Monday, September 21, 2015

Consulting Gig Give-away Contest

I will be giving away one four hour project consulting package in exchange for two hours of your feed back.  I am a professional Business Analyst, a Certified Project Manager, and a Certified Permaculture Designer. 

Why am I doing this?  I am testing the waters to see how I might transition my successful Business Analyst and Project Management skills from working in The Corporate World to something more personal and impactful on the homesteading and urban/suburban permaculture fronts.

What's In It For You?
  • Comprehensive survey to describe your project, your wanna be project, your ideas and dreams, or the nebulous stuff floating around that you need help defining (this is not part of the 4 hours, and must be completed ahead of the consultation - there are no grades, you don't have to answer all of the questions, you can add your own questions)
  • 2 sessions broken down as follows
    • 2 hour webex session to define the project(s), prioritize elements, and homework
    • 2 hour webex session to review homework, set up a task list and a budget
  • Written response to your survey and homework, and write up of your task list and budget
  • Project can be about anything you would like, from homesteading, to prepping, to healthy living, to permaculture, to long distance relocation, or whatever it is that you wanted to do, but didn't really know how to start.
What's In It for Me?
  • 2 hour voice session to review me, the consultation package, and what you thought of the process, and any other comments you have
  • Information to assist me with determining if this is the right path for me
What are the constraints?
  • You and I commit to six hours of discussion, broken into 2 hour meetings, to be completed within 3 months of the first meeting
  • You commit to completing the survey as it applies to you prior to the first meeting
  • You commit to finishing the written homework, which may take a few hours to several hours, depending on the project, and commit to completing it before the second meeting
  • I will review the homework, and provide written feedback on your thoughts and ideas prior to the third meeting
  • You will commit to providing me oral feedback on the process and techniques used during the consultation process (recorded if you consent).
  • The whole process to be completed before June 2016
  • If you are selected, you allow me to publish the contents of your winning entry (without identifying information) 
  • You will be responsible for determining if the product of this consultation is appropriate for your situation; I will hold no responsibility for the use of the product of this consultation, or the implementation of all or any part of the recommendations or actions that stem from this consultation 
  • All consultation elements will be conducted in English.  Your English does not have to be awesome; however, I need to be able to understand you.  Accommodations for audio and/or visually impaired may be provided.
How do get a chance to win this package?
  • Like my FaceBook Page
  • Send me an email to Karla.Upton@yahoo.com in which you write why you need this service
    • 500 words or less
    • I'm not going to hold grammar or spelling against you, but I have to be able to figure out what you mean
    •  The project or ideas for the project can be about anything you choose
  • My selection decision will be solely based on my opinion that
    • The project is moral and somehow improves your world or the world at large
    • You have passion and are likely to follow through with the project, even if you find every single thing that I provide to you to be worthless
    • You would actually talk with me for six whole hours
  • Selection will be made by November 1st, 2015.
What do you think?  Post your thoughts to my FaceBook page here.


Please contact me for more information about this
or any other Permaculture and Preparedness topic.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Photos & Postcards

Recent photos for you to enjoy - and Shameless Plug for my Etsy store!  See these and other Postcards for sale there.

SRB4 - Autumn Leaves

Little Critter Caterpillar

Thistle in the Wind



Please contact me for more information about this
or any other Permaculture and Preparedness topic.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Zone & Sector Analysis

What is a Zone and what is a Sector, and why are you Analyzing them?

As a Permaculture Designer, I try to design an ecosystem around you (and the other inhabitants of your property, if any).  This ecosystem starts inside your home, with Zone 0, and extends out of your doors through Zone 1 through 4 where it ends up in wilderness with Zone 5.  Not all properties will have the outlying Zones.  In fact, an apartment might only have Zone 0 and Zone 1, with maybe just a little expression of Zone 5 with a bird/butterfly bath and a wildly climbing morning glory vine.  Larger sites may have a significant percent of land as Zone 5 Wilderness.  Each site is unique, and analyzing where the zones might be, and what zones should be included, help to create a balanced design that when implemented, will create the most abundance with the least amount of work over time.
  • Zone Zero - The Home
  • Zone One - Outdoor places that either are by nature visited often or by design need to be visited often.  These often include front entryways and paths from the street or garage to the home, and the back yard area adjacent to the home and up to about 20 feet away from the back door.  Main food production and herb gardens, and relaxation elements are often found here.
  • Zone Two - Less frequently visited than Zone One, Zone Two is often where the family mini-orchard will reside.  In a suburban lot, this may be where the main food forest resides.  On a larger lot, this may be where the main staple foods are produced: corn, sweet potato, winter squash, and such.
  • Zone Three - This is the "commercial" section of a farm or homestead that are primarily found on properties with several acres or more.
  • Zone Four - Also found on pieces of land that are of several acres or more.  This is the buffer between the homestead/farm and the wilderness.  Self-sustaining food forests, firewood collection, and other infrequently visited elements exist here.
  • Zone Five - Where one lets Nature take the lead, and where the primary use is for recreation, observation, and occasional foraging.
Sample Zone Analysis for a Suburban Lot.

