FAST Blog: Family Homestead

Permaculture, Preparedness, Homesteading & Survival

Friday, 1 September 2017

Permaculture Eco Build

It's been a while since we shared our plans with our awesome readers here so I thought I'd spend 5 minutes to bring you all up to speed.

This was our initial basic layout for the plot when we very first bought the land:

Wyrdwood Acres Permaculture Retreat Initial Layout Plan
Starting from the road access on the left, we will have:

Farm Market Stall for fresh produce and products with an honesty box

The first box will be parking for residents and visitors

The second blue box will be the kitchen garden which will supply annual crops to the house
Then we will have the tool shed for storage
Next is the geodome for starting seedlings and extending the growing season
The four blue boxes next are the fields that we will eventually rotate our chickens and goats in
Everything after that will be allowed to go somewhat wild as a food forest, with the classroom and yurts for visitors among the trees. We'll be running courses and workshops for visitors so the classroom area is essential for us. Each yurt will have it's own outhouse with compost toilet but the shower block and kitchen areas will be communal.

We've also included a pond although we are not sure that there is enough rainfall in the area to sustain it, we'll have to wait and see.

We hope that over time we'll be able to establish a living fence around the entire perimeter as a shelter belt and another source of edibles. It will be interesting to see how the layout and plan changes as we go forwards, one of the reasons we're going to be posting it all on here is so we can look back on it in the future. Hopefully we won't have too many mistakes to learn from!

Carly has painted a beautiful watercolour impression of the initial plan:

Wyrdwood Acres Permaculture Retreat - Watercolour Layout

Where Wyrdwood Manor will be located on the land

We've shared these plans before in the past, but one thing we haven't shown you all yet is what we're designing for our forever home. We already had our hearts set on building with straw bales when we moved out here and were lucky enough to find an architect that specialises in sustainable building particularly with earth and straw and with her help we have been able to create a one of a kind plan for the house. Our land is planted almost exclusively with Almonds, so we thought it was only fitting to honour the spirit of the land by drawing inspiration from the patterns in nature that are right in front of us, afterall humans are not designed to live in tidy little boxes, there are no straight lines in nature. For the shape of the main house we drew inspiration from the almond tree flowers,  for the separate work studio we will build it in the shape of the almond nut:

Design for the Almond Flower House and Almond Nut Studio
When it is built it will be truly unique and a stunning example of what can be done with natural materials. The walls will be built using straw bales and then lime rendered on the outside and earth rendered on the inside. All grey water will be directed through a reed bed filtering system and put back into the land, the house will take care of all of its own waste and electricity needs and be as self sufficient as possible.

Wyrdwood Manor Design Layout
 There will be a three bedroom house on the eastern side of the building for my family, the west side is a self contained 1 bedroom annex for my mother-in-law and father-in-law. The are both connected by the central pentagon, this will be a library /study/ meditation area with an open roof covered by a geodome at the top.

South and North Elevations of the house
I think the central area is what I am most excited about, being able to see the sky during the day and the stars at night will make it quite a spiritual place, sheltered within the house but still connected to the natural world.

Cross Section Of The Centre Of The House
The roof will be an earth covered green roof planted with wildflowers to provide additional habitat for all important pollinators, I'm hoping to put a bee hive or two up there as well eventually.

3D Artists Impression
 So you see it will all be really quite stunning once it's finished. We're planning to do all of the building ourselves so will be inviting anyone that wants to come and help and learn to join us in this undertaking. The roof of the Studio will house all of our solar installations so as not to impact on the aesthetics of the main house, so the studio has been specifically designed with this in mind to house batteries and such at one end.

Work Studio

Studio elevations

At the moment we have submitted plans to the town hall, they have already told us they have no problem with any of it as our architect is in constant contact with them so we expect to have our building permission back by the end of September so we can really get moving with the project physically. Now to design a kitchen garden that will be worthy of such a project!

We will be sharing a lot more of the in depth details of the designs and the build on our Wyrdwood Acres Blog

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend, thanks for joining us again for Five on Friday


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  1. Wow-such wonderful plans. I'm really excited for you guys and hope it all goes smoothly. The house will be amazing!! My son lived in a place for a year that had a central garden room--what a joy that space was---filled with plants and sunshine.
    Looking forward to lots of pictures of your progress.
    Hugs and best wishes on your dreams

  2. Great to see your plans, lovely to see the detail. Wish you all the best with your venture. Cathy x

  3. You will have a lot of work in front of you, but if everything goes smooth you will have a little paradise ! In some way you remind me the 70th when lots of young men went to Ibiza or Tenerife with almost the same ideas. I have met one now in his 70th still with (meanwhile grey) ponytail and still happy !

  4. Amazing plans. Love the idea of a green roof with the beehive. Will look forward to eventually seeing the finished buildings.

  5. That's an outstanding setup. I've seen homes built along the lines you plan, in Sedona, Arizona and Taos, New Mexico. The owners swear by them.

    It takes a while to develop a homestead, but you have to have a place to start and clearly you have that under control.

  6. Your plans look amazing! I think I sent you a link one time to a blog where a couple built a straw bale house in the states where it gets lots of snow and very cold. They love it!! Can't wait to see the start. Take care.

  7. Oh, Tricky, you brought tears to my eyes! I am so excited for you and your family! So happy that this dream is about to come true. You have so many wonderful blessings! When my husband and I were young we dreamed of someday building an underground house, with the front opening in the side of a hill. Frankly, I need much more sunlight than that in my abode, but we thought it would be so cool, so earth-friendly and so protected. We thought we might build a small log cabin on top of it on the surface as well. As you may have gathered we only recently were able to become home-owners again (we owned a house for several years back in the early 80s) and our home is a standard "box" but I love it so much, because we feel like it is a real answer to prayer in our older years! I have lots of light...we have lots of privacy, and it is our special place. But, I can remember well all those earlier plans, and I am so happy for you that you are seeing this happen for you, and you are still young. Your sweet little family will grow amid these amazing surroundings! It will mean a lot of hard work, but there will be others who will want to be a part of your vision, and you won't have to do it alone. I LOVE your almond-flower house and almond nut studio!!!! Wow...that was such a special, beautiful touch! I can't wait to see all this happen over the next months and years! I am following your Wyrdwood blog no too. Bless you!

  8. Just beautiful, it gave me goosebumps!

  9. Awesome plans. Love the idea of a green roof with the beehive. Will look forward to eventually seeing the finished buildings.Just in case you must try a visit to our new website United States Post Office Change Of Address


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