2019 Colorado Permaculture Convergence

August 31 – September 1 | 2019

Come join us for a celebration of Permaculture at the beautiful Sunrise Ranch in Loveland!
There will be local and national speakers, workshops, networking, stories, seed and plant swapping, amazing local food, live music, and lots of opportunity to get to know Permies from across Colorado. Click on the image below to secure your tickets. Early bird pricing will be through July 1st!

2016 Four Corners Permaculture Convergence July 16-17 in Mancos CO

Buy tickets here!

Join us in La Plata County as we strive to create community-based alliances and projects for better relationship with the natural world. By combining indigenous knowledge through ancient teachings with the experience of our region’s most knowledgeable permaculture and sustainable living experts, this two day workshop will host speakers in a variety of fields:

  •  Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants with Katrina Blair
  •  Water Retention Systems with Tim Prow
  •  Swales with Grant Curry
  •  Beekeeping with Ben Moline
  •  Seed Saving with the Southwest Seed Library
  •  Mycology with Travis Custer
  •  Permaculture Design Expert Cathy Curry
  •  Indigenous Elder Gary Fourstar
  •  Organic Pest Control with John Wickman
  •  Building with Repurposed Materials with Dan May
  •  Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project with Jude and Addie Schuenemeyer
  •  More to be announced!
  • Two-day Pass $50             Optional Saturday wild dinner by Turtle Lake Refuge $20
  • Contact Debby and Gary Fourstar at debby@manyhorses.org
  •              Primitive on site camping $20

WHEN: Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 10:00 AM – Sunday, July 17, 2016 at 4:00 PM (MDT) – Add to Calendar

WHERE: Thunderbird Ranch – 11020 Cr 105  , Thunderbird Ranch, Mancos CO – View Map

Ft. Collins Permaculture Design Course Announced!

PDC poster

The Growing Project is excited to announce our 2015/2016 Permaculture Design Course! The Permaculture Design Certificate course is a seventy-two hour (minimum) training experience. Students who complete the full curriculum will earn the internationally-recognized Permaculture Design Certificate. Through an engaging mix of lecture, hands-on group activities, and real-world design projects, participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of ecological thinking and how to apply it in a variety of contexts.

The Fort Collins PDC is on the 3rd weekend of the month starting in August 2015 and ending in March 2016 (skipping December).

Instructors include Adam Brock (Denver), Kelly Simmons (Boulder), and Patrick Padden (Fort Collins).

Early bird tickets available now! For more information visit www.thegrowingproject.org or email info@thegrowingproject.org.

Call to Action: Support Greywater Legislation!

Hello Concerned Citizens of Colorado!

Some of you may have heard that our state will be adopting a new Water law about Greywater Re-use. It has been in the works for almost 2 years and we are on the verge of a final public hearing. If you believe in water re-use and conservation, Please write to the CDPHE (cdphe.wqcc@state.co.us) with the message below and/or come out to support efficient and practical greywater solutions on April 13th from 9:30-5 at:

Florence Sabin Conference Room
Department of Public Health and Environment
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver CO 80246.

Wear something green to support the inclusion of “Fruit and Nut trees and other plants where the edible or medicinal part does not touch the soil or water directly” This is one of our big hurtles in the allowance of truly ecological greywater systems. The beaurocratic process can be slow and frustrating. Please come prepared to wait for your moment to share your thoughts. This public hearing will be addressing the adoption of two new regulations (Reg 61 & Reg 86) and Regulation 86, the greywater rules will be second in the process and therefore it will be discussed later in the day. As a stakeholder in the process, I will have several minutes to state my case in favor of less stringent regulation and the allowance of fruit and nut trees. The case would be made stronger with public support at key moments and an audience wearing green. In the CDPHE notice to stakeholders, public participation is encouraged “The commission encourages all interested persons to provide their opinions or recommendations regarding the matters to be addressed in this rulemaking hearing, either orally at the hearing or in writing prior to or at the hearing. Although oral testimony from those with party status and other interested persons will be received at the hearing, the time available for such oral testimony may be limited. The commission requests that all interested persons submit to the commission any available information that may be relevant in considering the noticed proposals.”

