“You’ve got to begin with the end in mind.” – Edward De Bono
REGENERATIVE AGRICULTURE(Regrarian) DESIGN
Oak Tree Designs uses the Regrarian Platform to assist the land holder to find and implement ecologically regenerative solutions while remaining grounded in real world accounting.
What is the Regrarian Platform?
Designed by Darren Doherty the Regrarian Platform is a whole-systems design template based on the ‘Keyline Scale of Permanence‘ developed by the late, great Australian agricultural designer, P.A. Yeomans as outlined in his 1958 classic, ‘The Challenge of Landscape’. The big evolution in the Regrarians Platform over Yeomans’ Keyline Scale of Permanence is its inclusion of social & economic themes, whereas Yeomans scale was very much centred on agriculture. The platform provides the structure for work flow & decision-making for all of Oak Tree Design’s work in design and development in the field of Regenerative Agriculture & Living. The Regrarians Platform also has changes in some of the headings and adds 9. Economy & 10. Energy to Yeomans original eight headings.
Yeomans’ Keyline Scale of Permanence
2. Land Shape
3. Water Supply
4. Farm Roads
6. Permanent Buildings
7. SubDivision Fences
Doherty’s Regrarians Platform
Common Regrarian farm design services provided by Oak Tree Designs and their associated rates and charges
Works commonly supplied
Mental Climate: Client liaison, Holistic context,
Meteorological Climate: Preliminary site research and data collection
2. GEOGRAPHY: Landform, Location, Topography.
3. WATER/ACCESS/FENCING: Main frame design of water harvesting, reticulation, roads
4. FORESTRY: Design and specification of tree systems
5. BUILDINGS: Homes, Sheds, Portables, Yards
6. SOILS: Planned grazing, Minerals, Fertility, Crops
7. ECONOMY: Analysis, Strategy, Value Chain
8. ENERGY: Photosynthesis, Generation, Storage
9. Supply of plans and report
10. Consultancy/Site visit
11. Subcontractor liaison
14. Pre-purchase Property Evaluation
RATES AND CHARGES
We offer three distinct Rates Packages depending on the clients context. All Rates and Charges refer to works completed in-house except where otherwise stated I.e where works are out- sourced to other contractors.
Package designed for primary producers/farmers, homesteaders, sub/urban outfits etc.
- Half Day – $320
- Whole Day – $640
- Design Rate – $80/hr
- Liaison Rate – $80/hr
- Regional Travel Rate – $0.75/km
- Travel Day Rate: International/Interstate Travel – All associated travel costs I.e transportation tickets, car hire, board plus $320AU/day
- Education – $80/hr
Package designed for large enterprises and individuals with grand scope and resources.
- Half Day – $480
- Whole Day – $960
- Design Rate – $120AU/hr
- Liaison Rate – $120AU/hr
- Regional Travel Rate(driving) – $0.75AU/km
- Travel Day Rate: International/Interstate Travel – All associated travel costs I.e transportation tickets, car hire, board plus $480AU/day
- Education/Workshops – $120AU/hr
Package designed for those who strongly desire and would benefit from our services but who are on a very tight budget.
- Half Day – $160
- Whole Day – $320
- Design Rate – $40AU/hr
- Liaison Rate – $40AU/hr
- Regional Travel Rate – $0.75AU/km
- Travel Day Rate: International/Interstate Travel – All associated travel costs I.e transportation tickets, car hire, board plus $160AU/day
- Education – $40AU/hr
Note: A full Regrarian farm design and report will commonly take anywhere between 15-20 hours to complete once client liaising and all necessary data and graphics have been obtained and that the design/report package covers all the above commonly supplied works. N.B Due to it’s complexity a detailed Permaculture design of the Homestead site(Zone 1-2) is a seperate service to a Regrarian Farm design. See ‘Permaculture/Housesite Design’.
Climate design to be charged to the client at our Design Rate of $80/hr.
Client Liaison, Holistic Context, Relevant Legislation
Here we establishing the client’s Holistic Context as a greater, visionary roadmap or set of parameters in which we make further decisions regarding the project…
1. Define the whole under management: What is the enterprise being managed? Who is involved? What are it’s resources?
• Decision makers: Anyone with veto power over decisions regarding to management of the whole i.e. Business partners, spouse, key employees, children etc(all must be involved in creating the Holistic Context and signed in).
• Resource Base: Anything you have access to that can/does assist you in achieving your goal i.e. relevant qualifications, skills, relationships, support network, vehicles, warehouse/storage space, land, tools, machinery etc. Include things you can borrow and keep in mind the Eight Forms of Capital.
• Money: Cash in hand, cash in the bank, access to credit etc.
