Welcome to Community Soil

Community Soil is a family-owned business, based in Santa Rosa, CA offering consultation, design, installation, and maintenance of edible-restorative landscapes and farmsteads throughout Sonoma County and beyond.  Our holistic approach utilizes ecosystems as a model for design to ensure low impact, low input, and abundantly beneficial outcomes at urban, suburban, and rural scales. We pride ourselves on the abundance of Sonoma County and whenever possible, source our work materials and services locally. In addition, we act as a community liaison by offering outreach programs and educational consultations that inform people about local activities and resources that support ecological sustainability, resiliency, and regeneration.

SERVICES

CONSULTATION

An initial consultation is free of charge to all new local clients. Let's see what's possible! Schedule one today!

DESIGN

We offer custom design for landscapes large and small that mimic nature to acheive the greatest overall outcome.

INSTALLATION

Our experienced team has a diverse skillset that allows us to install multi-faceted designs with efficiency and accuracy.

MAINTENANCE

After a design is installed, we offer a flexible maintence schedule to accomodate our clients needs.

THE COMMUNITY SOIL DIFFERENCE

A Whole Systems Approach

It is essential to think and work in whole systems to be successful, especially in the long term. We look to the natural world and it's elegantly constructed ecosystems as model for design.

What you can expect from us!

  • Licensed & Bonded
  • Personalized & Custom Design
  • Modular Implementation Packages
  • Affordable
  • Professional & Friendly

Areas of Expertise

Four Season Food Production

From annual veggie gardens to broadacre orchards to a chook tractors, we do it all and more!


Water & Energy Conservation

From greywater systems to drip irrigation to roofwater catchment, saving water and energy are always on our minds and in our designs.


Habitat Restoration

Beneficial critters above and below the soil are essential to any landscape, no matter what size. So let's welcome them!


Carpentry & Hardscaping

Need a new patio or pergola? We do that too!


Edible Landscaping

Why not have the best of both worlds? Have a beautiful landscape and eat it too!


Drought-tolerant Landscaping

Saving water is always on our minds when we design. Let us show you how to cut cost and have a beautiful landscape!


Integrated Pest Management (IPM)

Bring balance back to your landscape. No toxic chemicals! This proven strategy utilizes a multi-tiered approach to attract beneficial critters, both above and below the soil, to manage pests and disease for you.


Soil Health

Soil is life. Soil without life is just dirt. We take special care to improve soil health in every way from the field to the microscope.


Designing with Nature

Why do we design with nature? Ecosystems are tested every moment of every day in real time and under real world conditions for millennia. What can beat that? These patterns that can be observed in ecosystems give us insight to ways to better design not only our landscapes and food systems but also our economics and sanitation systems and so much more. Who knew? We apply this reason to our work, our business, and our lives which in turn allows us to be more efficient and effective than other design companies. Diversity is key to resiliency so it is no questions why our team has a purposefully diverse skill set. Instead of competing, we merge all of our experience and knowledge together as a system to design from inspiration to realization for you!

Economy of Community

One of the ways we can mimic nature it to create an Economy of Community. Nature is designed for balance for give and take. And so should our economy. We take pride in our community and the abundance of Sonoma County. Our business is built on it. Not only is our business considered "green" because we steward the land, we also make conscious, measurable efforts to be stewards of our community, especially those without access to the work we do. We give back through educational outreach, utilizing other local businesses, and paying a fare wage. We are so passionate about the work we do that we founded our sister organization, Community Soil Foundation Business isn't just business.
  • Resiliency.

  • Nutrition.

  • Beauty.

  • Security.

  • Environment.

  • Affordability.

Our Projects

Meet Our Team

Paolo Tantarelli Owner/Operator

OWNER/OPERATOR

Paolo has worked with some of the top gardeners and builders in California, growing food and practicing sustainable building at places like...

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the Solar Living Institute, Occidental Arts and Ecological Center, and Golden Nectar Farms. His garden work and style reflect key principles of Permaculture, the bio-intensive method, and biomimicry. Paolo received his Bachelors Degree from Chico State University in Cultural Anthropology, with a Minor in Italian. He has traveled extensively through Central and South America, following a passion to study human behavior as well as healthy food systems throughout history.

Jeff Shields Owner/Operator

OWNER/OPERATOR

Jeff is a self proclaimed plant DJ. He has spent much of his time on social and environmental logic, coordinating community gardens for the...

