Anyone know if there's such a thing as a Permaculture Development Company? someone who can come in, survey your land,
and then go ahead develop it as a permaculture farm. you give your parameters, and your money and they do the rest. is
there such a thing. and if there isn't, why not?
Well, one of the core permaculture principles is to start slow and build from success. Another is to learn from careful observations, not just at the beginning, but at each stage of the process. So "doing the rest" as you say would be a commitment of 10 years or more, not a one-time installation deal. The company would basically have to come live on your property, which is cool if you're into that.
That said, I know people (including myself) are doing installations of sheet mulch or hugelkultur beds, or planting a tree guild here or there to get people started. But to be permaculture, it needs to be part of a larger plan that includes the client in residence at the center of the design as the caretaker to "do the rest," and that means education and training and buy-in to the plan even if the initial heavy lifting is done by a contractor.
that's exactly it!! why aren't there more companies like exos? i'm wondering if they are succeeding in getting the word out. i never even heard of them. and Ben, you are of course right about the designer must know a lot about the property and its location. but the owner should know. if you got somebody living there 5 to 10 years who has been observant then he can impart that knowledge to the designer and they can both design the property. of course there will be tweaking as the years go on but at least the initial set up is done. we def need more of these turnkey companies around. just imagine if they can provide a service like this to small poor farmers in developing countries and found a way to profit for it. it would be win/win!!
You can hire staff just like any other project. First hire a Permaculture Design graduate from the Permaculture Research Institute or another comparable program.
Have them develop the design, scope of work for multi-phase roll out, then bring on your project manager. From that point it is just like any other large program.
Or you can start small as permaculture suggests, working first with those areas you have the greatest level of knowledge. All depends on your timeline, desired outcome, and objectives.
It looks like Sepp Holzer does these projects (for pay) based on case studies in the back of his book "Permaculture: A Practical Guide to Small Scale Integrated Farming and Gardening"
On my own property I addressed obvious erosion problems, implemented better water management and started building beds in the process. For things I don't do well I bring in a contractor or consultant (mainly via their books) relevant to my scale.
If you're business minded about this you need to have a five year plan. Especially if you'll be including an orchard or food forest. My wife has placed some requirements on me that everything must look really nice if it will be in the front yard.
Be clear about what you want to accomplish before you hire anyone. If you are in south central Virginia (US) area, I can connect you with others doing permaculture who are in a position to hired on a consultative basis, however, with a good project plan you can do this with laborers.
Where are you located? There are probably companies like this is different places, but I know of one based in Maryland. He helped where I was staying in NY. We planted nut trees, and he's great. He has a wealth of information and knowledge at his fingertips.
One suggestion is to find an experienced Permaculture Designer that you feel comfortable with, and they will help you implement the design projects yourself. You may just need to hire someone or rent a machine for initial earthworks, but the main thing is for you and your family to be fully involved as much as possible.
I love the idea. Someday I would love to get into the forestry industry but use agro-forestry methods or holzerian farming with an emphasis on lumber. I'd want to do an ESOP or restructure my business as a co-op.