2. Articulating a Holistic Context
• Statement of Purpose: Succinctly capture what the whole was formed to do and why. Ie
Oak Tree Designs S.O.P is ”To assist in the creation of abundant, resilient and beautiful landscapes and human settlements through design, implementation and education.”. This does not need to be shared publicly but acts as a reminder, a ‘true north’ to guide decision making.
• Quality of Life Statement: Things that the decision makers want to be true of the whole that they manage i.e. quality relationships, challenge and growth, purpose and contribution, economic wellbeing etc. Use present tense, positive language. Ie ‘Our relationships are honest, fulfilling and deep.’
• Forms of Production: What you need to produce in order to create the quality of life that has been described. You only need to describe what needs producing not how(the how is a decision that will need testing in a later process). Ie Profit from meaningful work, work or leisure time of XYZ nature, time for learning, meaningful decision, companionship, exercise, a warm, hospitable home environment etc.
This exercise allows for a clear and focussed context to assist all involved parties in directing the enterprise and navigating through any future decision making.
• the zoning of the titles involved.
• the local Health/Safety, Environmental and Planning schemes and framework bureaucracies.
Preliminary site research & data collation, Weather, Microclimate.
Here we research and document relevant local and regional climatic phenomena such as…
• Precipitation patterns
• Seasonal temperature. Highs, lows, averages etc.
• Fire history
• Extreme events in regional history: floods, droughts etc.
• Brittle rating: local evaporation/precipitation and soil/atmospheric moisture
• Growing days
• General site slope, aspect, elevation, and orientation
• Detail, analyse and document information from Australian Bureau of Meteorology
• Native animals & plants that inhabit the site, including introduced pasture & weed species
Location, Landform, Topography
Geographic design to be charged to the client at our Design Rate of $80/hr.
Research into and description of local and regional demography, psychography, character, history, markets and culture at large.
Detailed and accurate topographic information is essential for WHS design and is obtained by outsourcing to local surveying contractors. This is a foundational element in the greater design process.
Analysis of Soil
Often outsourced to specialist contractors.
Site soil testing is strongly suggested. Such tests offer invaluable information on the nature of the site, it’s future potential land uses in biological and engineering applications, and any necessary amendments due to deficiencies or toxicities.
Main frame design of water harvesting systems, reticulation, roads and fencing.
Water/Access/Fencing design to be charged to the client at our Design Rate of $80/hr
While often very different in nature, the project elements of water harvesting systems(WHS), reticulated irrigation, roads and fencing are intricately related in function and follow a common placement and are thus designed in suite.
WATER: Storage, Harvesting, Reticulation
As an absolute fundamental to agriculture(and life) the size, location and nature of WHS on site is both extremely important to the project and also potentially risk laden. It is for this reason that while we design the broader water systems in-house we commonly outsource the engineering of dams and roads to specialist contractors.
• Collection of observations of the relationship between site geology and hydrology.
• Location of potential water holding bodies as high as possible in the landscape to facilitate
gravity feed to the greatest area.
• Establishment of Key-point in the landscape to define design for movement water through
• Calculations of WHS based on…
1. Projected water needs based on intended forms of production/consumption.
2. Local precipitation models and projected future trends.
3. Local catchment area, quality and projected change in surface runoff coeficiency due to pasture improvement.
• Design reticulation for farm irrigation and stock watering, including pumps, tanks and
• Observe any potentially wet/boggy areas for establishment of Wetland Crossings.
• Calculate for and maximise roof/rain catchment for domestic use.
• Liaison with geotechnicians
ACCESS: Roads, Tracks, Trails, Markets, Utilities, People Implementation often out-sourced to specialist contractor.
Access refers to the way or means of approach of traffic. This can be roads, tracks, lanes, paths, foot, stock, vehicle, wildlife etc. It also refers to relative proximity and ease of approach to towns, markets, neighbours etc. Also to wether or not services such as Utilities can be provided to a building site. In Regrarian farm design roads double as Water Harvesting Structures, mitigating the loss of water catchment otherwise experienced as pastures improve due to good land/animal management.
• Design and set out of all road and access according to the farm topography, drainage, dam placement etc.
• Planting species to minimise maintenance and bank stabilisation.
• Type of road construction based on quality and quantity of use.
FENCING: Permanent, Electric, Cross, Living
In generations past fencing was a major undertaking involving countless, gruelling hours of work to install and then maintain. As a result paddock design was usually a matter of locating the shortest path between two convenient points. This approach saved time and money but failed to take other factors into account such as topography, hydrology, access etc. and even today farms experience many resulting inefficiencies. Nowadays we are blessed with increasingly affordable, lightweight effective electric fencing options for both permanent devisions(paddocks, forestry plots etc) and moveable in-paddock cells as are used in Holistic Management and Management Intensive Grazing.
• Design fencing allowing for maximum function and flexibility while minimising cost.
• Consideration of living fences as regenerative, low term option for paddock divisions.
