The resources on this page offer a glimpse at many of the exciting permaculture features
that will be installed and utilized at the Gibbs House for programming and research purposes.
Your idea or project could be the next exciting feature at the Gibbs House!
A split rail fence and cherry trees will tie the new property line together and present a welcoming,
beautiful, and interesting face to the community. Each of the cropping areas will be protected by
a 6 foot high wire mesh fence to deter deer and other wildlife.
A five foot deep by six foot high living fence will be planted on the perimeter
of the property consisting of fast growing hazelnut and grapes. Hazelnut
on the windward side and grapes on the leeward side pest fence will force
winds up and over the property. The living fence will also help block noise
and light pollution from the adjacent Business Technology and Research
Park. A high-tension fence will provide deer protection along the property boundary.
The trees removed from along Parkview Avenue will be used to
construct hugelkultur beds 6' tall. Hugelkultur beds are created by
starting with large tree trunks at the bottom and stacking upwards with
smaller and smaller branches. The stacks are covered with soil taken out
of the swale bottoms and from the old garden beds. Swales dug on the uphill
side of the hugelkultur beds will intercept surface storm water runoff
and provide groundwater recharge for the fruit and nut trees planted on the
side of the hugelkultur beds. Water loving perennials planted in the swales
will slow water movement.
Two new 30' x 48' hoop houses will be centrally located in Zone 1. This space
will be used for plant propagation, agricultural experiments, aquaponics, and
compost studies. A central thermal updraft tower will be located adjacent
to the greenhouses to passively cool them while simultaneously creating
The west side of the Gibbs House property will be converted into
seven-layer food forest. This agricultural ecosystem is modeled
after a native forest habitat and consists of edible and usable species.
Tall nut trees such as walnut and oak provide hardwood and mast crops.
Shorter trees such as apple and pear occupy the semi-shaded understory.
Shrubs and bushes of hazelnut and blueberry use up edge spaces;
herbaceous plants like horseradish and rhubarb live alongside and underneath
the shrubs and trees; ground cover of strawberry and potato keep weeds to a
minimum while also providing root crops. Finally vine plants such as grape
and kiwi use the trees to climb upon while providing edible crops.
The Zone 1 space immediately surrounding the hoop house and
extending into the field to the south and east will be used for intensive
gardening of annual vegetables and culinary herbs for use on campus. The
flat spaces between the swales and on top of the hugelkultur beds are the
primary planting areas and should include spaces for flowering plants and
beneficial insect habitat.
A new 30' x 30' outdoor community area surrounded by the living systems
in the Zone 1, Zone 2. and the greenhouse gardens will provide a
teaching space for campus, school groups, and community presentations.
The south and east walls will be left open and a reclaimed cement tile patio
covered by solar PV shade structures will allow large gatherings such as
SustainabiliBASH to be accommodated. The west side of the building will have
a covered bulk materials storage and compost area with access through the
existing driveway. Water from the roof will be directed to the adjacent swales
for groundwater recharge. Incoming electrical service and solar inverters
will be on display, for educational purposes, inside a locked room with
sliding glass doors.
A 6kW solar photovoltaic system mounted to provide a semi-translucent
roof on the outdoor presentat ion space shade extension. A second identical
6kW system could be built as funding becomes available. The output of the
two systems would provide 100% net electrical demand for the property.
Gibbs House Systems:
We are very excited about the prospect of working to renovate the Gibbs House
to be completely carbon neutral and a model demonstration for student
and community research and projects.