The Permaculture Design for CSC in Stelle, IL

Below: A Self-Guided-Learning Tour into Permaculture
Use these pages as an educational journey into applied permaculture thinking and designing.  At the bottom of every page you will find the directory of the key elements included in this design. Each page is like opening a chapter in a permaculture design booklet that explains the element, its function, and why it was included. Enjoy your learning.  We explore all of these elements in each of our Permaculture Design Certificate Courses.
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Basemap Full-Color Aerial Background

We began designing CSC’s (Center for Sustainable Community) 8.7 acres of land in early 2011.  This plan was presented, approved and adopted by CSC in the Spring of 2012.

Asked to guide the design in its early years, Midwest Permaculture has now begun implementation.  We expect it to take us about 5 years to fully establish each element of the design and then another 5 years to see it move into greater maturity.  We want the implementation to be a learning experience for hundreds of people. We welcome your interest and participation. Here are a couple of options.

  • Attend one of our permaculture trainings with us in Stelle, IL. You’ll be able to walk the land, learn more about the design, and even help us work on the hugelkultured swales.
  • Join us for an occasional work-party days. Our monthly emails will notify you of these.

Directory of Design Elements
The hyperlinked images below open a new page with more-detailed explanations of each element in the design as it relates to this project. The elements without a hyperlink will be linked-in once we complete the content of those pages in the coming months. (We wish they were all done as well.)

Permaculture Design for CSC in Stelle, IL CSC Vision for Property Design Overview Linear Food Forests & Hugelkultured Swales
Year-Round Greenhouse From Orchard to Food ForestWood Gasification Chinampas Gardens  EarthCamp Village  
Season Extenders
 Season Extenders
 Integrated Gardening TechniquesCoppicing/Pollarding  Thermal Mass Rocket StoveChickens and Ducks 
Keline Plowing on Contour


- Root Cellars
- More....

(composting) Toilet
 Hedgerows Keyline Plowing   

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6 Responses to The Permaculture Design for CSC in Stelle, IL

  1. I just heard of you and want to start participating. I’ve built and maintained cob houses and have been using and creating many permaculture techniques over the years. I’d like to visit your facility soon. I live in the Chicago area. How do I arrange a visit? Can I just drive over or do I need an appointment?

  2. Hello Lynn!

    Thank you so much for your interest in MWP and CSC ‘s projects.

    If you are interested in learning more about Stelle and our permaculture design we will be hosting our monthly Open Houses on October 5th and November 9th . Visit

    If you would like to spend a day or more working with us on whatever projects we are engaged in at the time, you can e-mail me at to set a date in which you can camp here in Stelle for a nominal fee per day. This includes our instructor’s time and a few meals. We do not have immediate plans to be cobbing as our priority is to get the roof on and stem wall built first. I certainly would be great to meet you and learn more about your interests and experience.

    Feel free to e-mail me anytime with questions or if you would like to reserve a spot for an open house.

    Mary-Kate Carter
    CSC Outreach Coordinator

  3. Hi Bill,

    I really enjoyed your talk yesterday and the answers to questions afterwards. Being new to Illinois there is much to learn and people to meet. One of the above links that I am interested in mostly is keyline plowing in relationship to transition conventional fields to sustainable practices. There are several links including the keyline plowing that are not active and wanted to let you know in case they are intended to be active now.

    Bob Lawrason
    Legacy Design

    • Very good to meet you as well Bob. Welcome to Illinois…!
      We are aware that the links are not active. I still have to write the content of these pages and post. It was on the burner for January of this year but now it’s almost March. We got busy.
      What I can tell you is that Kevin Wolz and I have talked about getting a custom keyline plow made but have yet to make it happen. I’ve read the books, seen the videos, spent some time with Darren Dougherty, even have the T-shirt…but have yet to put a plow in the ground myself and observe the changes.
      I’m motivated to to assist in getting a plow around here that we can share if you wish to explore this. Send me an email…
      Cheers… Bill

      • Love to work with you on the keyline plow to share. I got busy too and will email you soon about it.

        Legacy Design

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