The Site Consultation
The Site Consultation is one of our foundational services wherein we visit your site or prospective site and review challenges and opportunities with you. In of itself the Site Consultation is invaluable and often all a landowner or property-buyer needs to make key decisions. When site developments or planning requirements are significant this visit serves as the spring board for further design services. If you do not yet have property, please see our Site Selection page.
We have found it most effective to communicate the site consult by allowing the words of those who have experienced it to share its value.
Some testimonials from Ben Falk's site consultations:
"Hi Ben - Thanks a lot for the meeting today, it was thorough, well-organized and inspirational. As you know, you are offering an immensely important and timely service in what you are doing." ~Peter Payne, VT
"Your visit was very inspiring. Our director Vanessa, who was prior to your visit a bit hesitant to make changes, came out and said lets do it." ~Rowen H. Coordinator at a Buddhist Retreat Center in Vershire, Vermont
"Without your site evaluation we would have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on the wrong site. Thanks to you, we avoided a major mistake and have now found the property which optimally suits our goals." ~Vanessa H. NYC
This account is from Anne Macksound, homeowner and organizer of Sustainable Woodstock, VT:
"To prepare for the visit, Ben sent a comprehensive Goals Articulation Form that was extremely helpful in focusing on short and long-term project goals. Because our site is not that large, Ben explained that we would not need a drawn design or formal plan. By taking notes during the hour and a half visit, we would have all the information we needed to get started. That proved to be true. When Ben arrived, we walked around the property identifying the best places to plant all kinds of berries, fruit and nut trees, grape and hardy Kiwi trellises; he even found a perfect location to establish a rice paddy. The lawn is not too sunny because of a ridge and tall trees on the south side, but Ben found the sunniest spot for raised vegetable beds and discussed effective ways of keeping deer and woodchucks out of the garden.On the north side of the lawn is the Ottauquechee River. Ben suggested a number of different trees to plant on the bank in order to halt the erosion that is happening there. We also talked about cutting a path in the steep slope down to the river so that we would have another walking path, which could be made attractive by building a low stonewall on the uphill side. At the end of an hour and a half, we had a plan for every section of the land, and none of it seemed overwhelming, just exciting.
On that same day Ben visited two other families who want to transform their large land areas into a Permaculture oasis, and there are several other families who are interested in having him come back to help them imagine the possibilities for their land. There were a dozen interested Woodstock landowners who came to hear what Ben had to say (see photo.) Everyone was impressed by his knowledge, his teaching skills, his humor, his patience with our many questions and his obvious love for and dedication to the well being of the planet and all its life forms."