Feel free to read the current Draft of Regulation 86 here (ftp://ft.dphe.state.co.us/wqc/wqcc/61_86GraywaterRMH/61_86_Notice1504.pdf). (Note: Many people spell it GrEywater to support Ecological Solutions, but the CDPHE spells it GrAywater) If you have time to read the draft, please submit your concerns to (cdphe.wqcc@state.co.us). If you would like to support our effort for less stringent regulation and the adoption of ecological solutions, please send this message to (cdphe.wqcc@state.co.us):

To the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment – Water Quality Control Commission

Re: Graywater Regulation 86 Public Comments
I support the efficient and practical graywater solutions laid out in Regulation 86. I want to encourage my local county and city to adopt this law with minimal restrictions, and I believe that “mulch basins” provide the most ecologically robust solution for dealing with graywater irrigation. They are practical, affordable, and can utilize gravity to convey the greywater to the landscape without the oversight of complex engineering, pumps, or filters. I plan to use my laundry machine to irrigate my landscape and would like to see a simple permit for those types of simple systems. I also believe that the best beneficial use of graywater is for watering fruit and nut trees, and other plants where the edible part does not touch the soil or water directly. I have never heard of anyone getting sick from an apple on a tree where graywater was used for irrigation, and scientific research supports this approach. For toilet flushing systems, I would like to see less restrictive rules for decontamination, since this water will be used for flushing waste. I support the adoption of Regulation 86 and would like to see these rules become less strict, so that we the people can utilize ecological solutions for our land and the environment. Thank you for your time.
__________(your name)

Please feel free to share this message with your networks so that we might have a big impact on how this law gets adopted. If you want to learn more about greywater, how it can be used, and why it matters, check out www.ColoradoGreywater.com and stay tuned for our upcoming workshops, services, and events after this law is finalized.

For the Earth,

Avery Ellis


Denver Crop Mobs! Join us.

Ekar Farm Kids

Hi everyone: I wanted to extend an invitation to the folks on this list to help out at our crop mobs this year.

For those who don’t know it, the Denver Crop Mob program seeks to help with urban agriculture and food justice efforts by coordinating volunteer days. We’ve built raised beds and hugelkulturs, sheet mulched, planted gardens, gleaned post-harvest crops and sometime just pulled weeds and cleared land for future urban ag endeavors, on behalf of organizations and individuals – for or not-for-profit – involved in and serious about this movement.

We’ve taken the old fashioned Amish barn raising as a model, thinking that a good way to build community is to work side by side for 4 hours (mobs run from 8 – 12) – and then relax and eat side by side, as the host serves a hot, sit-down lunch after the work is done. Through these interactions, we make and solidify our connections with the others in our community, explicitly asserting our commitment to the reality of interdependency that defines a robust community.

As I understand it, this is a part of what David means as he talks about nurturing healthy relationships, increasing or range of interactions, and so forth.

In other words, if we’re serious about building community, then showing up when our fellow community members need our help will naturally one of our primary care-abouts.

And so I would encourage you all to consider participating in the crop mobs program this year, as both hosts and volunteers where applicable. After all, in the Amish model, it was primarily farmers and their families, as well as other community members and craftspeople, helping other farmers. We’re going for the same dynamic here.

I have 3 crop mobs currently scheduled, although I generally only post one at a time (to keep up, you can join our FB page here, or simply keep an eye on the Greater Denver Urban Homesteaders meetup schedule – it’s a gold mine for cool events.

This spring’s first mob will be at Ekar Farm, an org that donated over 11,000 pounds of fresh produce to the hungry and in-need last year, well worth your support! You can find more info and a link to register here. I hope to see many of you this season at crop mobs!

Peace, Oz Osborn

Introducing: Our Own Financial Permaculture Business Incubator in Boulder!

20150205_175910I sat down with business coach and founder of Regenerative Dynamics, Jacki Saorsail, to ask her about her new incubator for people desiring to build a resilient business, find partners and foster creativity while still keeping the permaculture principles and their values intact. How does a socially conscious permie make money in a cut-throat, capitalist society? By sharing resources, networking, learning from each other and using the latest smart business practices!

What is a Regenerative Enterprise Incubator?

A business incubator is a place for budding entrepreneurs to learn, build, and network. Participants form a strong community to share resources, learn from experts, learn from each other, and do group activities. Regenerative Enterprises work together to design and build an economic ecosystem based on shared values and a desire to make the world a better place.

Why attend an Incubator?