Forestry design to be charged to the client at our Design Rate of $80/hr
In the context of the Regrarian farm design, Forestry refers to the many and varied uses of trees within the agricultural landscape. Timber Blocks, Shelter Belt, Savannah, Orchards, Natural, Woodlot, Riparian, Road/Avenues, Wildlife Habitat, Forage/Fodder plantings etc. As we look to Appropriate Technologies like Rocket Stoves and Wood Gasification units and other wood powered devices, the value of woody bi-products of all forms of Forestry(that in recent times have been viewed as waste/liability) becomes very clear. We will likely also see a return to valuing timbers above more modern, conventional building materials as industrial fabrication drops in productivity. Coupled with cheaper, easier fencing options Farm Forestry is an increasingly important element of agricultural design.
Observing the Permaculture principle of Multiple Function we take advantage of the stackable applications of Forestry plantings. Ie a Riparian strip of Poplar or Alder may not only ensure against erosion and incisement but also provide coppice thinnings as fuel and craft wood as well as supplementary fodder for stock.
Whereas in conventional agriculture it is standard to remove trees from paddocks, in the Regrarian model not only are existing paddock trees paid homage but in many cases -context permitting- fields are dotted with Savannah style tree plantings of hi-pannage producing species.
• Observe best land use blocks for Forestry systems based on their relation too
1. desired function
5. Animal systems
6. and the projects Holistic Context.
• Research local and regional tree crop industries.
• Observe and apply the principle of Multiple Function.
Homestead design. Relative location. Portable Structures
Building design to be charged to the client at our Design Rate of $80/hr.
Homestead: Inputs vary as to wether the site has an existing dwelling to be left as is, to be retro- fitted or if a new building is to be designed and built. Permaculture Sector/Vector analysis is invaluable for house site selection. Relative location of farm buildings to enable best flow of work and energies of all forms.
Farm Shed: Best location relative to other elements. Maximise rainwater catchment and gravity feed to house site. Design for multi-function I.e staff living quarters, tool/machinery store, produce processing equipment etc.
We design permanent building sites according to…
1. Access: Can the site be easily accessed by vehicles and will utilities reach there?
2. Aspect: Facing sunward ensures best solar-passive design.
3. Views: Pretty views are ideal and can make for optimum surveying of ones land but are
not a priority when considered next to other more pressing points.
4. Drainage: A matter of soils and slope.
5. Fire: Fire sector analysis is often over looked and can be easily optimised with water
bodies, fire breaks, flame retardant foliage and gravity fed, non-melting sprinkler
6. Elevations: Best chosen with gravity fed water and thermal sweet spot in mind. Allow
for 8m elevation difference between the top of the house and the bottom of the water
feed for adequate pressure.
7. Soil: Both horticultural and engineering qualities should be considered.
8. Slope: No slope means less opportunity to optimise for gravity fed water, drainage etc
but too steep a slope makes for expensive, inefficient and unsafe pads.
9. Encumbrances: Title division, subdivision potential, shade from trees and landforms,
unsavoury neighbours etc.
N.B Due to it’s complexity a detailed Permaculture design of the Homestead site(Zone 1-2) is a seperate service to a Regrarian Farm design. See ‘Permaculture/Housesite Design’.
Structures like homes and sheds will likely remain permanently fixed on the landscape for some time, however many farm structures like milking sheds, chicken houses, shearing sheds, slaughtering houses etc. can be made to be portable. This removes the issues of land degradation surrounding the structure like tracking, erosion, excess manure/nitrogen etc. It also means that Farmer Co-ops. can share the costs of some portable infrastructure amongst themselves i.e. stock yards, abattoirs, wine bottlers etc.
Compost, pasture and incorporated Animal systems
Soil related design to be charged to the client at our Design Rate of $80/hr
Long ignored by conventional agriculture, soils are slowly receiving the recognition they deserve as one of, if not THE most important of natural resources. It is with soils that the meaning of the term Regenerative becomes so apparent and important. It’s improvement and constant aggradation are key to any agricultural enterprise and culture at large.
The environmentally regenerative aspects of modern, progressive grazing modalities are largely dependent on well timed, high intensity stock rotation made feasible by modern, portable electric fencing. Far from the environmentally degrading effects of Set-stocking, the implementation of Holistic Management and Management Intensive Grazing finds pastoral soils increasing in carbon levels, perennial species diversity, minerals and overall productivity.
• Design and application of Keyline ploughing plan to the grazing paddocks to speed up pasture succession and soil carbon creation
• Holistic Grazing Planning, animal management and husbandry
• Sustainable animal property design & cattle management planning
• Cattle property infrastructure-holistic framework
• Pasture paddocks , lane ways and holding yards planning
• Grazing management, forage system and slow feeding systems
• Animal nutrition management-feeding & health, observe the option of ‘Free Range Minerals’
• Alternative forage source selection and planning – Pasture/herb selection and planning
• Cattle fodder crop selection and planning – Feeding evaluation, feeding cost analysis and
Marketing consultancy/design to be out-sourced to chosen, hi-quality contractors.
