Optical Surveying

Sharpen Your Eyes: Layout Skills for Earthworks and Water
Advanced Permaculture Course with Tom Ward aka Hazel

October 21 – 26, 2023
Wolf Gulch Farm, Little Applegate
6 day residential course

Course Price: $850 includes camping, bring your own food.
Early Registration: $750 if paid by September 21, 2023

Optical Surveying offers essential skills for implementing permaculture projects, skills that are highly valued by every farmer, homesteader, designer and consultant.

Hazel teaches the use of many types of analog (non-battery operated) surveying tools, along with advanced skills in keyline, pond and swale layout, mapping, and other core knowledge necessary for design and execution of permaculture projects.

Students will become familiar with swale, terrace, ditch and pond layout, profile cross-section drawing, keyline and trail system locating, solar assessment, ditch and wiggle water way layout, small cabin orientation and pad layout, staking, note taking, and compass and map reading. We will use telescope-like devices and other hand tools such as sight levels, pocket transits, builders levels, A-frames and various vertical measurement rods, as well as measuring tapes and wheels. The course will include flagging for trails, swales and ponds, as well as observations on the landscape with mapping of plants, birds and trees.

The course is held at Wolf Gulch Farm where Tom has designed and surveyed trails, ponds, swales, keyline terraces, and water & irrigation systems over the last 15 years.

The Permaculture Design Course is a prerequisite for getting an advanced certificate from this course. Others may have the certificate held until they have their PDC certificate. You must complete all six days of the course to get your certificate. The course is open to all who have a working knowledge of Permaculture.

More Information on the course at these Links:

– Directions
– Tools to buy
– Checklist of what to bring

Cancellation Policy:
Until Sept. 21, 2023, fee is refundable less $100 cancellation fee. After this date, the fee is nonrefundable unless the course fills and we sell your spot. There will still be a $100 cancellation fee

There are some rules and expectations around being at Wolf Gulch.  No pets allowed.  No big rigs. Modest vans and pickups are okay.  Wolf Gulch is a low signal zone.  You will not have cell phone or wifi.  The parking is a bit tricky and coming and going is highly discouraged.  Do not expect to be in communication during your time at the course except in an emergency.  


Optical Surveying for Earthworks and Water
Oct. 21-26, Wolf Gulch

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Dec. 2

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