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Permaculture Neighborhood Center
Permaculture Neighborhood Center
Last updated:
208 Nelson Way, Sebastopol, CA, US
Climate zone:
Cool Temperate

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Permaculture Neighborhood Center

Project Type

Urban, Residential, Intentional Communities, Community, Demonstration, Educational

Project Summary

The Permaculture Neighborhood Center, PNC is a 1/3 acre lot, transformed from an asphalt parking lot to a budding Food Forest/Permaculture Education center/co-housing community in 2 years!

Project Description

Permaculture Neighborhood Center, PNC

This suburban scale co-housing community is the site of the Permaculture Artisans showcase gardens. The property is 1/3 acre right in the heart of the town of Sebastopol, CA. In just over two years we have transformed this land from a 50% paved 50% gravel lot into a budding small scale Permaculture and ecological design training center.

When we bought this property, it was adjacent to households of long-time friends and colleagues. We removed the fence separating our properties and now share the responsibility and abundance of this urban farm. There are now four houses on the property line engaged in the community and the upkeep.

Our showcase gardens include 400,000 gal of storm water harvesting, 4500 gallons of roof water catchment and storage, two habitat ponds, 80+ fruit trees, 2 espaliers, 1 Belgian fence, dry stacked rock walls, sediment ponds, French drains, raised beds, flagstone patio, small scale off-the-grid solar, children-centered garden structures, microclimate moderation, edible mushroom cultivation, Earthen oven-bench-outdoor kitchen, grey water integration, perennial vegetables, rare and heirloom fruits, custom redwood arbors and gates and on and on.

The PNC is used as a showcase garden for Permaculture Artisans clients. This means that we give private tours to potential clients. As a way to advertise this has been incredibly successful. Not only do clients get to see Permaculture Principles in action they see a set of elements (pond, Greenhouse, etc.) integrated into a holistic design system.While elements are seamlessly integrated we have set our site up in way that allows us to communicate the costs of elements to clients. For instance a client may love the pond and we can tell them it cost x amount which gives them a realistic sense of the cost of elements if installed on their own property in a similar scope.

The Permaculture neighborhood center is a true center for the surrounding neighborhoods. We have potlucks, parties and organizing meetings for the community that bring people together and give a platform for organizing emergency preparedness, greening of our blocks etc. The deepening of relationships results in a sharing of good and services in the neighborhood and a sense of place.

As an education center we are affiliated with the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center, OAEC and the Regenerative Design Institute,RDI. Both these organizations offer PDC courses and a tour of The PNC is a fixture in most of the permaculture courses being offered at these two centers. Beyond these two prestigious permaculture organizations we are partnered with other local organizing groups like Transition Sebastopol and Daily Acts who also plan tours and educational workshops at The Permaculture Neighborhood center.

**I have loads of images and video I would Like to share but am having trouble inserting them here. Once I get some support I will load images here, Thanks!


Photos of the Permaculture Neighborhood center

From asphalt lot to Urban Oasis in 2 years!!

Posted about 13 years ago (7 comments)
Courses Taught Here!
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Urban Residential Intentional Community Demonstration Educational
Erik Ohlsen - Admin
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