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A Guide To Getting Help On Permaculture Projects

Posts: 5841
Location: United States
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Salutations fellow permies! Here is my guide for getting help on permaculture projects at permies.com.

1. Please specify how much you know about permaculture. This will help us guide you to appropriate sources of information for your training and development. You, the person asking for help, are making the site. We may or may not be able to guide you through the entire process, and you will be the one living on the site not us. Therefore, it is in your own best interest to become as educated and informed as you possibly can about permaculture and the design process. Here are some resources to get you started. Feel free to purple mooseage me if you need help finding some more resources; I want you all to be the smartest people around!!!
Paul Wheaton Permaculture Keynote (fantastic introduction to permaculture!)

Video & Audio:
Open Permaculture (wonderful entire free permacuture design course online; only have to pay to get certified)
Bill Mollison Lecture Series
The Global Gardener Series
Permaculture Design Course with Will Hooker
Jack Spirko's Permaculture Series and his great Survival Podcast, too

Online & Offline Print Mediums:
Permaculture News
Tree Yo Permaculture (has a free Walk Through of Permaculture: A Designer's Manual) (you can also talk with the website owner at permies: Douglas Crouch)
Plant Guilds ebook by Midwest Permaculture
Open Library
Internet Archive
Practical Action

2. Please specify the amount of help you are looking for from us. We cannot effectively help you unless you specify in which ways help is needed. We are not mind-readers.

3. Please please, I am begging you to fill out one or two permaculture design client questionnaires. These are soooo sooo very useful!!! They are great for organizing your thoughts and finding out what information you need to collect and what information you already know. It also helps you and us figure out what you have available and what you will need to accomplish your goals for your site. Also, please upload the completed file for us to view.

4. Outline your goals! Be clear!

5. If you do need specific information about your site's weather, please visit these wonderful websites:
Weather Underground (wonderful daily and weekly information)
Weather Spark (amazing place to get graphs and annual/monthly data)
RSS Weather (great place to get climate graphs with temperature and rainfall)

6. Technical Data is a must for making a good design. Take the time to collect and process it, and you will more pleased with the progress you make. Here are more good resources to use:

Web Soil Survey
PDF Quads by Nat Geo
National Map Viewer You can also talk to your local government land offices to ask about elevation maps
If all else fails, you can create your own map by using a bunyip or A-frame
Google Earth

Plants For a Future Database and Wikipedia are great for finding plants that grow in your area and learning about their needs and usefulness. Also, never forget to get in touch with your local botanical gardens, forestry departments, etc.

Sun Position Calculator can give you the motions of the sun throughout the year in your area along with the azmith and solar declinations. If you do not understand the data being given, they have tutorials that you can access by clinking the links on the left-hand sidebar of their website.
If you want to do it yourself through observation, a clinometer is a great tool for finding the solar declinations at your site.

If you are into doing your own experiments, you can conduct do-it-yourself soil tests instead of going to a university or land office to find out more.

7. Choose a design style or permaculture leader(s) you are going to model your design thinking after. Here are some good people to to study:
The mighty, the glorious Sepp Holzer
Bill Mollison
Masanobu Fukuoka
Ruth Stout
Geoff Lawton and his wonderful videos
Paul Wheaton (check out his YouTube Channel, Podcasts, and Articles all for free!)
Ben Falk (check out his website and YouTube Channel)
Afforestt Technique (making forests super fast through dense plantings)
Garden Pools (very chill people!)

8. Setup an organized system for getting everything done. Google Drive is a great one. You can load all your files and collaborate with as many people as you want on it.

9. Begin the design process and post updates. Be clear about where you need help and where you are stuck. Also, local permie-ish people can be located through the Permaculture Global and Transition Networks. Also the Ecovillage Community people are quite knowledgeable, too.

10. I have attached my first permaculture design to this post so you have an example of how to write design. My instructor told me he was impressed, so I guess it is a good design. At the end of the design, I mentioned Masanobu Fukuoka as my design leader which explains why I did not go into detail into wher all the plants should be.I want the plants to figure it out for themselves, but I also gave general guidelines on how to coordinate plants with each other, too.
Filename: Galveston-Design-Outline.pdf
File size: 13 megabytes
Posts: 1390
Location: Northwest Montana from Zone 3a to 4b (multiple properties)
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You are an awesome individual putting this all together like that. Hopefully many folks will reference it before posting their questions. Don't expect it all the time, but it will help out many folks. You will be a great force in this effort called permaculture. I'll be very interested what you do once you are through your college time.

Good job, Dave.
Posts: 30
Location: NantaHaven, Swain County, North Carolina
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Thanks, Dave. This is excellent instruction! I plan to put it to good use.

Posts: 141
Location: Campton, New Hampshire
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Regarding Will Hooker's lecture series:

Many of the videos on that Youtube playlist you posted are incomplete and/or missing sound and some lectures are flat-out missing.

Here is the official NCSU page for that course with all of the (complete) associated videos. I found it (after watching and being frustrated by the Youtube version) in the online college courses section of openculture.com - another great source of information.
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Dave Burton, i looked at the file you added just a question, how did you apply layers to the photos on your property?
Dave Burton
Posts: 5841
Location: United States
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I applied layers to the photo by editing the image in Microsoft Word and Pages.

First, you need to create a shape:
This is similar to drawing lines with Microsoft Word, but instead, you want to click the freeform line button. You will need tp connect the beginning dot to the final dot to form a freeform shape.

Now that you have a shape, you will need to modify it. A more specific tutorial is this one that goes over how to make gift tags- using the same idea of layering. The key will be carefully adjusting the transparency, coloring, and position of freeform shapes in layers (use of send backward and send forward buttons).

Useful Navigations:
-To bring forward: Right click the freeform shape you've made>hover over bring to front>click bring forward
-To bring backward: Right click the freeform shape you've made>hover over send to back>click bring backward
-To adjust transparency: Right click the freeform shape you've made>select fill>more fill colors>at the bottom of the window that opens is the Transparency slider

And ta-da! That's how I applied layers to my photos. If you get tired of things getting out of place in the designing process of making layers on your photo or you are sure that these layers are not going to be changing you can merge shapes.

I hope you found this helpful!
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