We also have a small (2.5 acres) site near Victoria, BC that I'm puzzling over. Where to start? There's so much to learn. I'm pretty grateful for this website because it feels like many of the answers are here.
I guess water is one of the most important things to design for. We have very dry summers and wet winters, about 40" per year. The land is rectangular, about twice as long as it is wide, with a road on the north-west side. It's slightly bowl shaped with a run out the bottom of the bowl to the north-east. The highest to the lowest elevation is probably not more than 20' with the high spot at the south corner and the low spot about in the middle. At the north corner, there's a high-production well that belongs to the local acreage community, which we are on the edge of. The well water is great but I would prefer not to depend on it for irrigation in the long term.
There is nothing on it at the moment, just grass that gets cut for hay by our neighbor, with a few deer and rabbits and other critters around. And there are two huge fir(?) trees at the east corner. Except for a small area in the south corner, the soil is mostly clay (failed perc tests everywhere else).
I'm trying to determine where the best place is to put a pond. We've mapped one contour line at my best guess of the keypoint (according to my vague idea of keyline design) but it doesn't seem like a good place for a pond, too low, not really any kind of valley, more like a corner. I'd like to map another line at a higher contour and try to collect water from it into a higher pond, for possible irrigation of the bowl. We'd like a small house, a big shop (my husband has a milling machine), a pond, lots of trees, and about half an acre of organic vegetable garden for us and to sell. I'd like to raise a few chickens for eggs and feed them from the site. I really like the idea of hugels - we have two mounds now in our city lot that are growing veggies like crazy at the moment. I can imagine courses of hugels extending all around the property, channeling water from the pond via gates. But that might be a bit optimistic!
Anyway, I know I have lots to learn and am just scratching the surface. I'm looking forward to seeing more about Ross's book, it might be just what I need.