In a world were social media is so popular, accessible and user friendly, it is easier then ever to market yourself wide and well. The internet is allowing for the individuation of enterprise at an open, level playing field for the smaller player. So long as you can build an attractive narrative there will be a market for you. We can recommend social media and web consultants who also work within the world of permaculture/sustainable agriculture to assist you in building your eMarketing base.
Photosynthesis, Generation, Storage
All discussion on Energy within the Regrarian Platform takes place within the context of planning for a low energy future but also within the realism of current feasibility vs idealism. The horse has bolted on the era of cheap, available energy in the form of fossil fuels. Much has been discussed on this subject and there are many still who ignore the signs and claim that we will continue to use fossil fuels in the same way for decades yet to come. They may be correct, but unless we come across previously undiscovered oil deposits soon the petrol products we use will continue to be like those rung out of bare rock(Fracking). Not the greatest return on investment.
Ever erring where possible toward locally available, human scale, low energy options we discerned energy sources/forms into the categories of…
1. Gravity: Tank stands/mounds, ‘turkey’s nests’, hi dams etc.
2. Electricity: Photo voltaic, wind, fossil, hydro, wood gasification.
3. Liquid/Gas: Bio-diesel, ethanol, methane.
4. Biological: Animal, micro-biological, photosynthetic.
5. Combustion: Wood heaters, steam.
9. SUPPLY OF PLANS, REPORT, BILL OF QUANITITIES AND DOCUMENTATION
• Large format and printing
• Colour scanning and laminating
• Preparation of documentation onto CD format
• Data overlay
• Transport & Admin with producing the plans & printing
• Full costing and budget breakdown on the construction implementation of the final design.
10. CONSULTANCY/SITE VISIT
All Consultancy to be charged to the client at our Site Visit Rate of $80/hr.
• All time on site working alone, with client and/or other contractors relevant to the project.
• All time spent at sites relevant and constructive to the project but not the project site itself
I.e escorting the client to demonstration sites etc.
• Travel cost – See ‘Travel’.
11. SUB-CONTRACTOR LIAISON
All Sub-contractor Liaison will be charged to the client at our Liaison Rate of $80/hr
Given the very broad and multi-disciplinary nature of Regrarian design we often find ourselves in a position of de facto project management and at the centre of many and varied correspondences between the client and other contractors. Roles such as obtaining relevant graphics, maps and information I.e topographic, boundary surveys, soil maps etc., services that are often outsourced to specialist contractors but can need guided management. This time will be logged and charged at our Liaison Rate of $45 an hour to reflect current, local labor supervisor rates.
• Due to this dynamic all contractor transactions will be paid directly through the client and not through Oak Tree Designs.
All local/regional travel related to the project to be charged to the client at our Regional Travel Rate of $0.75/km.
• For Extra-regional Travel(outside of south Western Australia. Other Australian states and international) all travel costs (I.e transport tickets, board, car hire) will be charged to the client
• plus a Non-productive Day Rate of $300 or to also be covered by the client.
Education to be charged at our Education Rate or $80/hr
Introduction to Permaculture: A brief, 12 hour intensive covering the basics of the history, context, ethics and principles of the Permaculture movement. Dip your toe in. Usually held over a weekend, this course can be customised to suit other specifics.
Introduction To Permaculture Plants: An 18 hour/3 day intensive course introducing the student to the world of horticulture and botany all from within the perspective of a holistic, Regrarian context. Essentially a modern ethno-botanical exploration, this course provides the student with both academic information plus the hands on practical skills to feel confident in starting their relationship with functional plants. This course too can be customised to suit specifics.
Topics covered include…
• Terminology and Binomial nomenclature
• Families and their characteristics
• Succession and forest ecology
• Root symbionts
• Soil and the subterranean ecology
• Categories/functions of use
• Phytochemical Components
• Organic, onsite mineral sources for Nutrient Dense compost building
• Aquatic plants
• Nursery setup
• Seed saving
• How to plant a tree
14. PRE-PURCHASE PROPERTY EVALUATION
Pre-purchase Property Evaluation to be charged at our Site Visit Rate of $80/hr
Whether you’re looking for a tree-change and wanting to build a homestead or intending to enter into production agriculture then finding the right place is paramount. While good design can draw the potential out of even the toughest pieces of land you can save yourself years of work by picking the right place. We provide a thorough pre-purchase examination of your potential site taking into account multiple variables including the climate, topography, soil types, proximity to towns, local products and markets etc. all to help give you the best start possible on your journey to a more sustainable homestead lifestyle.
© Oak Tree Designs 2014