Permaculture ::
Course Assignments

This page lists out the assignments that are broken up on the daily pages in the schedule. Be sure to refer to the schedule pages for weekly assignments and readings. ...

Observe a site, preferrably on the SF campus. Spend time at the site at different times of day and in different weather conditions. You will supply a visual assessment of your site, and an initial written vision for a permaculture system there.

Submit to course Google Drive Folder

I visual map of the space showing a) dimensions, b) slope, c) structures, d) existing plant life e) flow of energy such as 1) sunlight, 2) water, 3) critters and bugs, 4) people 5) human inputs, 6) directions

II supplementary diagrams and photos as necessary showing some factors more clearly, such as slope. (please include at least one supplement). .

III Written description of your observation of the space. Include a description of a) what resources exist in the space, and whether they are renewing, b) what yields might be gathered from the space; are the energies being blocked, channeled or absorbed?, c) a description of any patterns or potential patterns you see, d) lists describing the inputs and outputs (needs, products, behaviors) of existing elements in your space can be provided as supplementary visual material, or included in your writing.

Please note: You might also provide a vision for the space as a system -- productive and thriving benefitting humans and other life forms -- but the thrust of this assignment is to focus on observation and assessment.

Optional Visual diagrams showing site and different times of year (sunlight, change in plant growth, etc.)


detailed view of graduate center
detailed view of back lot
other maps

Field Journals DEADLINE EXTENDED to March 19 at NOON
For this assignment, you will identify 5-10 "problems" on your site and explore how they might be transformed into opportunities. Spend time on your site at > 4 different conditions. On a sunny day, a rainy day, in the morning, afternoon, night, etc.... You will keep a field journal with notes in 5 categories:
1) Notes on your observation of a problem element, pattern, or sector.
2) How is it a problem -- how is it functioning or not functioning
3) What kinds of 'small and slow solutions' would you think about implementing?
--- 3a) What kinds of further research do you need to do?
4) What kinds of observations would tell you your solution is working?
5) How would the solution to your initial problem be integrated into the larger system on your site? What would the 'solution' support in terms the functioning of other elements?

Designing for Water (out of class and in-class work).
- Track your personal water use for one week. How much water do you use every time you wash your hands/ do the dishes, flush the toilet (3.5-7gal), do the laundry (typical wash 45 gal) in one week? organize information in a spreadsheet, with each row a kind of water use (see 'Water Use Example' in course folder).
- Convert everything into one unit of measurement, calculating totals for each kind of use, totals for each day, and a grand week total.
- In a separate sheet, make a column for your weekly totals for each kind of use, make columns for short term and long terms strategies, as well as educated guesses for how much water you will save. Also make columns for what kinds of needs you have to implement the water saving techniques. Make totals to show how much water you will save, and additional rows for any additional elements that will be introduced into your system
- extra credit: calculate the amount of water you could have caught off your roof in the month of March.
- Submit to course folder (A3) before class April 05.

the following is a draft of your final assignment for the class

Federal and state support has collapsed after 2 years of trump presidency and the economic crisis has prevented a full redesign of CCA SF to take place…. A major earthquake has shaken apart parts of the CCA Campus. The western part of the main building has collapsed and 80 Carolina has come apart as well. A visionary team of students decide to turn problems into opportunities and connect the arts to survival and creative flourishing…..

Each group has 1-2 priorities. This does not mean that plantings and ecosystems are exclusive to food production; each site should incorporate soil building, bioremediation, and food forest principles. The following priorities are assigned to different groups:
Art materials - textiles, dyes, etc.
Water catchment and storage
Remediation and soil building

Each group is connected to every other group through one contact. These connections establish how the outputs of one area can become inputs of another area.

The final assignment for this class is a full permaculture design for your given site on the CCA SF campus. You will provide:
1) a full visual design:
___a) indicating all major elements and their flow of inputs and outputs,
___b) major sectors coming onto the site,
___c) any relevant zones to be considered,
___d) planting/ food forest areas.
___e) indicating the implementation of the yields your site is focused on
___f) water use

2) a detailed plant list including their function in the ecosystem, human yields, what they will be guilded with with (see Mar 08-Mar 29 in class assignment). Highlight at least 4 guilds that build a food forest.
3) a detailed timeline for implementation
4) a detailed timeline/ plan for managment (this should outline general roles for different stakeholders)
5) a narrative statement describing your design: your team's vision, the current (imagined) state, potential problems and opportunities, and how you connect to other teams. The writing should also highlight the most important elements of your design, and the remaining questions that are unanswered about the project.

Due May 01 at noon in A4 folder.

How you will be graded on your final:

Vision and overall project (incl. narrative)
Is there waste produced in the system, or are all loops closed?
Does the project demonstrate thoughtful site observation and interaction?
How are edges and margins maximized?
Is integration prized over segregation?
Does the group demonstrate fluency with lectures and readings?

Is there a comprehensive vision that indicates a process of designing from patterns to details?

Does the visual demonstrate a literacy with the flow of inputs and outputs with all of the elements on their site?
Does the visual demonstrate an understanding of sectors and zones?
Does the visual indicate how food forest elements will be employed?
Does the visual indicate what yields will be the focus?
Does the visual indicate sophistication with which to slow, spread and sink water into garden beds and ground water, and -- (for most groups) secondarily -- store it?

Plant lists and timelines
Do the plant lists reflect familiarity with food forest layers and with permaculture plants discussed in classes and in readings?
Do the timelines reflect permaculture principles like 'Use small and slow solutions' and 'Creatively use and respond to change'?