed and is a rich fertile island surrounded by wetlands. The permaculture principals are an integral part of every system at SouthWoods. They guide the decisions, enrich the soil , conserve and collect natural resources, build flora and fauna diversityy, and ensure the sustained capacity of the residents. SouthWoods is a living lab of design, plant systems and research. 

    In 2006 during the summer solstice, Geoff and Nadia Lawton of PRI Australia visited our homestead for a workshop for PRI/Cold Climate. More images can be seen at the 2006 blog (contact us page). Geoff helped us refine the berm and swale design. Nadia introduced us to some of our native plants that also grow in Jordan.  Back for a visit in 2014, Geoff, Nadia, and family visited SouthWoods and six other sites in the USA to film cold climate strategies.  We also celebrated ten years of permaculture at SouthWoods with an all day open house and book launch party for IFG.

    Integrated Forest Gardening (Click here to order)

      The Complete Guide to Polycultures and Plant Guilds in Permaculture Systems

    I am excited to offer this new book that explains and details the design process I use to build polycultures and design the edible landscape. What ever the climate or setting, the desigb strategy will guide your solutions for abundance. Step by step instructions and 15 polyculture examples. Get out the highlighter and fill the margins with notes. It will bring your desire for a sustainable food forest to harvest.

    "Integrated Forest Gardening fills a major gap in the canon of permaculture books, giving us, at last, a detailed guide to guild and polyculture design. No longer is this subject mysterious and daunting; in this book we now have specific instructions for designing and installing multi-species plant groups. Chapter 7, which describes 15 guilds and their plant members, is a golden nugget worth the price of the book alone. This is an essential book for all food foresters and ecological designers."
    —Toby Hemenway, Author of Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture

    Click here for IFG Workshops

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    United Designers 2018 Summits and Workshops

    by Moodle Admin -

    United Designers 2018 Summits and Workshops
    Advanced Permaculture and Ecological Design
    A 5-day course
    Professional Practices
    A 5-day course

    It’s time to get the combined efforts and skills of the many excellent designers and practitioners working as teams. This planet’s people need us and the influence of our expertise to extend far beyond our own watersheds and political boundaries. We need to work together with not only a common goal, but a mutually supported mission, language, and process. Working together we can accelerate our development as the key designers at home and across the world.

    The United Designers 2018 summits are a gathering of designers/practitioners wishing to extend their skills and experience into higher professional practice. Attendees will develop a consistent process to complete designs with high quality presentation, confidence, and efficiency. This summit is for current and prospective members of our supporting organizations and those wishing to join the United Designers Co-op.  Attendees completing the summit workshops will join the cohesive teams of designers working on projects throughout the planet.

    Summit Attendee Resources:

    Complete Design Process Binders in and after classes Access to all design process files and documentation Access to the UD Dropbox for working design files, templates, and symbols. Site assessment documents, tables, and resource libraries One-year subscription to the Natural Capital Plant Database All paper, drawing kits, and design materials supplied (may be purchased). Exercises and practice sheets to develop design speed and experience.

    Summit Attendee Outcomes:

    Hands on experience with professional design practices and process Hands on experience with design drawing, software, and data mining. Complete documentation for professional practices. Forms for proposals, billing, and project management. Deep learning of all aspects of design drivers and elements. Continuing education and support via the UD on-line modules before and after the summit. Team building with fellow designers from all aspects of permaculture and ecological design.

    Times and Dates:
    Advanced Permaculture, October 19-23, 2018
    Professional Practices, October 25-29, 2018                                         Register below for any course.

    Advanced Permaculture, November 5 – 9, 2018
    Professional Practices, November 11 – 15, 2018                                          Go to:  THE PLANT to register

    Advanced Permaculture, December February 18 – 23, 2018
    Professional Practices, December February 25 – March 1, 2018

    Advanced Permaculture, April 1 – 5, 2019
    Professional Practices, April 8 – 12, 2019

    Advanced Permaculture Design is a 7day course.

    The day will begin at 9:00 AM and ends at 4:00 PM, after this there will be an additional hour for general questions and answers with the instructors, this is for your benefit but is not mandatory.  There is a very full plan for each of the days, but they include many types of activity, indoor/outdoor sessions, and time for refreshments. Time between modules is when we expect you will be busy with your design and projects.

    Professional Practices and the Complete Design Process is a 5-day course.  This course begins at 9:00 AM and ends at 5:00 PM. It has a concentration on professional practices and skill development. Although we will discuss client relationships, marketing, and accounting practices, we will emphasize each student developing a professional design process and presentation style. The class will assess a client site and create a professional design and the accompanying narratives as a group. Working in parallel, each student will be assigned various tasks and present their findings to the class as the process unfolds. Additional work will be required after the course for completing the final design and the documentation. Students will use on-line document access during and after the course.

    Sign Up here

    Advanced Permaculture Design         $1100.00
    Professional Practices                              $  750.00
    Combined Program                                    $1600.00

    Paypal IFG Course Enrollment

    by Moodle Admin -
    Choose payment option, with or without a book.
    IFG On-line Course $129.00 USDIFG On-line Course w/ Book $170.00 USD