Have you ever dreamed of owning a property that was both:
(a) Financially AND (b) environmentally sustainable?

Who doesn’t?
We are talking about making $ and being proud of doing it. 

I’m excited to share with you a client I helped last month – Mama Moose Retreat. 

They recently bought a 53-acre property. 
And they are strategically using it to fund their dreams:

To build a community where humans, animals, and land thrive together. 
 A place of regeneration, recreation, and relaxation.

Using funds generated from BnBs and events, they will put in the infrastructure needed for a community.
These are salt of the earth, good people. 

And the property is magical. 
It’s in Northern Maine right on the edge of New Brunswick.
Rich Acadian history. Rich in moisture and life.  

The property follows a gorgeous creek, has a constantly overflowing pond, and it also has pine farming patches.
(Neat rows of coniferous trees to encourage them to grow straight and tall). 

Make money healing people and land

So they called me up, and we made plans for me to visit and help bring their dreams to life.

And so began a journey…

The Journey & Consultation Process

First, I packed up my surveying gear and caught an airplane to Quebec City.
I had a layover in Edmonton… thank goodness…

My girlfriend had taken my car back to Edmonton to visit family. 
And my passport was in the glove box!

When I landed in Quebec City (with my passport in hand) I rented a car.
It was a pretty 4-hour drive to my client’s property.

(NOTE: I often stay with clients to keep costs low. 
I get free tour guides this way too. Win-Win!
We also got to play board games together. I love a good game!)

The first day was a whirlwind!
Surveying, teaching, and walking their entire 53 acres. 

Making Money Healing People and Land

In our education session, I got them excited with TONS of ideas…

…but most importantly, we clarified WHAT THEY WANTED. 
A critical step of my consulting is making a “The Power Statement”.

Here is theirs:

Our goal is to model financial & environmental sustainability developing a beautiful and abundant property where plants, people, and animals thrive.

Pretty inspiring right?
Now we have our north star.
Our anchoring point for decision-making.

Having analyzed the land’s potential and clarified the client’s goals, it was time to create a design. 
We started around the practical – Phase 1: how to generate income!

First, we looked at the BnB market & the most cost-effective stay to build.
…But also what aligned with their values and that power statement!

In this case, we chose geodomes on platforms that minimally affected the land. 

Geodome BnB

Imagine this:

  • Waking up in your geodome looking out onto a creek.
  • You get up, grab your towel, and take a winding trail through the forest and around the pond.
  • Next to the pond is a patio. A light breakfast awaits and the sauna is hot.

Sign me up!  

And get this – they have popular snowmobiling routes through the region!
Winter will be a popular time! So they will put up winterized tents called “hot tents”.

Snowmobilers can drive right up to their winter tent or geodome and the sauna!

(P.s. It was a blast doing this research with the client.
Their eyes kept getting brighter and brighter as they realized how achievable their dream was.)

Now came important fieldwork…
WHERE do the geodomes & tents go?

First, I showed them 3 spots for more of a family/lazy stay.
(Close to the trail, sauna, and breakfast patio but still isolated enough).

Second, I showed them more 3 more prime spots. But isolated. 
Perfect for an artist, nature enthusiast, or a romantic stay.
(One of them overlooks a beaver dam!)

Lastly, I tied their property together with design suggestions for beauty and food.
This included things like:

  • Edible u-pick driveway going down to BnBs
  • A terrace by the house for relaxation, fruit trees, and gardens
  • A network of ponds and connected swales that guests could paddle on!

Can you imagine it? 
…the trickiest part of being a designer is getting ideas from my head into yours.
Thankfully, I used to be a teacher, and I love teaching. 

First off, I show clients TONS of reference images.
(I also sort them and give them to the client for later reference). 

Second, I make an educational map of the property that is to-scale
Usually, this design takes days… (I hand-draw or use fancy software.)

…But we went with a “quick” option for this client & finished it while I was there!
(So excuse the simplicity of this design compared to my other work, but it did the job!)

Mama Moose Retreat



Want a Permaculture designer in your corner?
Want to create your dream property? Grow food? Make income? Create community?

Want to create a landscape that is a place of beauty, abundance, and resilience?

Well, then I look forward to talking to you.
Shoot me a message through my contact form, and I’ll be in touch. 


Want to get in touch with Mama Moose Retreat?
Well here is their website. They even wrote a blog about their experience hiring me. 



Kenton “flying-around-the-world-helping-people” Zerbin

(Kenton is a passionate educator for sustainable living who lives in an off-grid tiny house in BC. Kenton runs a wide array of workshops on tiny homes, sustainable living, and edible landscaping. He also does consulting and design for homeowners, communities, and businesses)

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