2021-22 PINA Design Contest: Winner of the $5,000 Grand Prize:

Khowhemun Community Garden & Area Revitalization – designed by Jasmine Oberste

The design for the Khowhemun Community Garden, on Vancouver Island, BC, includes a integrated Food Forest, playground, sweat lodge and community center for First Nations settlement.

The vision for the overall project is to creat outdoor gardens, gathering areas and tended wild spaces in community, to support direct relationships with food production and native ecosystems, in order to provide access to nourishing food, connection with mother earth, the source of our food and life, and to foster meaningful and health-promoting outdoor spaces for gathering, play and honoring ancestors.

Featuring a modest budget and robust support from local volunteers,  project goals include

  • opportunities for action-oriented reconciliation work for students and teachers in nearby schools to be of service in support of local First Nations community and food sovereignty
  • community garden that supports surrounding families with nutritious food
  • food forest of fruit trees and berry bushes that is self-sustaining

Jasmine Oberste completed her permaculture design course with the Occidental Arts and Ecology Center in California in Spring 2021 while working to develop an extensive local school garden and Garry oak grove, with the intention of bringing youth from the school to support other food sovereignty and native plant restoration projects in the greater community beyond the school campus.  The Khowhemun Community Garden and Area Revitalization is the first project in the community that students are coming together to help cocreate.  

Instagram @jasminebotanicals / http://instagram.com/jasminebotanicals/
Facebook @jasminebotanicals / www.facebook.com/jasminebotanicals

Winner of Best Community/Social Prize ($500 plus book choice):

Green Streets Orlando, designed by Caitlin Fogarty
GreenStreets. Orlando, FL neighborhood project for edible roadside rain gardens installed by mutual aid, Caitlin Fogarty.

Caitlin Fogarty is the Program Director and Project Coordinator at Orlando Permaculture.

Related Sites:
Orlando Permaculture – We grow minds, community and food
Regenerative Designs

Winner of Best Income or Job Producing Opportunity ($400 plus book choice):

Bannock in Bloom, designed by Ben Schaffer
Bannock in Bloom, Southeast BC Agroforestry Buffer Park reclamation with hardy edible and medicinal forest garden established by local youth climate corps and permaculture trainees – Ben Schaffer.

Ben Schaffer is a young permaculture designer living in West Kootenay, British Columbia. Originally, from Cape Town, South Africa, he was exposed to a lot of complex socio-economic issues.Ben always wanted to be apart of the solution but never knew how. Permaculture brought forth a framework that could untangle some of the complex problems of modern day society and turn them into solutions.

He became involved in “Bannock in Bloom” through a work placement with the West Kootenay Youth Climate Corps. He took the initiative to enter this project into the contest believing it has invaluable benefits to the local community and has the potential to reach far beyond it’s close vicinity as a new approach to forestry in BC.

Link to YCC website: https://www.youthclimatecorps.com/

Winner of Best Ecological Benefits Prize ($300 plus book choice):

HempCrete Sauna, designed by Christina Goodvin
HempCrete Sauna. Alberta Front Range  3-D Printed Clay Block test building augments homestead accommodation, visitor education, and vernacular shelter pallette of climate-appropriate local materials – Christina Goodvin.

Christina Goodvin is a designer-builder specializing in alternative materials and regenerative design of our built environment. For the last decade she has worked as an engineer, researcher, and consultant, pushing the boundaries of how our built environment can work with us while benefiting and integrating the needs and patterns of the land.

Christina lives on a 40-acre permaculture farm, teaching and sharing with communities far and wide. She is also an expert and consultant in earthen 3D printing, and is working to bring the worlds of natural building and 3d printing together.

Regine, a recent permaculture grad, brings in a practiced expertise in garden design and management. She is dedicated to the land and food security. As a student she has been learning to integrate the built environment, and is expanding her practice into sustainable materials.

Social media links

Winner of Best  Graphics & Presentation ($250 plus book choice) AND Best Design from a Recent PDC Graduate ($250 plus book choice) AND Special Award to Complete Project ($289):

Native Edibles, designed by Donna Pellegrin

Native Edibles. Southwest Ohio Food Forest to increase church community food offerings, manage runoff, and enhance pollinator support – Donna Pellegrin.

Donna Pellegrin completed her PDC in March of 2021. She has a degree in mechanical engineering from West Virginia University and a passion for healing the Earth. She is part of the leadership team in the Creation Care Ministries at Christ the King Lutheran Church. She is descended from a long line of farmers (contadini) from southern Italy who passed down their awareness of and connection to the natural world. She loves bringing the community together to learn about the great abundance of good that can come from Earthkeeping. 

