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Permaculture Design for Sustainable Supply Webs for Eco-Social Regeneration

Watershed Resource Consultants is proud to be a founding member of Terra Genesis International

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

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 Health– Understanding the complex interactions of the microbiology in the soil is key to the regeneration of land.  We utilize the science behind the Soil Health 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.

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.

Eric Toensmeier (former owner of TGI, now moved on to his own work, but still advises on select projects), 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

Regenerative Design Group

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

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

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.