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SF Department of Public Works, researching urban forestry with SF Environment, and participating in community efforts to restore open space and local food systems in the bay area. He also spent time learning and constructing with natural building methods at Emerald Earth, teaching environmental education with The Center for Social and Environmental Stewardship, and was co-chair for the Sierra Club Redwood Chapter’s Conservation division. Jeff is focused on sustainable and communal land management, and he learned intentional community development with the Occidental Arts & Ecology Center. He also interned for a year with the SF Board of Supervisors and received his Master’s in Public Administration from SF State.

Sara Wuerstle Lead Designer

LEAD DESIGNER

With over 10 years of experience in Permaculture, Natural Building and Holistic Management, Sara has developed...

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a highly integrated understanding of regenerative land development at any scale, She has studied and worked internationally with the leading practitioners in the field. She has also...lived as part of numerous intentional communities and education centers throughout the world (including Sonoma County’s own Occidental Arts & Ecology Center), where she has gleaned a unique aptitude for holistic social management as well as the creation of financial resiliency. Her eclectic skills and experiences have proven powerful in the classroom teaching and supporting more than 2 dozen Permaculture Design Certification courses, trainings, and workshops worldwide. As a consultant and designer, she has collaborated on numerous international development projects in locales such as Burkina Faso, Bulgaria, Portugal, Mongolia, New Zealand, Australia, Panama and Argentina. She is most inspired when people savor the nutritious, delicious, and beautiful food that can come only from a healthy ecosystem. In all of these endeavors, her unique sense of style and aesthetic is ever present and continues to be fed by her talents as a graphic designer, creative writer, field-to-table chef, community muralist, and all around “Maker-of-Things.”

Our Clients

  • Mike Shea,Chef

    "My yard was being taken over by bamboo, ivy, black berry and bermuda grass. As a professional chef, it was important to me to create a space where I could grow food. I hired Paolo and Jeff for their extensive plant knowledge and design. Now I have a beautiful yard, packed with 4-season food, California native plants, culinary herbs, espalier fruits trees and a design that flows. They continue to maintain my garden and I wouldn't hesitate to refer them to friends."


  • Tara & Billy Beane ,Mother/Yoga Instructor & Oakland A's General Manager

    "I didn't realize how much food such a small space could produce." "I was able to share much of our produce with co-workers at the office."


  • Leeann,Artist

    “It was such a pleasure working with Paolo and Jeff. After discussing my problems with erosion and drainage, they created a plan which transformed my property, including terraces, retaining walls, French drains, gardening space and native plants. I trusted their expertise, professionalism and vision completely, and I am so happy with the results.”


Design Process

Interview

Analysis

Concept

Design

Design Packages

Simple Design Walk & Talk.

This design is just what it seems. One of our team members will join you for a 2 hour walk through your property and chat about potential solutions for the landscape challenges that concern you. At the end, you will have collected a mess of hot tips and strategies on how to improve your garden, orchard, water systems, or whatever makes you curious. The client most suited for this design package is someone who is a do-it-yourselfer and just needs some fresh eyes on the land.

Map & Go Design.

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Home Design.

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Farmstead Development Design.

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Legacy Landscape Design.

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PERMACULTURE

Permanent + culture = A design methodology which utilizes ecosystems as the model for creating holistic, integrated systems of food production, appropriate technology, economic exchange, and community organization in ways that are not merely sustainable, but are regenerative.

 

Why Permaculture?

Resiliency

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Ensure that no single point of failure on your property is too much to handle by establishing multiple functional elements that support the status of key resources like food, water, animal, and waste systems.

Nutrition

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Grow nutritious, chemical-free, non-GMO food right outside your doorstep. Edible forests and abundant gardens empower you to feed your family without having to rely on big corporations.

Beauty

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Imagine a landscape that uses the wisdom of natural systems to attract wildlife, promote local and endangered vegetation, and create abundant diversity.

Security

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Optimize your personal independence and prepare for economic uncertainty, energy limitation, climate change, and natural disasters by building a secure source of food, materials, and income.

Environment

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The solutions to problems like climate change start in your own backyard. Grow your own food, heal the environment, and be a steward of the place you live.

Affordability

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Conventional landscaping is expensive, mostly because it requires endless maintenance and amendments. Instead, increase your wealth and health with an economical and abundant Permaculture garden that keeps on giving!

Harvest Gallery

NOW IS THE TIME FOR ACTION!

Have you been wondering how you can make your home and landscape more "green"? Or what wonderful things you can grow in place of that dead, dried out lawn? Or how to catch and store all that rainwater that is washing your driveway away? Well we are up for any challenge! Get a FREE INITIAL CONSULT with one of our friendly and experienced team members today!

REQUEST A CONSULT TODAY!