Working with other entrepreneurs brings new ideas and diverse skill sets into the development of each business. Participants have the opportunity to help each other out and find potential business partners. We learn about a wide variety of principles and practices that take our businesses beyond sustainability to regenerate our economy, social systems, and environment.

Where is it located?

We are housed at The Integral Center located at 2805 Broadway Street in Boulder, Colorado. The Integral Center provides co-working space, a kitchenette, private meeting rooms, and several large event spaces.

When is it?

Group discussions are held on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 3 to 4pm and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5 to 6pm. coworking is available Monday through Friday from 10am to 7pm.

How much does it cost?

Meetings are free, though donations are accepted. Integral Center membership is $65 per month which gives you full access to the coworking space plus a long list of other benefits.


What is Regenerative Dynamics?

Regenerative Dynamics is a consultancy for holistic business design and agile management. It was founded in 2015 by Jacki Saorsail, who hopes to grow the organization into a large network of consultants who use business as a force for good. The purpose of the organization is to provide everyone everywhere with the opportunity to redesign their local economies while making a right livelihood doing what they love. More information can be found at www.regenerativedynamics.org.

Reflections on the 1st North American Permaculture Convergence

by Sandy Cruz

Wow! Having recently returned from 9 rugged days on the road and at the NAPC camp in Minnesota, there’s a lot to digest.

What incredible fun to be among more than 400 other permies at one time and place! The energy was expansive and light-hearted for the most part, and re-inspired many participants to return home energized to carry the permaculture movement forward.

The gorgeous lake-side acres of Harmony Park included a large amphitheater with no walls, a few open sheds, and some large open tents and awnings set up by NAPC. Already soggy from a violent lightning storm in Iowa, our 7-person RV carpool arrived at the convergence to set up camp in a torrential, thunderous downpour that lasted for a good chunk of the weekend. The only indoor spaces were the port-a-potties and a few shower stalls. With everything sodden for days, my home-made peach leather turned slimy, while my dried tomatoes were much improved.

The NAPC staff organized a myriad of circles, group activities, panels, discussions, breakout sessions, films, speakers, exhibits, open space opportunities and music galore. Participants were unremittingly cheerful despite the challenging weather. A few people stayed at motels some distance away, definitely more comfortable but missing much of the event’s vibrant energy, music and mingling far into the night.

Aside from areas geographically close to Harmony Park, Colorado seemed to have the largest contingent. It was heartening yet bittersweet to reconnect with so many friends, students and coworkers from my previous life, and to hear about the many important and exciting projects they are involved in.

After all these years, it was a pleasure to finally meet Scott Pittman. He joined our Colorado breakout caucus since there was little participation from New Mexico. I’m paraphrasing here, but Scott stated that our most important work as permaculturists at this time is to open our hearts. He also said that we need to do much more work in designing Invisible Structures, which has been largely neglected in many PDCs. Scott said that we need to put permaculture structures in place to run parallel with mainstream institutions, so that we’re ready when masses of people begin turning to permaculture — which will be soon.

Following some recent previews, PINA — the Permaculture Institute of North America — formally unveiled its organization at NAPC and began accepting memberships. After years of design and planning, all six members of PINA’s founding board were present. One goal was to assess the state of potential regional permaculture organizations — regional hubs, as PINA calls them — across the continent. At PINA’s presentation, breakout groups from each region discussed their status and considered potential next steps in forming a hub organization.

One major milestone at NAPC was an impromptu dinner attended by most of the PINA board, people from the Permaculture International USA (PIUSA), and representation from Gaia University — three organizations working with a permaculture diploma process. Although I missed the dinner, I hear that there was much agreement and potential collaboration among all three groups, greatly to the benefit of all permaculturists in North America.

Various working groups also met over meals during the convergence, and reported back to everyone at the closing circle. These teams will hopefully continue to move ahead after NAPC. And PINA will continue working with the breakout regional groups it identified to form permaculture hub organizations.

Edges which many of us have ignored were openly challenged at this convergence. There was a session on women in permaculture, race and privilege were discussed in various contexts, disability issues were recognized, economic inequality loomed large, and age differences elicited a strong response, as some youth felt left out of the conversation. The morning circle on Sunday and the closing circle that afternoon addressed these concerns to some extent, and several people committed to keep working on them — to broaden the permaculture movement, and to encourage more diversity and discussion at the next convergence. We can’t just leave it to these folks, though — to build a truly viable, broadscale movement, healing issues of rank is something for all of us to contemplate, to include in our designs for invisible structures, and to implement.

