My friend Claudia Joseph came over to the Phoenix Garden to day to give a workshop on basic permaculture design approaches. She was very generous with her time – she went an hour past the 10-11:30 schedule. Of course, permaculture is an enormous topic, impossible to cover in two weeks much less two hours. So we focussed the discussion by just tossing out questions and getting Claudia to share some preliminary insights. The big challenge facing the garden right now is tree placement, because that’s such an important and long-lasting decision. Claudia shared about Masanobu Fukuoka, the Japanese orchardist who I have never heard of. Claudia also talks about the concept of ‘guilds’, the community of fungus, understory plants, roots, shrubs, big trees, bigger trees, etc. Great ideas, but it’s hard to pull it all in a hopper when making decisions with a big group of people. The design committee is meeting next week, and I’m going to make a scale model of the garden on which people can play with the placement of large elements, such as trees and built structures.