Daniel Halsey 

   Permaculture, & Ecological Restoration Designer

Building natural capital and biodiversity,

while raising the carrying capacity of the planet,

Ecological Design and Education from

Southwoods Ecosystems

Southwoods provides permaculture design and education throughout many regions. We supply site assessments, ecosystem restoration, and ecological design. Our scale of work is applied to villages, homesteads, farms and entire ecosystems for ecological restoration. All across North America and the tropics, Southwoods has designed living systems for residential and commercial food production.

We offer a complete ecologically-based strategy supporting long-term harvest and resilience. We conduct site assessments for your future prairie oasis, dry land sanctuary, or cold climate paradise. Call us for information about our permaculture farming methods, or fill out the inquiry form on the contact page.

Map of Ecosystem Restoration in Molokai

Weather extremes are the rule in Texas. Dry hot weeks are followed by heavy rains flooding parched land. Southwoods developed strategies to redevelop the forest ecology and canopy to create protected micro-climates for a more diverse plants community. The water needs to be collected and infiltrated to deep soils for long term drought support.

Illustration of Homestead Design in Texas

Permaculture Design in Liberia

Condensation Dome

Southwoods was asked to map site conditions in a subsistence village in Haiti. We assisted AFENBO COMMUNAUTE’, the land owner, in developing improved cultural practices and seasonal harvests. 17 farm families live on the land and must co-produce with AFENBO through integrated cropping systems. Southwoods helped develop value added products and ecologically supported perennial crop systems. Bamboo and tree crops were added to stabilize steep slopes and divert water from the ravines back to the land.


Dana Martin wanted to create I self-sustaining food production system on their 10 acres of the North Dakota Prairie. South was designed an integrated horticultural system to reduce labor an increase a diversity of harvest to the family.
Previously Dana’s uncle and planted a wide wind break around the homestead area. Within this protected space was a gentle slope allowing for runoff from the house and landscape to be collected in ponds and swales. A family of four with young children supply and ample amount of water to the immediate trees and shrubs from the laundry room and showers.

• Gray water systems recycle household water to the landscape.
• The rooflines of the house, garage, and barn supply water to the outer landscape of fruiting trees and shrubs.
• Water tanks in the greenhouse are used for storage and moderating the temperature during cold days.
• Within this homestead landscape is room for large gardens, orchards, a vineyard, and rotational grazing for small livestock.


International projects have brought important information and insight to our ecological design. Extreme climates need deep thought, research, and strategies suited to the environment and culture. I bring our design experience to these remote sites and return with new strategies for all the diverse conditions we have here in the USA.

This part of Senegal is in the Sahel, the southern edge of the Sahara Desert.

Each year the dry sands extend further into the agricultural lands. Our task was to build water conservation and soil protection practices into the production methods. New tree crops in wind breaks and cover crops around all plantings deter erosion and reduce soil temperature. Fencing was added around the entire farm to keep out free ranging goats. This alone had immediate benefits. A expansive caged chicken operation was shut down and the building repurposed for class rooms and offices. In 2018 Southwoods developed and delivered a farmer conference to 30 farmers and residents of Kebemer, Senegal. Using the farm as a model the course focused on:
• Climate change the recent changes in the land production.
• Soil health and its response to higher temperatures.
• Mulching practices and its effect on soil moisture
• Cover crops and the importance of organic materials
• Improved drip irrigation methods to conserve water


International and Professionally Accredited Permaculture Design for Residential, Homestead, and Broad Acre Systems

Building Capacity in Soil, Water and Plant Systems for Designers, Families, Neighborhoods, and Community.





North American Site Assessment and Design

USA: Minnesota, Texas, North Dakota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Georgia, Mississippi, California, Oregon, New York, Maryland, North Carolina, Idaho, Canada - Ontario, Costa Rica - Turrialba and La Fortuna

Current International Consulting & Projects:

Ecological Restoration Camp       Spain

AFENBO Village Design                Haiti

Deing's Demonstration Farm        Senegal

Fleri Farm Restoration                   Haiti
Mubaraka Farm                              Saudi Arabia                           Ecosystem Restoration                 Sanai Penninsula                                Hope Foundation                           South Africa                                       Fumba Town                                   Zanzibar  Molokai                                            Hawaiian Islands

SouthWoods is located in the Spring Lake watershed and is a rich fertile island surrounded by wetlands. The permaculture principals are an integral part of every system at SouthWoods. They guide the decisions, enrich the soil , conserve and collect natural resources, build flora and fauna diversity, and ensure the sustained capacity of the residents. SouthWoods is a living lab of design, plant systems and research. 

In 2006 during the summer solstice, Geoff and Nadia Lawton of PRI Australia visited our homestead for a workshop for PRI/Cold Climate. More images can be seen at the 2006 blog (contact us page). Geoff helped us refine the berm and swale design. Nadia introduced us to some of our native plants that also grow in Jordan.  Back for a visit in 2014, Geoff, Nadia, and family visited SouthWoods and six other sites in the USA to film cold climate strategies.  We also celebrated ten years of permaculture at SouthWoods with an all day open house and book launch party for IFG.

 Integrated Forest Gardening (Click here to order)

The Complete Guide to Polycultures and Plant Guilds in Permaculture Systems

I am excited to offer this new book that explains and details the design process I use to build polycultures and design the edible landscape. What ever the climate or setting, the design strategy will guide your solutions for abundance. Step by step instructions and 15 polyculture examples. Get out the highlighter and fill the margins with notes. It will bring your desire for a sustainable food forest to harvest.

"Integrated Forest Gardening fills a major gap in the canon of permaculture books, giving us, at last, a detailed guide to guild and polyculture design. No longer is this subject, mysterious, and daunting; in this book we now have specific instructions for designing and installing multi-species plant groups. Chapter 7, which describes 15 guilds and their plant members, is a golden nugget worth the price of the book alone. This is an essential book for all food foresters and ecological designers."
—Toby Hemenway, Author of Gaia's Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture

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