During the final breakout session, some of us reviewed the convergence and discussed the qualities of an ideal site for a future continental event. I, of course, recommended holding it in Colorado, while interesting possibilities were also offered for Mexico and Utah. No decisions were made about location, but 2016 seems a likely choice for the timing.

This gathering was a huge success in furthering the evolution of permaculture in North America by leaps and bounds. Connections were made, schisms healed, deficiencies noted, and plans launched. Permaculture arts and music were in evidence, and I look forward to experiencing much more of our community’s emerging culture at future convergences.

Many thanks to Gene, who tended our homestead while I went galavanting across the country; to my RV hosts, Kirsten and Rennie; and to fellow passengers Suzy, Davey, Patrick and Coco (who we left at the gas station in Nebraska) for a wonderful adventure. It was really great to get back to a dry place!

My deepest gratitude to the people behind NAPC — Monica Ibacache, Koreen Brennan, Michael Pilarski, Adam Brock, Sarah Ashley Baxendell and Mario Yanez — who hatched the plan for NAPC at the International Permaculture Convergence in Cuba last November. Although time was short and the challenge immense, the NAPC team pulled off a massive, ground-breaking, and highly inspiring event. Thanks also to Harmony Park, event sponsors, presenters, musicians, kitchen staff, work traders, the guy who pumped the port-a-potties every morning, and to everyone else who contributed.

Hope to see you at the next NAPC!

Perennially —


Permaculturing Denver: A workshop on local food systems by Bob Waldrop

What: Permaculturing Denver: A workshop on local food systems

When: August 8, 7 – 9 PM; August 9, 9 AM – 5 PM

Who: Workshop presenter is Bob Waldrop, of Prairie Rose Permaculture in Oklahoma City

Where: 4541 S Kalamath St., Englewood, CO

For more info: Tanya Faust (303-789-1595, registration), Bob Waldrop (405-200-8155 bob@bobwaldrop.net)

On Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/events/658163574267951/

What does a sustainable food system for the Denver metropolitan area look like? How can we ensure food security for all into an uncertain future? What contributions can the sustainable design and ethical system of permaculture offer to resolving these issues of justice, ecology, and economics?

Permaculturing Denver — a workshop on local food systems — is designed to answer some of these questions and identify the opportunities and challenges of the Denver metropolitan foodshed.

Workshop participants will gain a basic understanding of permaculture and the role it can play in developing more sustainable local food systems for the densely populated Denver metroplex. They will work through design issues relating to both an ultimate vision of a sustainable urban food system, and consider how we get from the present reality into a better, more resilient future.

The cost of the workshop is $25, and includes lunch on Saturday. Attendance limited to the first 25 people. To register, contact Tanya Faust at permaculturedenver@gmail.com or 303-789-1595.

Bob Waldrop is one of the primary founders of the Oklahoma Food Cooperative, which was the first food coop in the United States to only sell locally grown food and non-food items. Established in 2003, the organization has distributed $5.8 million in local food and non-food items over the last 10 years via an innovative online ordering system coupled with a volunteer delivery system that operates 52 pickup sites around the state. He holds diplomas in permaculture design (in the fields of education, community service, research, media, and finance). issued by the Permaculture Institute of the United States and received his certificate in Permaculture Design from Elfin Permaculture in Florida.

He is the author of an ebook on urban permaculture (iPermie; How to permaculture your urban lifestyle and adapt to the realities of peak oil, economic irrationality, political criminality, and peak oil). He is the founder of the Oscar Romero Catholic Worker community, which works in food security for low income people in the Oklahoma City area, by delivering food to people in need who don’t have transportation, and promoting gardening, urban agriculture, growing food forests, and household energy conservation. He moderates runningonempty2@yahoogroups.com, an email conversation group with 7,000+ participants that has been discussing energy issues since 2001.

2014 North American Permaculture Convergence, MN 8/29 – 8/31

Join us for the first annual North American Permaculture Convergence that brings together the entire continent of permies! We are planning a monster road trip from the Boulder/Denver area to this event at Harmony Park in Clark’s Grove, MN so email us if you want to be part of that. It’s going to be way too much fun to miss!

