Terra Genesis International

Permaculture Design for Ecosocial Regeneration

Watershed Resource Consultants is proud to be a founding member of Terra Genesis International http://www.terra-genesis.com/

Terra Genesis International brings together some of the world’s top talent to provide individuals and groups around the world with Permaculture Design Services, as well as customized on site participatory trainings and project implementation.

To discuss your needs and develop a quote, contact Mary Johnson at wrcinashfield@yahoo.com

Building Regenerative Supply Chains, Markets & Using Permaculture Design in Sustainable Product Development

Market shifts are becoming evident among western consumers as long-term trends towards local, organic and fair-trade products.  Nutritional preferences are moving towards more traditional and open pollinated varieties, and away from highly hybridized agricultural products, with their associated loss of vitamins, minerals and ‘energetics’ associated with viable seed-based reproduction.  We have links with cutting edge nutritional and whole food product developers in the US, and around the world and can assist with market and product development for local, national, or international markets based on eco-social regeneration.

Terra Genesis International is a firm that is grounded in ecological design principles.  Our work is focused on regenerating degraded lands for the well being of the farmers & communities that inhabit them, and for the planet as a whole.

Ecological Design Services

Ecological agriculture systems have the stability, diversity, and productivity of natural ecosystems. They minimize the use of scarce fossil fuel resources, enhance critical ecosystem services, and use up to 75% less water than conventional. We use our years of experience in the field to design integrated systems that support the soil food web, sequester carbon & nitrogen, improve the soil fertility every year, while improving the short term and long term economic outlook of the client. Use of soil amendments, synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, and fungicides decrease, while soil health and economic profits increase.

Ecological agriculture is the way of the future, delivering superior food and mitigating global climate change.  These techniques will be increasingly demanded by consumers and mandated by government.

Landscape Master Planning

Permaculture design works with an understanding of fundamental landscape characteristics, and opportunities to create sympathetic landscape design.  Such landscape master planning works by using the Scale of Permanence – considering those aspects of landscape which are most fixed and least changeable to the most easily changed components.  By doing so, climate characteristics, slope, aspect and water flow are given their rightful consideration and the energy flow within the site is enhanced.  This understanding is fused with client vision and needs, to create a clearly articulated design criteria, identify the key components that are required, and where such components may fit within the site.

We focus on large tracts of land, and community scale projects, designing pasture, ranch-land, forestry, and large orchards and vineyards.  This allows us to focus all our energies on the science behind growing healthy topsoil, and in turn healthy cattle, forests, or fruit.  Equally important are the sociological aspects of creating healthy communities that support vibrant businesses and a functioning ecosystem.  With the proper management of land, we can expect topsoil levels to increase in carbon matter by five to twelve times their original degraded levels, sequestering huge amounts of carbon out of the atmosphere each year through improved agricultural practices.

While there may appear to be numerous options in meeting particular needs, the realities of energy efficiency, water flow, and numerous other considerations generally point us toward a unique placement for each particular design component.  Opportunities are always sought to stack functions and find multiple beneficial impacts from synergistic relationships between elements of the design.

Carbon Farming

Terra Genesis International works with each client to monitor levels of carbon in the soil over the development of the project.  We can help link the client with buyers of “carbon credits” to give the farmer additional incentive to practice regenerative agricultural techniques on the land.  These credits are often bought independently of an “exchange,” and can give a real financial boost to the client, while also helping to prove how the project’s practices are helping to mitigate the affects of the industrial society.



Biological Waste Management

Both solid and liquid wastes can be managed responsibly, and biological treatment solutions exist for a majority of waste streams.  In the case of solid waste – organic recycling through soil creation can often be applied.  Recycling and re-use may be applied to non-organic streams, with a minor component transported to regional or local traditional waste facilities.

Liquid sewage streams and grey water can be treated through a number of different systems, in each case resulting in additional water for agriculture.  Design of new systems often allows for biological waste management strategies to be implemented and embedded within the design in such a way that greatly reduces waste streams and energy associated with waste management.



