enhancing HUMAN Relations with EARTH
Using the synergy of elements to enhance the vitality, productivity and beauty of natural systems. From the initial design, to implementation and ecosystem development, we offer services and support every step along the way.
Ecosystems represent our global wealth. Regenerating diverse, interconnected systems is the clear path for a productive and healthy future. We create renewed vigor and life within landscapes, reviving the ecology of the past with tools of the present.
The hydrological balance of our planet has been severely disturbed - leading to desertification, flooding and other catastrophic consequences. Implementing strategies and techniques to repair the water cycle is the most important task of our time.
Water is life; aquaculture is the natural cultivation of this resource. From raising fish, crustaceans, aquatic insects and plants to a higher level ecology - aquaculture includes a wide range of strategies and techniques for developing symbiotic ecosystems.
Forests play a huge role in reestablishing balance to our global ecology. Agroforestry presents a wide range of opportunities for cultivation including: nuts and fruits, building materials, fuel, fungi, and animal-integrated ecosystems.
WATER RETENTION LANDSCAPES
Terrace-based agriculture has been used for ages to retain water and soil, while increasing stability and productivity. Terrace systems represent the most effective and proven way to cultivate sloped landscapes, a natural solution to maximize natural resources.
From ponds and dams to paddies and chinampas, water retention represents the most productive and vital features of any landscape. Water is the ultimate capital of any farm or homestead - managing this resource effectively is of extreme importance.
Springs represent the highest quality water - distilled by the sun, mineralized and vitalized by the earth. Developing a spring is the process of capturing and preserving the quality of this water so that it is easily and readily available.
Using natural materials we build infrastructure that is both effective and beautiful. Earth cellars, earth stables, greenhouses, timber framing, masonry, and straw bale construction are some of the techniques we have implemented.
CONSULTATION & CONCEPT PLAN
The first step to turning your property into paradise is learning the resources that nature provides and clearly articulating the goals for the project. During the course of the site consultation, we provide the experience and vision for you to gain an understanding of the available resources, as well as some of the possibilities for your landscape.
On-Site Consultations include:
Make your dream landscape a reality - an abundant and thriving ecosystem designed specifically to meet your goals, in symbiosis with nature. We ensure the highest quality work by managing the project ourselves, providing the experience and skill to make sure the Concept Plan is implemented efficiently and correctly.
Project Implementation includes:
Work with the dynamic living elements to develop a healthy and productive landscape. Meet your goals by harvesting the processes of time and nature. Often overlooked, this phase determines the ultimate success of a project and represents the most engaging and interesting parts of the project.
Ecosystem Establishment includes:
montana Homestead Development
natural swimming pool
pond and earthen berm
Ecuador farm development
My first international consultation, this project was a real pleasure to come back for a month-long project nearly 2 years later. Over the course of the month, we created a large pond, two paddies, a stone warm pool, developed three springs for drinking water and another for aquaculture, created about 1km of terraces, 3 building sites and improved the roads and trails.
Gravel from the river was washed by hand and moved to the source with truck and mule, using materials from the landscape to enhance it. Stone meditation chairs, epiphyte totems, springs that were dug by crab and tapped by hand, this project has a lot to offer visitors and volunteers. Now the next phase of the project is underway - building the infrastructure for an agro-tourism lodge and working with the ecosystem that develops.
A family just beginning their transition to a more autonomous life style several different parts of the project have been implemented at different times. A passive solar/geothermal greenhouse (using the constant earth temperature) was built including a climate battery and perpetual soils growing beds. An Earth Cellar was constructed to provide a natural place to store the garden’s harvest into the winter and spring. This uses the constant earth temperature to provide a balanced and climate controlled storage room.
A terrace and hugelkultur garden was created as part of the first phase of the project. This garden harvests the roof water from the house to a series of tree wells, and then to a hugelkultur and terrace below. Using the diversity that nature relies upon the garden produced a wide range of foods and flowers throughout the spring and summer, yielding a beautiful garden that yields and requires relatively less maintenance.
Gallatin Valley, Montana, USA
The earth maintains a consistent year round temperature, usually the mean annual temperature for a given location. This natural stable is designed to make use of this resource, providing a nice warm shelter for animals during the winter, and a nice cool and shady place to escape from the summer heat and sun.
