This project marries ecological residential landscaping with an educational and productive food forest. Around the home, foundation plantings create a traditional English cottage garden aesthetic, while utilizing plants that create habitat for wildlife, and food and medicine for the family. Major runoff from the driveway is turned into an opportunity to feed the swale system in the orchard where species like apple, fig, and pomegranate produce fruit. A 5000-gallon rainwater harvesting system is used for indoor non-potable use and irrigation of this 5-acre site. A bountiful understory of perennial species creates food production in a passively managed system and provides the backdrop for a meditational labyrinth.

Naturelink Teaching Homestead

farm & homestead portfolio

EST. 2008

When we got involved with the project, the house was under construction. Much of the site had just been cleared and graded, so we were starting from the beginning with building soil. 

The first phase involved adding the rainwater harvesting system, which mitigated drainage concerns as well. The second phase was developing the mandala food forest site, to be used as a demonstration site for the client's nature connection organization.


site conditions

Phase 1+2 construction complete

Featured images: mandala food forest layout; mandala food forest sheet mulching; two 2600-gallon rain cisterns.