I am new to the permaculture world, and am in information overload. Processing will continue apace, and I feel need is greater than processing ability. My immediate goal is to replace our small vegetable garden (old beds are falling apart and poorly located) and be more self-sufficient instead of just supplementing our summer meals.
I am hoping to get recommendations for designers familiar with the Willamette Valley that can help steer me around major mistakes. Possibly doing design detail all the way down to individual plant selection and location if we are a good fit. I'm located an hour SW of Portland, OR.
I have looked for local designers, but what I have found seems to be:
- Landscape architects with a PDC under their belt to say they did, but with little apparent utilization of that training
- Designers whose largest experience is a 1/4 acre suburban backyard
- Designers far enough away it would be a distance advisor. I'm not opposed to a remote consult, but I feel like an in person meet and site walk is likely valuable.
I live on 60 acres that is a horse facility. Most of the property is geared towards either riding/stable facilities (5 acres), pasture for horse turnout (15 acres), hay fields for additional horse feed (30 acres) or oak forest (8 acres). Although I’m sure there are permaculture aspects I could work with to better the overall property, my immediate goals and desired timing are to plan out the ~2 acre area around the house to allow for:
I don’t want to start placing stuff without thought put into it, especially with the larger pond earthworks. My thoughts are gut feels without basis in design or experience. I'm all for diving in and trying in general, that is how I learn most skills. However, right now I don't have the time and so want to offload much of the design work and capitalize on someone else’s experience, so that when I do have the time later this summer I can put it into implementation.
I'm in Camas, WA, about 1.5 hours from you. I just have a 0.5 acre backyard food forest/forest garden. It is still a work in process but most of the "anchor plants" are at least 10 years old and producing well. My current project is a raised hugelkultur no-till keyhole-shaped veggie bed. Otherwise everything is perennials. I have no animals but I attract a lot of wild birds who do all of my fertilizing and most of my pest control. And occasionally bring me new plants.
I have learned a lot and have made quite a few notes on what I've learned, which I am happy to share. I am not a PDC designer. My main inspiration has been Toby Hemenway. We had a permie-aware designer do a design for us 15 years ago. At the time we were focused on natives but as I learned about permaculture I substituted edibles for some of the natives in the design. The combination of natives and edibles (and native edibles) seems to work well for me.