Traditional Landscape Design VS Permaculture Landscape Design

Video at bottom of article
A young family wants to make a change and asked two different landscape design teams to design their landscape for healthy fruits and vegetables, nuts and eggs. The two companies create designs and got back with the couple. The video shows the results and below you can easily see the connections and benefits the permaculture design took into the family’s consideration.
Where the traditional design does meet the family’s needs, the permaculture design take a practical look at the landscape, the couple’s desires, and joins them together with harmonious interaction. Here are some of the connections:
Chicken house:

  • At a spot in the property where it will eventually leach nutrients down slope into the landscape.
  • Captures it’s own water.
  • Deep bedding method so the whole thing is a egg making compost generator.

Greenhouse A:

  • Grow food all year.
  • Doubles as a plant nursery.

Greenhouse B:

  • Heats and cools home by providing a buffer zone and convection.
  • Cleanses grey water.
  • Grows nutrient dense tropical food plants because it has a microclimate that can do that.
  • Adds additional living space to the home.

Orchard / Food forest:

  • Captures it’s own water by designing it with the slope of the landscape.
  • Fertilized by both chicken system and support species.
  • Ecosystem design to maximum yield.
  • Once established it is almost a zero work system.
  • Wilfdlife habitat.
  • Nature area for a sense of well being.
  • Real long term low maintenance food security

Garden and crops:

  • You garden more efficiently when you have to walk through the garden to get into the house.
  • Utilizes keyhole gardens with one entry/rotation point instead of rectangular garden that needs to be worked from the outside perimeter.
  • The darker green areas are support species that are filled with nitrogen and nutrient accumulating species as well as pollinator attractors and beneficial predatory insect attractors to aid in suppressing pests and to create wildlife habitat with an ecosystem rather than monoculture.
  • Vegetables washing station near home entry to maximize work efficiency that also uses the wash water to keep worm farm moist. The culling of leaves and plants from the garden go into the worm farm to feed the worms. The worm farm has a drain at the bottom so they can harvest the worm juice after each wash.

Water tanks:

  • Catches drinkable and irrigation water from the roof.
  • Pumped out with a solar powered pump.
  • Irrigates garden with simple low tech, low cost, efficient system.

Chicken system:

  • Creates low work natural fertilizer.
  • De-pests growing areas
  • De-weeds growing areas
  • Feeds chickens

Compost area:

  • Along with the chicken house it serves as a organic nutrient cycling area.
  • Gives quicker compost for garden needs
  • Feeds chickens


  • The city ordinances allow having a store/stand of some types to sell directly to the public.
  • Parking area captures run off water for food forest
  • Community is established with sales
  • Money is made

Community area:

  • Comfortable outside living space
  • outdoor cooking area
  • A visually and aesthetically pleasing area for the family and visitors
  • Meeting area

As you can see there are a lot of connections made in a permaculture design that will benefit this family, the soil, wildlife, and the environment. And this example could be used for a standard suburban lot up to around an acre or so of land. But it does not stop there. A baby boomer couple has now called upon a conventional agriculture consultant and a permaculture consultant to design their farm. This should be a show down of exciting designs and the results should be in soon.

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