Related websites:

Please note that while we have listed only the lead or presenting designer for each, all of these projects were created by teams of collaborators resting on broad community support. Many of them show the evidence of prior trials, early phases of implementation already in place, and background research, evidence that the practitioners are serious and that the chances of successful unfolding are high. Every one of them deserves to be funded and their teams set to work on more projects. PINA is striving to create a flow of funding for these and other kinds of regenerative enterprises. If you would like to support these or other projects PINA is advancing, you may contribute to our Fund for Regeneration, increase your membership to Supporting or Enthusiast status, or contact Executive Director Peter Bane about making a planned gift or bequest of any amount (peter.bane@pina.in).

The grand-prize award will be announced April 1, 2022, along with the design excellence awards designated by PINA’s judging panel in five categories: 1) Best Community/Social Design – $500 + book choice, 2) Best Income- or job-producing opportunity – $400 + book choice, 3) Best Ecological Benefits – $300 + book choice, 4) Best Graphics and Presentation – $250 + book choice, and 5) Best design from a recent PDC graduate (since 1/1/19) – $250 + book choice. The winners may select a copy of either The Food Forest Handbook by Darrell Frey and Michelle Czolba, or The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and Country by Peter Bane. A winner in two or more categories may select both books.

PINA will also document and promote the work of the winning design and design team. We are seeking to spotlight the significant talent we know to be widespread within our continental permaculture community. We are delighted that three of the five finalists are new graduates of the PDC.

Supporting the work of PINA

You can support PINA’s efforts by becoming a member or making a one-time donation. Large or small, your donation supports the work of PINA and helps advance the quality of the permaculture movement.

Many of the projects entered in the 2018 and 2019 Design Contests were worthy of support, and we expect the same to be true for the current contest.  PINA would like to help more of them get built, planted, and occupied. You can help us do this by contributing to the Fund for Regeneration. Climate chaos, community dysfunction, and land degradation are real and urgent problems; Permaculture designers have solutions.

2021-2022 PINA Permaculture Design Contest Rules

Recognizing the potential brilliance of our PDC graduate designers, the PINA Board has announced a new Design Contest with a submission deadline of January 17 2022. PINA seeks to showcase the talent of its members and stimulate critical thinking about cultural and environmental regeneration.

We will award $5,000 towards implementing the best overall permaculture design. Your thoughtful proposal could come to life! We will, in addition, make five special awards of lesser amounts in the areas of best community/social design, income-producing opportunity, ecological benefits, drawing/visuals, and the best from a recent PDC graduate. Some of these prizes may be combined. PINA judges will sort and select the semi-finalists and finalists; PINA members will award the prizes by vote.

Contest Process

The Contest application is a two-step process. PINA members in good standing may each submit one entry between Dec. 1, 2021 and Jan. 17th, 2022. Membership is open to graduates of the Permaculture Design Course living or working in N. America or Hawaii. Join here.


Submit your application electronically (preferred) as a PDF or Word-equivalent document to info@pina.in or mail it in paper form, postmarked no later than January 17, 2022, to PINA, 2091 Hwy 130, Harrison City, PA 15636. Please include the following information:

  • Your full name and the names of any team members
  • Email address
  • Postal/shipping address
  • Telephone number
  • Date and location where you completed your first PDC, along with the name(s) of your chief instructor(s).

The entry should convey the following information on two pages or using no more than 1,000 words. One page of graphics may also be submitted, but is not required. The absence of graphics at this stage will not count against the entry.


The Design Description in Phase One must answer the following eight questions:

  1. What is the environmental and social context of the design?
  2. What problem(s) does the design solve?
  3. Describe the design concept and implementation.
  4. What positive impacts would this design, if built, have on the surrounding community or on other communities? [These would be downstream effects of solving the problem (#2)].
  5. How could this design be replicated, either in your region or across North America?
  6. How would this create more right livelihood and income opportunities in permaculture?
  7. What are the ecological benefits of the design?
  8. Approximately, how much would this cost to implement? And could it attract other funding?

We encourage all PINA members and potential members (who join) to submit their best ideas as designs.

Contest Timing

Designs received in good order by January 17, 2022 (or postmarked by that date and subsequently delivered), will be considered by the PINA panel of judges for completeness and merit. Entries which do not answer the eight questions above, or which lack any of the required cover information will be rejected. Entrants of the best 20 designs will be contacted by Feb. 4 requesting that they flesh out and complete their design submission according to the following criteria. First-round materials will not be returned. Make copies of what you submit.