Here’s the link to buy tickets. Here’s the link to the facebook page.

Some of us are also planning to attend the pre-Convergence events! Here is a list of what is available (subject to change, check their website!)

Patterns and Permaculture with Toby Hemenway – Aug. 27 & 28

Restoration Agriculture with Mark Shepard – Aug. 26, 27, 28

12:00 Noon  Registration opens.
Participants can set up camp on Thursday.
6:00 – 7:30 pm  DINNER
Evening: Open Scheduling. Entertainment.

6:30 – 7:30 am  Early period. Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Qong, plant walks, hands-on. Open scheduling.
7:30 – 8:30 am  BREAKFAST
9:00 – 10:00 am    Opening ceremony & Introductions
10:30 – 12:00 am   Plenary. Introduction to NAPC, what will happen, and intros to North American  permaculture organizations such as Permaculture Institute USA, PINA (Permaculture Institute of North America), Permaculture Research Institute, USA and other broad area organizations with representatives present.
12:00 – 1:30 pm  LUNCH
2:00 – 3:30 pm  Concurrent Workshops & Round Tables. Period A
3:45 – 5:15 pm  Concurrent Workshops & Round Tables. Period B
5:30 – 6:00 pm  Circle
6:00 – 7:30 pm  DINNER
8:00 – 9:30 pm  Open programming

6:30 – 7:30 am  Early period. Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Qong, plant walks, hands-on. Open scheduling.
7:30 – 8:30 am  BREAKFAST
9:00 – 10:00 am   Plenary
10:30 – 12:00 am Concurrent Workshops & Round Tables. Period C
12:00 – 1:30 pm  LUNCH
2:00 – 3:30 pm  Concurrent Workshops & Round Tables. Period D
3:45 – 5:15 pm  Concurrent Workshops & Round Tables. Period E
5:30 – 6:00 pm  Circle
6:00 – 7:30 pm  DINNER
8:00 – 9:00 pm  Plenary. What can help build the permaculture movement in North America? How can permaculture have more impact?
9:00 pm on.  Socializing, music, fun. Open scheduling for caucuses or discussions.

6:30 – 7:30 am  Early period. Yoga, Tai Chi, Chi Qong, plant walks, hands-on. Open scheduling.
7:30 – 8:30 am  BREAKFAST
9:00 – 10:00 am   Plenary
10:30 – 12:00 am Concurrent Workshops & Round Tables. Period F
12:00 – 1:30 pm  LUNCH
2:00 – 2:30  Plenary to plan break out session.
2:30 – 3:30 pm  Breakout sessions.
3:30 – 5:00 pm  Plenary.  (suggestion by Michael Pilarksi) Where do we go from here… Proposals for action.
5:30 – 6:00 pm  Closing Circle
6:30 – 7:30 pm  DINNER
8:00 – 9:30 pm  Evening program. Open scheduling. Socializing.

People can stay overnight, Sunday night.

MONDAY: Pack up and departure. Everyone is welcome to stick around on Monday and help us clean up and take down the temporary infrastructure. 

7:30 – 8:30 am  BREAKFAST (leftovers may be provided to the degree we have them)
9:00 – 9:30 am   Work party meeting
9:30 – 12:00 am   Clean-up, Take-down.  Continue breakout meetings.
12:00 – 1:30 pm  LUNCH (not provided by NAPC)
1:30 – 5:00 pm  Clean-up, Take-down.

Rocket Mass Heater Part II: COB STOMPING!!!


Join us for a fun community cob party Feb 9th from 10am-4pm! Let’s add more mass to the rocket mass heater at Ruckus Ranch at 1878 Old Hwy 52, Erie Colorado. Please bring good to share! 

As temperatures drop into the single digits and below all across the country, this simple rocket mass heater provides a means to heat homes for extended periods of time with minimal fuel. We held a workshop last month and lots of people showed up to learn, build, and stomp cob in freezing temperatures. We are transforming this old barn into a permaculture education space, with rocket mass heat, a passive solar greenhouse, and a kitchen that composts its own waste!do. Please bring Food to share!


Building community in an educational setting is what helps us pulse with inspiration. This is the perfect setting to dive into the permaculture/natural building community. This is a free event but donations are greatly appreciated and will go towards materials and more events.