A Brief History of Kinstone

An Aerial View of Kinstone Circle and Pond Soon After Construction
An aerial view of Kinstone Circle and Kinstone Pond soon after construction

Kinstone was founded by Kristine Beck upon the Wisconsin farmland where she grew up. This land has been in Kristine’s family for generations and there are deep roots here. Kinstone is a meditative, holistic landscape being designed and developed using permaculture principles as guidelines for the restoration of the land and rejuvenation of the people that will come to be there. While a definitive description may be elusive, Kristine has envisioned that Kinstone will become a dynamic combination of an education and contemplative center — it is a place for people to reconnect with what is important to them whether that is connections with earth and stone or with soul and spirit.

Kinstone is the manifestation of Kristine’s vision for a place to make connections to the land, Nature, God, self, and community. The idea of Kinstone originated as a personal place. A place to “just be”. As it has grown, Kristine has realized that the ideal of having a special place to re-energize and re-connect for herself has proven to be too great not to be shared. Using the resources available to her and relying upon the master teacher we have in Nature, Kinstone is a place of learning and discovery for those who seek it. It has evolved into a place that will transcend time. It will stand as a legacy to future generations.

The following is a high-level timeline of events in the design and development of Kinstone:


  • Labor Day: Kristine Beck is introduced to the concept of Permaculture through her nephew and student of Wayne Weiseman who is the director of The Permaculture Project.
  • September: Kristine and Wayne correspond regarding Permaculture design consulting services
  • October 29: Wayne conducts an initial assessment of the land


  • February: a Master Plan is created during a Design Charette with Wayne and two architects
  • April 25: the property is keylined with the help of Wayne and neighbor Joe Wantoch
  • April: begin planning the stone circle; meet with Ivan McBeth and Wayne regarding general placement of the circle on the property, stone selection and timing
  • May: 210 trees are planted on the land, marked the center of the future stone circle
  • June: Kristine earns her Permaculture Design Certificate from Wayne at a PDC offered at Crazy Rooster Farm in Mondovi, WI
  • June: Kristine and Wayne attend the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) Energy Fair in Custer, WI; met with Rob Roy, a stone circle expert and a cordwood masonry expert and author to review our  plans for the stone circle and seek advice
  • June 25: Wayne and Kristine mark the Summer Solstice Sunrise from the point marked as the center of the future stone circle (too overcast June 21 – 24)
  • July: diseased pines are removed from The Pines area and the brush along the woods edge is cleared
  • August: the stone circle area is excavated
  • September: the labyrinth area and surrounding terraces are excavated
  • September 24: the Kinstone Labyrinth is built with the help of 26 family members and friends
  • October 18: the first stones are delivered to the property for the stone circle
  • October 28: the stone circle, the stargazer circle, and many other stone features are completely installed
  • November: deer fencing is installed around the property to protect the trees
  • December: the Summer Solstice Corridor stones are delivered and installed in the pond and on the eastern edge of the property
  • December: a design charette to discuss the built environment is held with Wayne Weiseman and Cliff Davis (director of Spiral Ridge Permaculture)
  • December: plans for a natural building workshop are developed in conjunction with  building a small chapel


  • January: the property is dubbed “KINSTONE” and the circle is named “Kinstone Circle”
  • January:  plans for the first workshop to be held at Kinstone are discussed; a Natural Building Workshop will be held in July focusing on Thatching and Cordwood Construction
  • February 24: the Fountain Stone is delivered and installed in the Pond; the Pond is filled with water for the first time
  • February: Kristine and Wayne decide to develop Kinstone into a center for Permaculture education
  • March: the initial Kinstone website (www.kinstonecircle.com), is launched
  • March: Kinstone staff harvests nearly 400 bundles of Phragmites australis, an invasive water reed, from the marshes of the Mississippi River for use in the July Natural Building Workshop
  • April: it is decided that Kinstone needs a utility shed
  • May: a large pole structure is built, initially intended to be a utility shed; it has become instead a home to Kinstone’s main office, library, and classroom
The Timber Frame and Tension Ring of the Kinstone Chapel
The timber frame and tension ring of the Kinstone Chapel
  • June: terraces are completed below the Kinstone Main Office
  • June: Kinstone Chapel is designed and the foundations and framing are completed; the stone for the stem-wall is selected; plans for the related July Natural Building Workshop are finalized
  • June: Kinstone staff attends the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) Energy Fair in Custer, WI
  • July: a Natural Building Workshop is held at Kinstone with a focus on Thatching and Cordwood Masonry construction
  • July: the Kinstone Buzz newsletter is launched
  • July: Kristine commissions the creation of two special doors for the Kinstone Chapel; they will be created by an Amish doormaker, Chris Hostettler, of Hidden Acres Woodworking in Cashton, WI
  • August-October: work on the Kinstone Chapel continues; three walls are completed
  • October-November: additional stones are delivered and set at Kinstone: Venus, the Monks, the Circle of Mystery, the Family, the Signal Hill Stone with the Wizard and the Red Fox and others
  • December: Wayne, Kristine, and Jarad meet to finalize plans for Kinstone Academy of Applied Permaculture for 2013


  • January: the doors for the Kinstone Chapel are completed and brought to Kinstone
  • January: Kinstone is visited by Roger DeClement of Castle Magic; discussions about the design of a stone tower are held
  • January: a design charette is held with Kristine, Wayne and Jarad Barkeim to focus on access paths and gardens at Kinstone; the Master Plan is updated
  • February:  A new website is commissioned for Kinstone Academy
  • March: the new website for Kinstone Academy of Applied Permaculture is launched
  • April: work continues…
Three Walls of the Chapel Complete - Three To Go!
Three walls of the Kinstone Chapel complete – three to go!