From April 2004 through March 2010 Karen Boness stewarded the gardens at Kenwood Permaculture. Kenwood Permaculture is a 5-acre private homestead nestled in the hills above Kenwood, CA. The house rests in a thermal belt and faces south toward Sonoma Mountain. It has excellent solar exposure. The house features passive solar design, a 12-kilowatt solar PV array, a PISE wall system, solar hot water, rainwater catchment roofs and a 50,000 gallon cistern.
Karen worked with landscape architect Josiah Cain, formerly of Native Systems, on the original design of the inner gardens – the front yard food forest and habitat pond, the roof-top herb garden, some of the native hill-side plantings and the backyard keyhole vegetable beds.
From there Karen went on the develop, re-design, tweak, nurture, maintain and harvest a veritable cornucopia of summer and winter produce. She expanded the native habitat gardens and obtained National Wildlife Association’s backyard habitat garden certification. She developed medicinal and culinary herb beds and designed and installed mixed fruit and olive orchards. She also designed a multi-functional chicken coop-greenhouse system for the site’s laying hens. In the later years she developed and taught introductory garden workshops on permaculture, vegetable gardening, California native plants, fruiting trees and shrubs, and herbs.