The Landscape Transformation Program

For Community Transformation Leaders. Take the program. Teach the program. The “Permaculture CSA.”

This has been the core product of Lillie House Permaculture for the last 8 years, one which has allowed me to help transform over a hundred landscapes, plant thousands of productive trees, help over a hundred people down the path of self-reliance and sustainability, create a large following and loving community support network – and make a good, reliable income while doing it.

To learn more about how our local program was structured, visit our local programs page. Or visit the page for our Community Supported Peramculture program. 

After 7 years of research and development, and feedback from over 100 students, we’re proud to offer our course for Transforming Landscapes curriculum for other local Community Transformation Leaders. 

These are courses you can learn from, and then transform into your own local programs.

Designed to go with our own in-person Landscape Transformation CSA program, these courses are like rich multi-media E-books, filled with videos, info-graphics, slideshows, pin boards, and organized links to dozens of relevant articles for those who want to go into even deeper depth. The full teacher packages also offer opportunities to do coursework, develop content with us, and get mentorship and direct feedback on your assignments.

While these courses are specifically adapted to the Great Lakes Region, students throughout the temperate regions will find them valuable, and we specifically recommend resources to help adapt the material to your local climate and ecosystem, and get involved helping to transform and support  your own local economy. We’re currently hoping to collaborate with Community Transformation Leaders from other regions and climates on adapting and developing add-ons for specific local conditions. 

The courses are sold alone for Community Transformation Leaders who would just like to undertake their own adventure, or as a preview for those who are considering teaching the curriculum locally. 

The full program is designed to be packaged with a plant CSA, an optional produce CSA, design and consultation services, and a monthly course, with the recommended package being $900-1500+ per client. 

The Introduction can be given as a one-off stand-alone class, with the recommended tuition being $50 per student. 

Core Program Competencies 

(These are the main benchmarks we hope each student who completes this program will have achieved. We believe these are the most important core competencies for learning to effectively transform landscapes. A Community Transformation Leader must achieve these compentencies before hosting the program. Complete program competencies are listed at the bottom of this page. After completing the program you should have:)

  • Completed a draft whole site design, with zone, sector and element analysis, written project goals, water resources, a list of desired elements, a main plant list, and a layout map with paths using appropriate materials.
  •   Ability to design stable, self maintaining guilds on paper using guild roles and good polyculture design.
  • You have a project site and you have created and established at least 1 stable guild, hedgerow or forest garden area, preferably using no-till methods.
  • You have established a no-till garden bed.
  • You have a collection of at least a dozen locally valuable perennial vegetables and herbs to share, and a collection of useful local native plants, too. 
  • You have the skill, ability and confidence to propagate herbaceous and woody perennial plants.
  • You are familiar with at least one wild edible ecology in your region.
  • You have some knowledge of which main crops are “intensive, semi-intensive, and extensive” in your region. 
  • You are knowledgable about at least 12 common foraging plants in your region. 
  • You are familiar with many approaches to establishing no-till garden beds.


The Complete Teachers package

This version includes the whole course by email, plus permission to teach, permission to use our copy and promotional materials, access to our library of worksheets, advertising materials, lesson plans, disucssion guides, etc.


Official Transformative Adventures Team Member Package

This version includes all of the above, plus direct mentorship through the 2020 season, additional materials as developed, and listing and promotion as an official Transformative Adventures trainer for 2020. Only accepting a limited number of official trainers, and by application only.


Additional program competencies by unit:

(These complete compentencies are not necessary to sign up to host a program, but are very important elements of the curriculum.)

  • (Unit 1, getting started) Can define forest gardens and other traditional agroforestry systems.
  • Knows the elements of a forest garden or home garden system.
  • Knows the most common reasons forest gardens fail.
  • Can list the layers in a forest garden or home garden.
  • Understands the density dimmer switch concept and how the 80/20 principle applies to transforming landscapes.
  • Knows basic no-till bed prep and planting techniques for starting a garden.
  • (Unit 2, design basics) Can use zone, sector, and element analysis.
  • Knows the #1 best way to save water, fight weeds, fight pests, save fertilizer, and save time in the garden.
  • Knows appropriate crops by zone.
  • Knows local intensive, semi-intensive and extensive main crops for their region.
  • (Unit 3) Understands the basics of polycultures.
  • Can describe the pros/cons of monocultures and polycultures.
  • Can list a few types of polycultures.
  • Can list guild roles and plants for each.
  • Understands how to make stable guilds that are self-organizing and maintaining.
  • Can design basic guilds.
  • (Unit 4) Can design advanced guilds based on color schemes and aesthetics.
  • Knows aesthetic patterns that appropriate to low-maintenance ecological landscapes.
  • Knows the 5-fold path to water wise gardening.
  • Knows appropriate mulches for different plants and ecologies.
  • Knows how to design appropriate, research-based water harvesting features.
  • (Unit 5) Understands why paths are the biggest maintenance problem in most landscapes.
  • Can give a list of “ordered” paths and appropraite materials for them for the climate.
  • Is familiar with more than 10 ways to create no-till garden beds.
  • (Unit 6) Can create a realistic timeline for project progress and landscape transformation to meet their goals.
  • Knows how to catch and store labor from friends and students into permanent garden infrastructure.
  • Knows basic pruning techniques for home gardeners.
  • Knows basic propagation techniques.
  • Knows how to use slashmulch systems.
  • Knows how and when to use chop and drop weeding.
  • Knows how to do spot-mulching.