From: JJSherwood (
Date: Thu, 24 Oct 1996 23:51:01 -0500
PERMACULTURE:  A Response to Rebecca Bryant's inquiry (from Ozark CoHo).

I am with the Deer Island Village in Novato.  And, while you have probably
seen our description, here it is again:

We are a Co-Housing Development east of Highway 101 and north of Highway 37
about 30-minutes north of San Francisco in Marin County.    Move-in date is
expected to be December, 1997 with eighteen houses on eighteen acres of land.
 The houses are detached, each on a third-acre, with 12 acres of open common
space.   The community includes a common house, pool, tennis court, and
landscaped common gardens using permaculture principles. The units have been
pre-sold, but we welcome interested parties to join the waiting list.

We are just learning about permaculture.  Penny Livingston is our
consultant--she is from Point Reyes, CA.  Penny studied with the Tasmanian
guru ( Bill Mollison), who presented a brief overview of permaculture to us
and others in Novato last spring.  It is our expectation that most of the
18-acres will be planted with permaculture principles as our guidelines.  To
help with this integration, Penny Livingston is planning to meet with each
household separately, as well as with our group of 18 families as a whole, to
plan our landscaping.  

Our land is gently rolling hills with majestic oak trees.  We anticipate that
we will be able to retain all the water that falls on the property by
constructing swales and three ponds.  We also imagine fruit trees and
vegetables/herbs mixed throughout the land and planted in such a fashion that
no crop is harvested leaving large spaces of fallow land or dead plants.
 Native plants and trees will be favored, as will drought resistant
varieties.  We will have very little grass and that which we do plant will
not require very much water.  Our expection is that we will grow more food
than we ourselves use; therefore, we will need to decide on how to deal with
any surplus (e.g, give to homeless shelters, sell at farmer's market, barter
with other growers).    

We have agreed on a maximum of 800 square feet of grass per house, plus a
field near the common house for games and sports.  At this point, only a few
families plan to have as much as 800 s.f.  Most of us will have no grass at
all--our yards will simply be seamless continuations of the landscape in the
common spaces, plus a few ornamental flowers.

We have agreed that none of us will build perimeter fences.  We will only use
fencing as privacy screens (plantings are preferred) or child and pet
containers.  Where possible, we will plant wine grapes as vines along the
fences surrounding the ponds and pool and the fence around three sides of the
18-acres.  We hope to have an annual grape stomping and wine making

I am sure there is more to say, but at this point I have run out of thoughts.
 Please call (415) 989-6189 or send additional e-mail.

Best wishes,     jack sherwood

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