It would be much simpler to create a design if all one needed to only worry about the property itself; however, no property is an island, and therefor, they must be designed within the context of the surrounding areas.  Sector Analysis takes into consideration all of the outside factors that affect the property, such as climate, direction of seasonal winds, potential areas where noise or fire, or other irritants and/or dangers may come from, and potential areas where there are benefits, such as a lovely view, or an existing stand of trees on an adjacent property.

Sample Sector Map

Sample Partial Sector Analysis


So in conclusion, Zones help design from the middle out, where Sectors help design from the outside in.  The balance point between the two is the "edge" where the magic happens.



Please contact me for more information about this
or any other Permaculture and Preparedness topic.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Canadian Suburban Lot

If they can do this in Canada, think what we can do here in Middle TN with a much longer growing season and enough rain to sometimes make us think we are in the tropics! Watch this and other wonderful Permaculture videos in high-def on Geoff Lawton's web site. (Note: The video link below may appear black in some browsers; however, you should still be able to click on it and view the video.)



Please contact me for more information about this
or any other Permaculture and Preparedness topic.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Backyard Permaculture

Sometimes when people think of Permaculture, they think of acres and acres of land, with cows or goats and chickens and large gardens and food forests grown to feed a community.  That can be a daunting thought for those of us living in the city or on suburban lots.  The feeling is that, while those large projects are necessary, I will not actually be able to participate in that abundance.  I am here to tell you that is absolutely not true.  In fact, given some sunlight and care, one can produce healthy food, provide some wildlife habitat, compost all of their food wastes, harvest and conserve water, perhaps have some (very small) livestock.  True, you are probably not breeding and raising livestock in this environment, but you could have fresh eggs and good compost for your garden.  And you would be creating a lush, abundant close-to-ecosystem right in your own backyard or patio.   Here is one idea for a 20 ft x 20 ft western facing concrete patio.  No, it isn't a fully contained ecosystem, but it sure is more Earth friendly than some options, and can be a beautiful oasis for you to come home to after a day at work.

Features include:
A - 2 1/2 ft x 8 ft garden bed
B - 2 1/2 ft x 8 ft garden bed
C/D - Mobile BBQ Station with table
E - Patio Umbrella
F - Worm Composting Bench
G - Patio Table (about 3 1/2 ft diameter)
H - "Bistro" or small patio chairs, stacking or folding
I - 55 gal. drum water catchment
J - Waterproof 5 gal bucket with lid for chicken food
K - 2 1/2 ft x 8 ft garden bed
L - Rotating Compost Bin
M - 6 ft x 10 ft Pen for 3 chickens
N - Kitchen Window
O - Sliding Glass Door
P - Living Room or Bed Room Window





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or any other Permaculture and Preparedness topic.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

The Permaculture Journal Launches

The Permaculture Journal has arrived!  After months of design and creation, the First Edition of my Permaculture Journal is finally available on Etsy.  I worked with over 20 people from either the 2014 Geoff Lawton Online Permaculture Design Course or from Paul Wheaton's Permies Family to design something that I hope is both beautiful and functional.  There are over 5,000 pages for journal entries, element records, photographs, and more.  Permaculture and Gardening go hand in hand, so if you are an avid Gardener, but have not yet taken the leap into Permaculture, you will still find this useful.  It is a PDF and is designed for you to print out the pages that you need on your own printer.   It is instantly downloadable after payment.  Initial Launch Special of $5.00.  Yes, just $5, no strings attached.  And you get the 2015 update for free when it becomes available.

One of the printable title pages.

One of over 500 garden record pages.




Please contact me for more information about this
or any other Permaculture and Preparedness topic.