What is design?

For us as Kiwi Gardeners, design is about much more than simply creating a plan for a garden or small farm. Design gives us a practical framework within which we can apply our ecology-centred approach. It provides the easiest route to achieving the goal of producing an abundance of nutrient-rich food in enduring, eco-friendly ways and supporting others to achieve this, wherever they live on the Earth.

A full design process involves a series of steps, which, if followed in order, ensure the decisions you make will give the best results possible in your situation. These steps make it much easier for you to adapt and make improvements as the environment you are working with evolves and/or your circumstances change.


Why design?


In simple terms, if you think before you act and, more importantly, if you think in terms of "wholistic, dyanmic & integrated" before you act, you have a much higher chance of success. This may take some effort in the beginning, but over time it makes it much easier to achieve your goals.

Working with design allows us to bring together creativity and innovation with science and experimentation. This helps us make the best decisions about how to practically apply ecology-centred principles, to give the best chance of success in any situation. In contrast, our experience is that following predetermined “recipes” based on any of the wide selection of growing “methods” promoted in today’s world has at best a 50/50 chance of succeeding in any individual situation, even when followed exactly as given.

Therefore, of the two options, working with design enables you find the best solution for your individual situation and personal circumstances and gives you a much higher chance of success.


The Design Process We Use and Share with Others

We work with a specific ecology-centred design process aligned with the work of visionary pioneer and leading advocate of such an approach, Dennis Scott. As a landscape architect, nurseryman and designer, Dennis, like us, holds ecology at the heart of his actions. With over 40 years of “hands on” practical work experience involving hundreds of projects, he has developed and refined a totally integrated, wholistic design philosophy and practical method of applying it based on ecology-centred thinking.

We have applied this wide ranging, all-encompassing vision to our mission of achieving an abundance of nutrient-rich food in eco-friendly ways. Adapting the basic design process, we have evolved a style of working with it that honours and is aligned with Dennis’s ecology-based design philosophy. From our many years of working with ecology and with growing an abundance of nutrient-rich food, we have found that working with a sound design process always gives you the best chance of success.

Therefore we strongly recomment learning about and using this process of "Design".