The stable is designed to fit in the middle of a series of paddocks connected with a primary laneway, so that keeping the animals on healthy ground in the property rotations is easily accomplished. Earth tubes are also incorporated into this structure so that it can function for several different infrastructure needs. If a straw wall is built on the open face of the stable then this structure can also serve as a root cellar, to store the summer’s production into the winter and spring season.
Rio, Wisconsin, USA
Designed to retain the large spring rains into the long dry summer and fall this terrace system extends the rainfall from the house.
The water meanders through a series of terraces and spillways so that the water stay on the landscape and is infiltrated into the ground. Perennials and medicinal herbs are planted along the embankments to serve as the long term polyculture with cover crops building the soil right from the start.
Brooklyn, Wisconsin, USA
Natural swimming pool
Located at a wonderful bed and breakfast in Elmwood, IL, this Natural Swimming Pool was designed to provide a beautiful and healthy water feature within the landscape to enjoy throughout the seasons. The material produced from the excavation of the water feature was used to create a Hugelkultur, making use of woody waste on site and providing a perimeter border for the property.
Plants and bacteria living in the shallow zones around the pond filter and purify the water, and the water fall circulates the water, providing additional oxygen and vitality. Around the swimming pool grows a diverse mix of vegetables, fruits, and flowers engaging all of the senses. This system has been thoroughly enjoyed by both the family and visitors of the bed and breakfast.
Elmwood, Illinois USA
High in the mountains along the continental divide, harvesting water and creating microclimates is essential. This large spiraling Krater garden is designed to catch and store the water from the roads and watershed to keep it longer into the long dry summers and early cold winters. Created at the beautiful Sage Mountain Center, this project as a whole incorporates a wide range of sustainable living solutions.
While improving the road and access to the center large boulders were found amid the decomposing granite. These boulders were incorporated into the embankments of the spiraling terraces to act as a solar collector to catch the heat from the sun and store it in the ground. The sunken nature of the garden protects from chilling and desiccating winds, enhancing the life that’s supported naturally inside the garden. Medicinal herbs will be the long term crop for this garden, as the extreme climate produces the highest quality medicines.
Whitehall, Montana, USA
POND and earthen berm
Located at the site of Paradise Permaculture Institute in the extremely windy Paradise Valley in Montana - this project used the material from the creation of a water feature to start a perimeter boundary for the property, to help diffuse the strong winds and harvest the nutrient they carry.
Within the first year wild waterfowl had returned to the landscape and they were able to carry the seasonal water throughout the season on what had been no more than dry horse pasture. Cover crops, edible and soil enriching cover the landscape with hundreds of trees and perennials beginning to take root.
Located in the foothills of the Bridger Mountains the goals for this project were to create an enhanced micro-climate for a garden harvesting the rainfall from the house and driveway that used to race off the property. Within a few months the garden was a beacon of life, storing the spring rains into the dry season with a noticeable increase in humidity within the Krater.
A spiral of terraces lead from the upper berm and terraces, planted with nitrogen fixing drought tolerant species leads, to middle terraces with fruit trees and vegetables then down to the water retention in the bottom of the terraces with water plants and aquatic insects. Before in the late summer this area was just a dry unproductive hillside.
Gallatin Valley, Montana, USA
This was a truly transformational experience in so many different ways. Over the course of 13 days Sepp Holzer led a project to transform a degraded wetlands to a re-vitalized and energized system with wildlife and productivity of all kinds. Around 100 people gathered for the event, to learn and participate in the transformation of this landscape.
An airstrip had been built by previous owners in the wetlands and in just under two weeks a lake, several ponds, and nearly 1km of hugelkultur was created on the site. In the time that has passed it has provided habitat and vitality for all kinds of life, from turtles to waterfowl and bears. During the course of an 11 day intensive workshop I was empowered with a clear path and purpose to follow through with the desires to help that I had long felt.
Dayton, Montana, USA
Protégé of revolutionary Austrian farmer
Sepp Holzer, Zach is the first person to earn Holzer Practitioner certification directly from Sepp - through a rigorous two-year apprenticeship working on projects in North America and Europe.
To contact us concerning Projects, Education or Other inquiries, please fill in the appropriate form and we will be in touch as soon as possible.
P.O. Box 1182
Bozeman, MT 59771