Homestead Design Series

This class is now full, thanks for your interest.

Your landscape is filled with possibilities. Locked in your property may be the means to sustain an abundant lifestyle for growing your food, collecting fresh rain water for drinking and reducing your dependence on purchased resources. This series will unlock the ecological capital that abounds within your yard, fields, or the neighborhood that surrounds you. It will give you the skills and foresight needed to assess, concept and design your property into a perpetual harvest garden.   Learn ecological landscape design language and technique while using the permaculture design process to create a ecologically balanced residence and abundant lifestyle.

The Homestead and Harvest Design Series will culminate with each participant completing a personal homestead design ready for implementation.

Small intensive design classes are limited to 12 tables. Register early.

The series includes:

Base Plan and Homestead Site Assessment - Saturday, March 8th, 9 am - 1 pm
(UD1)  Overview - Paper Language, Bubble Maps, Concept, Draft, Final Draft, Final Design
Assignment - Homestead Base Mapping Measurements
Demonstration - Site Assessment and Base Mapping

The Site Assessment and Base Mapping Course will set the stage for the rest of the series.  We will learn how to use permaculture ethics and design principles to asses our sites and create a base map of the land we will turn into a perpetual harvest garden. We will also outline the design process moving forward, creating an understanding of the concepts we will center our work around as well as how we will structure the design process (timeline for homework, preliminary drafts, final designs, etc.)

Permaculture Concepts for the Sustained Homestead - Tuesday, March 11th 6 - 9 pm
(UD2)  Classroom Pencil Practice - Tools, Landscape Symbols, Complete Your Base Map, and using Bum Wad
Assignment - Finish base map and start bubble maps
Demonstration - Access and Water Works

The Permaculture Concepts Workshop will give participants an overall framework in which to build their designs, while also providing practical information around tools, landscape symbols, and access and proper use of water.  Participants will have time to finish their base maps and start their bubble maps.

The Design Progression - Tuesday, March 18th, 6 pm - 9 pm
(UD3) Classroom Pencil Practice: Refining the concepts, allowing natures energy flow to enhance soil fertility and  - Transfer bubble concepts to draft Design.  Demonstration: Systems Thinking and Design

In this workshop we will delve into the permaculture concepts introduced the previous week and focus on designing for our soil.  We'll take the information from our bubble maps and put them on our draft design, and look deeply at nature's energy flow through a systems-based lens.

Concept and Draft Design Workshop: Spaces, Places and Abundance, Saturday, March 22rd, 9 am - 1 pm
(UD4)  Classroom Pencil Practice - Style Demo, Practice and Supervised Work Session. Determining plant size and placement, polycultures, ecological functions and seasonal access. Assignment - Complete draft design Demonstration: Polyculture Design, Ecological Facilitation, Resource Partitioning

In this workshop we will delve into the design progression, refining concepts, partitioning resources and adding living species to the design. We will determine plant size and placement, polycultures, ecological functions and seasonal access. We will finish our draft design and look forward to final site planning.

Final Design and Supervised Work Session, Saturday, March 29th, 9 am - 1 pm
(UD5)  Final Steps - Plant Selection, Ground Covers, Material Calculations, Implementation, Notes and Logistics
Demonstration - Plant Database Queries and Internet Resources

In this workshop, we'll wrap up the series by doing final selection of plants and ground covers.  We'll also discuss final calculations, implementation of plans, and what internet resources will be most effective when moving forward with plans. This is the culmination of the entire series, and each participant will leave with a "perpetual harvest garden" plan for their personal homestead, completely ready for implementation.
Required Materials: Design kits that include the required materials may be rented prior to or during the course for $35. Materials needed are listed below.
    1.    T-square 36”,
    2.    Drafting tape,
    3.    Triangles: 45-90 degree & 30-60 degree,
    4.    Scissors
    5.    Compass,
    6.    Drafting pencils – HB, B, 2H, 4H,
    7.    8 or 10 Scale Ruler, 
    8.    Large and Small circle templates, 1/8th inch to 2.5”
    9.    Tube for carrying drawings,
    10.    8-scale graph paper;     sheet size 24” x 36” (approx. 4 sheets), 24'x36' vellum paper , 2 sheets (Paper will be available for sale during class.)
    11.    Bum wad paper, tracing paper,
    12.    Glue Stick,
    13.    Gum Eraser,
    14.    Black ink pens – minimum of 3 tips: narrow, medium, bold*
    15.    Optional - 28”x40” Birch Plywood Sheet or Masonite for home use.*
*(This is not included in the rental pkg). 

Most materials can be purchased at Blick/Art Materials, Penco, or U of M Bookstores. Also on craigslist.

Course Details

  • Workshop Title:
    Homestead Design Series
  • Date:
    Saturday, 08 March 2014
  • Teacher:
    Dan Halsey
  • Location:
    Southwoods Forest Gardens, 17766 Langford Blvd Hwy 13 Prior Lake, MN 55372
  • Teacher Bio:

    Daniel Halsey has a Masters in Professional Studies in Horticulture from the University of Minnesota and designs community gardens and Permaculture homesteads across the country. He has co-authored 2 books on sustainable design and is adjunct faculty teaching poly-culture design at the University of Minnesota. Daniel is a certified Permaculture designer and teacher. He is also a board member of PRI USA, Gardening Matters, and the Woodhill Urban Agriculture Education Center.

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    Homestead Design Series

    This is a class in the Homestead Design Series. To learn more about the series, go here -

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