Nature provides a startling array of organism that are designed to deconstruct and decompose materials in order to build soil.  We are only at the beginning of our understanding of the potential for specific organisms, such as fungi to break down even man-made toxic, persistent and recalcitrant materials.  Industrial agriculture and the ‘green revolution’ has furnished a startling array of toxic chemicals in the name of agriculture in the form of fungicides, herbicides, pesticides – biocides of all types.  Some of these have proven to be long lasting within natural systems and may require specific treatment to rid soils of their contaminating presence.  Bioremediation components may also be incorporated as a feature of biological waste treatment systems as required.

 Participatory Education Services

We empower local farmers and community leaders to develop their own ecological designs through a range of hands-on participatory workshops. From the basic practices of food forestry to the full 72-hour Permaculture Design Certification Course, our team delivers high-quality educational events that extend and support the effectiveness of our designs, or we can help to facilitate an educational workshop with an outside teacher.  Marketing, enrollment, management and execution.  We also make any resources we have freely available to our clients, so that they might extend their knowledge and be even more effective land managers.

Our Tools:

Along with the experience that each member of our team brings to the table, we have a number of tools that we regularly use to help us flesh out a design.

Permaculture Design –  Using the principles and ethics of Permaculture Design, we create dynamic systems that function with less inputs and increase short and long term yields.

Keyline Design – Managing the flow of water through a piece of land can be the single most important function of a design.  Through the correct application of Keyline Design, we can keep the pastures green longer, the trees growing faster and the profits rising, while using up to 70% less water.

Holistic Management – Holistic Management works by managing towards an integrated goal developed by all decision makers and using financial management tools that lead to the triple bottom line of quality of life, environmental sustainability and profit.

Soil Food Web Technologies – Understanding the complex interactions of the microbiology in the soil is key to the regeneration of land.  We utilize the science behind the Soil Food Web to make informed decisions about how to improve soil fertility or prepare the soil for a planting.

Surveying and GIS Mapping – Using the appropriate technologies to accurately map out the clients land, we will start our design with a comprehensive survey of the land.  Topographical accuracy is very important to our design, which is then imported into GIS mapping software and used as the basemap for our designs.

Direct Marketing – Producing the food is just one part of making a good living from farming.  The next big step is to sell it.  In conventional agriculture, the farmer gets cents on the dollar for the food he produces, but with direct marketing, we can radically transform the relationship between farmer and consumer, in such a way that is beneficial for all.

Core Team

Mary Johnson, M.S. Plant & Soil Science Watershed Resource Consultants

 Mary has a strong academic and professional history working on climate change mitigation and international development projects. She is certified by the USDA as a farm conservation planner, and has over 12 years of project management experience in the public and private sectors including: business planning & entrepreneurial consulting, environmental assessment & rehabilitation, wetlands restoration, field based carbon assessments and farm best management practices. She uses Holistic Management and Permaculture Design in her consultation with farmers and on her own small farm, to help her clients develop a plan that includes planned profit, and a functional decision making process that allows the farmer to test their actions against their desired goal as they make management choices that cover a value chain approach. She has traveled and worked independently in international settings and has the skills needed to respond to fast changing circumstances.  She enjoys creating locally led partnerships that demonstrate measurable improvement in quality of life for project participants.  Her passion is working with vulnerable populations, and she strives to create viable adaptive solutions to the challenges posed by climate change.  She speaks Spanish and English.  In the past two years she has worked with partners on projects in: Panama, USVI, Haiti, Ecuador, Peru, Kenya & numerous states in the continental USA.

Christian Shearer, B.A. Mathematics and Education www.panyaproject.org

As managing director of the Panya Project, Christian has worked extensively in tropical climates with earthen construction, ecological agriculture, and the regeneration of degraded land. Christian lives part-time in northern Thailand, and is available for design as well as on-the-ground implementation management & education.  One of Christian’s areas of expertise is creative resource management, helping to make the Panya Project completely economically independent within two years of breaking ground.  He also has worked extensively with human resources, increasing the use of volunteers and staff as effective means of design implementation on the ground.  Christian has recently focused on Permaculture Design education, teaching a number of courses in Thailand, Malaysia, Taiwan and the United States.

