Liberty County, Texas

In 2011 Mark Brocato, Susy medeski and others purchased a forty-acre parcel of land in Liberty County, East Texas. The property is not improved by any structures and is comprised of approximately 20 acres of pine-oak forest and 10 acres of grassland. There are currently 5 families committed to the project – Medeskis, Fishers, Brocatos, Romans, Sommers. Families interested, but not committed – O’Briens, Griffins, Greens, Jon Landford, Anjanette Brewer, Andersons Proposed Development

The Texas group wishes to make the property their primary residence in the near future. The complete vision for the property includes multiple buildings and structures, significant landscape features, and agricultural components such as gardens and orchards.

They will form a community consisting of 15-20 homes; a possible community utility coop for electricity, water, water treatment, A/C; a central community center; a land use plan including orchards, animal crops and food crops using Permaculture techniques; animals – chickens, ducks, turkeys, goats and pertinent buildings; stocked lakes – possible lake view; a gun and archery range; greenhouses; possible residential expansion; possible income generating activities, i.e. farmer’s market, homes sales, rentals, excess utility generation, etc; bee keeping; hydroponics; possible community pool; biological waste treatment. It is anticipated that the complete build-out of the property may happen in a series of phases of construction.

The vision for the property is so much more than just a combination of the programmatic elements, but rather, the design of and relationships between residents will be guided by the principles of Permaculture in a desire to have the man-made built environment seamlessly and naturally fit-in to the natural landscape and habitat. As Wayne Weiseman has expressed, “Permaculture, above all else, is a comprehensive design system that takes all possible functions into account and attempts to create relationships between the geological, botanical, animal and human systems to create a high yielding and ecologically sound environment for all.”

For the buildings themselves, following a Permaculture approach will ensure sustainable and natural construction techniques and materials as well as provide for energy use through passive design strategies and renewable active mechanical and electrical systems. As noted by the Texas group, simplicity but high quality in design; function rather than size; and attention to detail will also be guiding principles for the design of the man-made elements.