Monthly Archives: September 2013

Schedule for Colorado Permaculture Convergence 2013 Announced

The 2013 Colorado Permaculture Convergence is looking to be a fabulous weekend.  From the Colorado Permaculture Guild,

Here’s the schedule for the 2013 Colorado Permaculture Convergence at the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute (CRMPI) in Basalt and Sustainable Settings.  Register here!

Saturday September 28:

• 10:00 am – Welcome and Introduction Circle!!

• 11:00 am – Whole Systems Tour of Sustainable Settings with Brook LeVan

            • Start with all participants together while Brook talks about “Dreams to Reality”

            • Then break into two tour groups

• 1:00 pm – Pot Luck Lunch – Time to shop at the Guild’s Market

• 2:30 pm – KEYNOTE: Adam Brock:  The Future of the Permaculture Movement in Colorado – both challenges (climate change, reaching the “mainstream”) and opportunities (increasing interest, longer growing seasons, etc.)

• 3:00 pm – Breakout Roundtable Talks Begin – Playing off the Talk Above

            • Challenges – e.g. Climate Change and Permaculture Reaching Mainstream

            • Opportunities – e.g. Increasing Interest and Longer Growing Seasons

• 4:00 pm – Join Back Together, Adam leads the group in …

            • sharing their findings and drafting a collective vision and next steps

• 5:00 pm – Roundtable Talks

            • Group 1 – Permaculture and BioDynamics – where/how they fit together, with Lloyd Nelson and Ginger Janssen leading the talk

            • Group 2 – Animals in a Permaculture System – small- and large-scale, with Brook LeVan and Jerome Osentowski

• 6:00 pm – Dinner – $15 per person, provided by Sustainable Settings

• 6:30 pm – Music begins and bonfire

Sunday September 29:

• 9:00 am – Meet at Sustainable Settings for carpool to CRMPI

• 10:00 am – Breakout Tours

            • Group 1 – CRMPI with Jerome Osentowski

            • Group 2 – Basalt Gardens with Ginger and Rob Janssen

• 12:00 pm – Lunch – $10 per person, made by CRMPI

• 1:30 pm – Tour groups switch

• 3:30 pm – Evening activities options

            • Waterfall hike

            • Basalt Mountain hike

            • Float down the Lazy River at Sustainable Settings

Permaculture, Perennial Culture, Part 1: October 4-6, 2013

Presented by Regenerative Lifestyles:

Permaculture-Perennial Culture, Part 1

Living Systems: Soil, Water, Mycology, & Earthship Biotecture, OCTOBER 4, 5, & 6, 2013

Friday, October, 4, 2013, 6pm-9pm

Introduction to Permaculture

Mycology with Jim Gibson


Saturday, October 5, 2013, 10am-5pm

Soil Ecology with Tara Rae Kent

Water Flows with Avery Ellis

Earthship Biotecture with Mike Wird


Sunday, October 6, 2013, 10am-5pm

Design for the Future- Regenerative Design

Hands on- Earthship Building Techniques


$150 find links to register at

Lunch will be provided on Saturday and Sunday.  Please bring snacks to share.

About this event:

Biological Foundations for Designing and Building Living Environments

With infinite possibilities, one could wonder why we are in the predicament of Ecological disaster. The planet holds the solutions, and with inspiring and useful experience; with interesting educational opportunities, we can all learn to work together and be the catalyst for change.

Soil– As Colorado residents, we live in a desert, a place where we can design and create environments which can heal depleted soils, aid in water retention, and balance soil structure. Tara Rae Kent will be speaking on soil building; utilizing vermicomposting,  and sheet mulching. When designed with the natural patterns in mind, plants grows bigger, better and healthier, thus creating abundance.

Water – Water flows, usually straight to the gutter or into the foundation of the building. The information about greywater and aquaponics that Avery Ellis will present can help participants learn how to conserve water, practice re-use, grow happy plants, and lower water bills. The design systems provide tools that can help you, your family and the community.

Mycology– The study of Fungi, a strange and creative world that lives almost everywhere. Fungi are evolutionarily more closely related to animals than to plants, and their uses are both complex and surprising. Jim Gibson will define Mycology and his work, possibly inspiring an interest into a way of life.

Earthship Biotecture– Some people think that there’s a village of Aliens living just outside Taos, New Mexico, in super strange and beautiful Earthships. But if you look into it, you’ll be excited to find, they’re radically sustainable, off-grid structures that follow 6 design principles. Mike Wird will be lecturing about his experience of Earthship Culture, the principles of Biotecture. On Sunday, we will work together to start an Earthship Chicken Coop @ In the Grove-Urban Permaculture Design Site, located in downtown Boulder on 1/3 acre. There, participants will experience tire pounding, building can walls, and constructing bottle bricks.

Guest speakers:

Avery Ellis- Water Flow Specialist- Owner

Avery has a Masters degree in Ecological Design through SFIA, a BS in Biology & Sustainability, and Advanced Permaculture Designer and PC Teacher certificates, and is a certified greywater installer. Avery is a leader in the movement to make greywater and water catchment an attainable resource, and is currently writing Colorado water code.

Design, & Installation for Water Reuse & Ecological Sanitation.