Semi-Final design entries must meet the following criteria:

  1. Provide the same covering information as requested for the initial submissions, and put your name on every page.
  2. Provide a site analysis (or system analysis), including invisible structure influences. Show sectors, zones, and elevations as a graphic. Text may amplify this graphic.
  3. Submit a budget (materials, labor, services) and implementation timeline for the project. Organize the implementation into three or more phases, all of which can be completed by March 31, 2023.
  4. Describe how the project will be maintained and how it could be extended or replicated.
  5. Submit a plan view to scale, and at least one elevation showing the system as built out. If the design is for an invisible structure, submit an illustrated organizational chart (structure) and flow chart of resources, people, ideas, money, influence, etc.
  6. Include your original design and implementation description (you may amend it). Add any details of implementation, or which describe follow-on effects from the project that you may have omitted for brevity in the first round. Emphasize your design’s strengths in providing ecological and social benefit (see prize structure below). Describe how your design meets specific problems of the site, the area, or the community it will serve.
  7. Total submission should not exceed 10 pages.
  8. Electronic submissions (PDF, Word-equivalent documents, and JPG or other common graphic formats preferred). If submitting on paper, we recommend using expedited delivery (Priority Mail, Fedex, etc.) as the turnaround time for judging is limited.

Completed Semi-finalist designs must be received by PINA or postmarked no later than Feb. 25th. From those received, PINA judges will review and select the best 10 as Finalists to be submitted to the PINA membership on March 13th via our website, pina.in. Members then have til March 30th to cast their ballots for the winners in all categories. At least three of those selected Final 10 will be designs submitted by members who have completed the PDC on or after Jan. 1, 2019. We encourage newer designers to try their hands.

Semi-final submissions (2nd round) will be evaluated against the requirements above and the judges will assign credit on the following basis:

  • Design Concept/Vision – 25%
  • Feasibility/Fundability – 25%
    • Can the design be expanded in the area, or replicated in other areas?
    • Would other funders recognize its merits?
  • Community/Social Benefits – 20% (special award)
  • Income Production – 10% (special award also)
  • Ecological Benefits – 10% (special award also)
  • Visual/Graphic Excellence – 10% (special award also)

These special prizes—which reflect design criteria—may be combined (awarded to one or more individuals); any of the first four may also be awarded to the overall winner:

  • Best community/social design  ($500 + a book)
  • Best income- or job-producing opportunity ($400 + a book)
  • Best ecological benefits ($300 + a book)
  • Best drawing/visuals  ($250 + a book)
  • Best design from a PDC graduate since 1/1/19. ($250 + a book)

The secondary prize winners may choose a copy of either The Food Forest Handbook by Darrell Frey and Michelle Czolba, or The Permaculture Handbook: Garden Farming for Town and Country by Peter Bane. Only one copy of each book may be awarded to any winner, though an entry winning in two or more categories may receive both.

The Fine Print

The decisions of the board of PINA and its designated agents regarding the validity and relative merit of each entry are final. The results of the member voting will be announced by March 31, 2022. Entries may be included or rejected at PINA’s sole discretion.

Do not submit changes or supplementary materials after any deadline given above, unless specifically requested by PINA. 

Members of PINA’s board, staff, and their immediate family members are precluded from submitting entries.

All design materials submitted become the property of Permaculture Institute of North America, and will not be returned.

PINA members must be in good standing (dues paid) as of March 30, 2022 to vote in the contest election. Each member will need to log in to the PINA website to cast a ballot. Detailed instructions will accompany the ballot online.

By submitting a design to the Contest, you are granting PINA a worldwide, perpetual, non-exclusive license to publish or reproduce the design materials in any medium of its choice in support of its mission or for public benefit.

Payment of award monies will be made to the PINA member submitting the design unless a stewarding or supervising organization is elected (business, church, non-profit, or govt. body).

PINA will pay only for implementation of the design by advancing funds for Phase I, and for subsequent phases when receipts for expenses in the prior phase have been submitted.

You agree, by submitting an entry, to cooperate with PINA in arranging media coverage or documentation of your design project implementation, should it be chosen and funded. You will ensure access by journalists to the site when the project has been built and by PINA representatives during implementation if requested. And you agree to be interviewed by a PINA representative or members of the media at reasonable times by prior arrangement. We may request that you provide us photo or video imagery of the work in progress.