Ethan Roland, M.S., F.I.M.C.A. www.appleseedpermaculture.com

Ethan is a permaculture designer, teacher, and researcher based in the Hudson river valleys. He studies and practices regenerative design in all corners of the world, from the wild apple forests of Kazakhstan to the tropical monsoon ecosystems of Thailand. Ethan builds resilience for local and global communities through the ecological design & development firm AppleSeed Permaculture and his Board Secretary position with Permaculture Across Borders. He holds an M.S. in Collaborative Eco-Social Design from Gaia University, and will continue his research on the ecology & economics of carbon-sequestering perennial agriculture  systems for a doctorate.  Ethan is our primary research scientist and Computer Aided Design specialist, producing accurate & information-rich site plans and 3D modeling to the team.  Recent projects include 120 acre farm & development designs, orchard consulting for the state agriculture ministry of Guba in Azerbaijan, and teaching several Permaculture Design Courses in northern Thailand.


Gregory Landua,  M.S. Organizing Learning for Ecosocial Regeneration

Gregory Landua has studied marine and terrestrial ecology and evolutionary biology from Alaska to the Amazon. Gregory earned his B.S. in Environmental Science and Ethics from Oregon State University and a graduate diploma in Organizing Learning for Ecosocial Regeneration from Gaia University International. As the Director of the Ecovillage Training Center on The Farm in Summertown, Tennessee, Gregory has focused on regenerative-enterprise development and regenerative education. He is an active permaculture and ecovillage consultant and educator focusing on Borad acre application of Regenerative Design. Gregory is CEO of Booya Cacao and Carbon Farming Tennessee as well as a core member of the Living Mandala Design Collective. Along with teaching and practicing permaculture, Gregory is an active bioregional organizer and author of the blog Gaia Emerging which explores regenerative solutions for the wellbeing of people and our planet.

Eric Toensmeier, Eric Toensmeier has studied and practiced permaculture since 1990. He
has spent much of his adult life exploring edible and useful plants of the world and their use in perennial agroecosystems. He is the author of Perennial Vegetables and co-author of Edible Forest Gardens with Dave Jacke. Both books have received multiple awards. Eric ran an
urban farm project for Nuestras Raíces in Holyoke Massachusetts, providing access to land for Latino and refugee beginning farmers and serving as a cultural agritourism destination. His urban homestead is a model of how to apply permaculture to a small space with poor soils.
Eric is fluent in English, Spanish, and Botanical Latin, and has taught permaculture and food forestry in Spanish in Mexico and Guatemala. He is the sole proprietor of www.perennialsolutions.org.

Our Network

Our strength as designers and implementers is multiplied by our network of colleagues and expert consultants, brought in as required by the needs of individual projects.


ASAP http://info.asapsupplier.com

Provides soil development services using the Soil Foodweb approach developed by internationally renown soil scientist and microbiologist, Dr. Elaine Ingham.  Have assisted many growers in making the transition from the industrial agricultural model to an ecological agriculture approach.

Regenerative Design Group www.regenerativedesigngroup.com

Professional collaboration of eco-social designers based in northeastern North America. Large-scale master planning, agriculture design, ecosystem modeling, mycology, and ecological engineering.

Australia Felix Permaculture www.permaculture.biz

Based in Bendigo, Central Victoria, Australia Felix has been involved with the design & development of over 1100 properties from apartment balconies to 110,000 acre ranches using permaculture design, keyline design and integrated forest management.

Permaculture Research Institute www.permaculture.org.au

Headed up by Permaculture Designer Geoff Lawton, the Permaculture Research Institute is one of the premier permaculture organizations in the world.  Geoff is a teacher and good friend of the designers in our group.

Carbon Farmers of America www.carbonfarmersofamerica.com

Through registering with CFA, each client can then sell “carbon sinks.”  As the implementation of the design proceeds, we will see the sinking of literally tons of carbon into the soil, and this organization helps to transform that into profits for us.

One response

13 04 2011
Julie Meyer

wow. fantastic website! i will come back, and look forward to learning so much.


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