Tara Rae Kent- Biologist- Environmental Scientist for HDR

Tara Rae Kent holds an Advanced Permaculture Design Certificate, and a Permaculture Teaching Certificate.  She has managed several greenhouses, USDA-organic, organic, and permaculture farms with experience in 3 climate zones – cool and wet; cool and dry; and warm and wet.   In the last decade, Ms. Kent has worked in scientific laboratories for universities, taught water quality monitoring classes, and authored a nature center field guidebook. She holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in biology and freshwater ecology, and works as an environmental scientist/biologist in the consulting world.

Jim Gibson- Mycologist- President of Colorado Mycological Society

Jim Gibson, a Colorado native, is a Permaculture activist and Advanced Permaculture Designer, 2013 President of the Colorado Mycological Society, a member of the North American Mycological Association, Transition Colorado, a Life Member of Trout Unlimited and other organizations. Jim teaches/facilitates mushroom cultivation and mycolandscaping, Jim has presented at Bioneers Colorado in ’09, ’11 and 2012. He is a graduate of the Stamets schools for Mushroom Cultivation and for Mycorestoration. He has studied Food Forest Gardening with Eric Toensmeier in Colorado for the past three years. Jim’s goal is to further the appreciation and utilization of fungi in ecological restoration along with the production of food and medicine for the planet, for people, and for all life.

Mike Wird- Earthship Biotect- Founder of Regenerative Lifestyles

Hiphop arts renaissance man, the artist’s artist.  Mike is certified in Advanced Permaculture Design and Earthship Biotecture. He teaches Permaculture Design, Biotecture,  and Hiphop. As an educator, organizer, entrepreneur, DJ, emcee/poet, natural holistic health and wellness advocate and sustainable living practitioner, he brings important issues to light. Currently, he’s teaching high school in Denver with YouthOnRecord. (O.G.) organic gardener and natural builder, Mike is Co-founder of Denver Earthship, dedicated to bringing Earthship Biotecture to the city.




madelife, 2000 21st Street, Boulder, CO 80302 (Pearl St. & 21st St.)


Join Donate Boulder – Community Organized Flood Relief

Calling all Boulderites with a bit of time on their hands!

Join Donate Boulder – Community Organized Flood Relief to get muddy and lend a helping hand to our neighbors in need!  The Mudslingers are operating out of 1911 11th Street #207, Boulder.  The HQ phone number is 720-310-5170.  Meet at 8:30 am for assignment.  Later in the day, you can go to and look for the red tabs that say “Volunteers Needed Now.” That’s where help is needed, in real time!

The Mudslingers have already helped at 180 homes in Boulder.  Way to go, Mudslingers!  Join the effort!  Email to volunteer, and/or join through Facebook.

Check their Facebook page for the latest updates.

Floods and People Care

As I watch this downtown Boulder neighborhood dry slowly, and listen to the sounds of rescue helicopters overhead, there have been a few thoughts at the front of my mind: design for disaster!  People Care!  Earth Care, People Care, Fair Share (to achieve the aims of Earth and People Care): the ethics of permaculture.  Boulder was hit with the Four Mile Canyon Fire in September, 2010.  In September, 2013, over the course of a few days, the heavy rainfall and flooding in the burn areas formed devastating landslides that took lives and destroyed homes and roadways.  Last week, many farms in Boulder County were under water.  The excess of the 10 to 15 inches of rain that fell in the Boulder foothills, and 15 to 20 inches of rain that fell in downtown Boulder between Monday, September 9th, and Sunday, September 15th, 2013, is making its way eastward in the form of flood waters.  As flood waters continue to spread from the Front Range, thousands more people, structures, roads and farms are affected.  In some areas, raw sewage is flowing into waterways.  We must design for disaster.

Check out this article from Food, Water, and… Permaculture?  Rethinking Disaster Relief for Haiti and Beyond

In the spirit of People Care, comments, reflections, and/or requests for help from the permaculture community are welcome.

Free Screening of WASTE LAND, Monday, September 23, 2013

Regenerative Lifestyles and madelife present a free screening of WASTE LAND on Monday, September 23rd at 7pm.  The film is an inspiring story of a Brooklyn artist who travels to the word’s largest dump outside of Rio de Janeiro to profile the “catadores”, or pickers of recyclable materials.  This film was Winner of the Audience Award for World Cinema Documentary at Sundance Film Festival in 2010.

View the trailer here:

Doors at 6pm, a discussion of Water & Design for Living Environments at 6:30pm, and film starts at 7pm.  madelife is located at 2000 21st St., Boulder, CO 80302.  Voluntary donations will be collected for those in need.


Sustainable Living Fair Cancelled

The Sustainable Living Fair in Fort Collins was cancelled due to massive flooding, and will not be rescheduled for 2013.  Northern Colorado has been declared a federal disaster zone.  The bands scheduled to perform Saturday evening at the Fair held a benefit concert at the Aggie Theater in Fort Collins, with all proceeds going to the Sustainable Living Association.  The event organizers estimate a loss of at least $50,000 in ticket sales for the weekend, and are asking those who planned to attend for help.  The revenues from the Fair are critical to the continuation of the organization as well as future Sustainable Living Fairs.  It is suggested that anyone who planned on attending consider a $10 donation, which would have been the ticket price.  In addition, Whole Foods Fort Collins will donate 5% of sales on Wednesday, September 18th to the Sustainable Living Association.  More information can be found at