Monthly Archives: April 2014

Chicken Keeping Class at The Savvy Hen, Boulder, Sat. 4/26

From The Savvy Hen:


Chicken Keeping 101 
Saturday April 26th, 4-5:30pm 
This has been a popular class for us this spring!  We’ll share lots of great information for the beginning chicken keeper or anyone who is thinking about keeping chickens.  We’ll cover the basics of starting chicks, keeping adult hens, necessary equipment, nutrition, health concerns, and much more.  We’ll have time for questions too!
$10 per person.

* This class is almost full, contact us soon by email or phone to sign up!

Contact The Savvy Hen for registration.

PDC at Sunrise Ranch starts today, 4/2/14

From Sunrise Ranch:

Course Details

Dates and Times

April 2-April 11, 2014

Classes run daily from 8:45am- 5:30pm except on days with evening sessions when we end at 9:00pm. Lunch is served from 12:15 -1pm. (There will be some night sessions from 7:30-9pm, in which case dinner will be provided from 6:15-7pm. TBA)

There will be a combination of class time, field work and design work.

Tuition and Registration

Tuition ($1050 before March 31 and $1150 after) includes official design course T-shirt and an internationally recognized certificate of completion. Tuition does not include meals. Accommodation fees are: $400 for camping,  and $550 for a bed in a dorm room. Commuter fees (if you choose to partake in all meals during course) are $300. Register online or call 970-679-4200 or 877-786-0078

For more information contact Internship Registrar Keahi Ewa at keahi at sunriseranch dot org.
Click here for more information about internship opportunities at Sunrise Ranch.

2014 Neighborhood Agriculture Grant

From Branch Out Cider, LLC:

Branch Out Cider, LLC is pleased to announce the 2014 Neighborhood Agriculture Grant.  Grants up to $500 will be awarded to support neighborhood agriculture projects — such as planting some apple trees, sharing a compost bin, front yard gardens, etc.  To apply for the grant, please visit:

The company will award grants up to $500 for Neighborhood Agricultural projects based on the following criteria:

1. Agricultural project in a neighborhood
2. Engagement and participation of neighbors and community partners
3. Commitment to maintain the agricultural project year-after-year

The grant application rules are as follows:

1. Grant funds are for materials in support of the project
2. Project should be completed by September 1, 2014
3. All grant applications are due by April 30, 2014 at 11:59PM MST

Branch Out Cider makes (hard) apple cider from a collaboration of neighbors and their apples trees—the Community Orchard.  The company values keeping agricultural production in our community to support our local economy while reducing the need to ship food from across the country.

For more information, please contact Aaron Fodge, aaron at branchoutcider dot com

Day 1 at Permaculture Voices, 3/13/14, Neil Bertrando, “Tree Systems in the High Desert”

Neil Bertrando, “Tree Systems in the High Desert”

Neil started his talk with a geographical and climactic depiction of the Great Basin of Nevada, where he lives and does his permaculture design work.  The Great Basin climate is “BWks”, based on Köppen climate classification, meaning arid, cold, and summer dry.  Most of the natural irrigation comes from melting snowpack.  Central Asia has a similar climate in parts of India and Kazakhstan.  Trees are not part of the landscape here, unless connected with water.

Neil’s analysis of the topography of the land showed broad, U-shaped valleys separated by north-south ranges, with alluvial fan complexes.  On the topic of water, he emphasized the importance of knowing your water catchment and the location of aquifer recharge areas.

Roads have proven to be excellent water distribution conduits in the Great Basin.  Neil points out that the optimal road location in his area is on terraces or alluvial fans on contour.  He recommends avoiding the valley floor, as this is an important wildlife zone.  Neil recommends the book, A Good Road Lies Easy on the Land… Water Harvesting from Low-Standard Rural Roads, by Bill Zeedyk.  When designed well, roads can distribute and shed runoff to swales.

Regarding forestry, Neil discussed forest management as a tool for preventing soil erosion.  One of the goals is headcut water erosion prevention.  Preventing headcuts in the landscape will increase the water table in the area.  Additionally, active harvesting needs to take place in woodlands to prevent a dense canopy.  In the Great Basin, a forest that was allowed to grow to a dense canopy burned to the ground in one of the last major wildfires.  Regular clearing will allow a grass understory to grow, which holds soils in place.  With spacing between the trees, there is less chance that the entire forest will burn to the ground during a wildfire.  A completely burned patch is a prime soil erosion area that will take more time to rejuvenate, versus an actively managed forest.

Neil emphasized the importance of using Yeomans Keyline Scale of Permanence for decision making.

Fencing and Subdivision are useful for helping plants and trees to get established in the landscape.  Irrigation of plants and trees is necessary for establishment; Neil is moving toward planting where the water is already present.  In his experience, when planting trees, everything wants to eat them.  Good fencing and trunk protection will keep the young trees alive as they get established.  Fencing is also great in that they catch windblown water and nutrients (snow, plant material).  Once the trees are growing, you can use trees to build more fences, to plant more trees.

On the topic of soils, it is important to know soil depth to restrictive features, water holding capacity, and salts content.  Neil had a question from the audience on how to get started with highly salted soils.  He recommended starting with salt tolerant plants, and animals that can export those salts in the form of manures, etc.  He compiled a list of salt tolerant plants for cold arid climates and posted it on

This write-up covers just a few basics of what he discussed; he had some great examples of forest plantings he designed and implemented in the Great Basin, planned based on the climate, geomorphology of the land, water catchment, and aquifer recharge zones.

Cheers to Neil on having the most impressive moustache at the conference!


Neil Bertrando’s site: RT Permaculture



Earthship Tour in Fort Collins, this Saturday, 4/5/14

From Regenerative Lifestyles:


The day is coming soon! Earthship Tour- Fort Collins!
We are still arranging transportation details, and will hopefully have a bus that can accommodate many people from Fort Collins to the mountains.  There will be a short presentation by the owner and Denver Earthship, and a potluck lunch.

RSVP how many people will be joining.  Here is the link to register and for suggested donation of $25,
Accepting cash on the day of or donate what you can via link or paypal: , nobody will be turned away.
Denver folks, we suggest to meet up at 9 at:
Alameda Station park n ride
499 S Cherokee St
Cherokee St & Alaska Pl

Boulder Folks, we are planning to meet at McGuckins parking lot near Brewing Market (on Folsom) in Boulder at 9am to arrange carpools.  We will leave as close to 9:30 as possible in order to get to Mark Squibbs house (in Fort Collins) by 11. The address there is 114 S Sunset St, Fort Collins, CO 80521
We will gather and then head up the mountain to the Earthship from there, possibly in a bus.  Returning around 5pm. Text or Call Robin at 808-446-2628.
Please bring water, warm clothes, a packed lunch or something to share for the journey.