Sunday, December 27, 2009

Lyons Permaculture Design Course

Just found out about a new PDC happening in the Front Range area. This one is happening at the Lyons Farmette March 19-April 3. It's a residential course (which means that you stay at the farm, or nearby), and costs $1100. From the course schedule, it looks like you have 10 full days of instruction and 6 days of evening instruction, so if you attend, you only have to take 1 week of from work (if you work 9-5).

The list of instructors looks great, including Sandy Cruz (permaculturist extraordinaire), John Anderson (CO worm guy), Todd Jones (who held the mycopermaculture workshop earlier this year) and others.

More information can be found on the Lyons Farmette Permaculture Design Course website.

CRMPI gets 750 grant from Basalt

Via the Aspen Times, the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute received a $750 grant from the town of Basalt, via their 2010 "town sharing" grant program.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Video on Desert Water Catchment

Anupam Mishra gives a 17 minute talk about water harvesting structures of India. I couldn't find much more about him--his bio says that he presents on water harvesting techniques often, but I didn't find too many presentations online, and the Gandhi Peace Foundation, of which he is a founder, doesn't appear to have a website.

Here's an article he wrote about rainwater in Venice. And here's Anupam's recently translated book on the water systems of Rajasthan, "The Radiant Raindrops of Rajasthan" [PDF]. I skimmed sections of the book, and it seems like quite a resource for folks in the desert southwest. However, some of the prescriptions aren't technological, but social:
The sacrosanct line, which divides private property from common property, gets strangely erased when it comes to kuins [well-like structures that collect rainwater]. To each their own kuin; everyone has the right to construct a kuin and use its water. However, the kuin is constructed on land which is the collective property of the village. The rain which falls there remains throughout the year in the form of humidity and it is this humidity which feeds the kuins throughout the year. The amount of humidity present is determined by the amount of rainfall. Constructing a kuin in that area means sharing the humidity present there and that is why, though the kuin is a private property, since it is constructed on collective property, it falls under the control of the village society. It is only in case of dire necessity that permission is granted to build a new kuin.

Interesting stuff.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

High Altitude Permaculture Institute presents "Permaculture through the Seasons", 2010 version

Looks like Sandy Cruz is doing "Permaculture through the Seasons" again in 2010. Here's a flyer with all the info.

I have never taken a residential PDC,but I loved the 8 month long format, as it really gave you time to digest what you were learning. It also forced me to observe the target property over a longer period of time--rather than just trying to jump right into design.

Here's all the workshops and events that the High Altitude Permaculture Institute is a part of.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Jerome Ostenkowski profiled in Edible Aspen

Via Locavore Life, I found this article about CRMPI founder Jerome Ostenkowski in Edible Aspen.
For 23 years, Osentowski has run his permaculture institute and “forest garden” 3 winding miles above Basalt, where he has converted 5 acres of red dirt into an edible oasis. The notion of permaculture takes organic farming to a higher level, turning a garden into an ecosystem. Short plants provide ground cover. Tall plants provide shade or a place for vines to climb. Some fix nitrogen in the soil. Some drive away pests. Some are home to beneficial insects. Instead of avoiding noxious pesticides and fertilizers, permaculture seeks to make them unnecessary.
Plenty more in the article.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Boulder County agriculture land for lease

Via Sandy Cruz, two sections of Boulder County agricultural open spaces are up for lease.

The Boulder County Parks and Open Space Department, Agricultural Resource Management Division, is seeking proposals for agricultural leases on Smith, Joe and Peck Boulder County agricultural open spaces. RFP packets will be available at the Parks and Open Space Admin Building, 5201 St. Vrain Road, Longmont, Colorado, 80503 or may be obtained on-line at Rocky Mountain BidNet.

Here are the parcels up for lease in January:

RFP #5233-09: Smith, Joe Property
72 acres of irrigated cropland at NE corner of Hwy 287 and Hwy 52 intersection.
82 shares of Boulder and White Rock Ditch and Reservoir Company

RFP #5234-09: Peck Property
Approx. 20 acres located on west of 95th St along Left Hand Creek.
Ideal for small acreage farm or growers association
Up to 3 acre feet/ acre of Left Hand Ditch Company

There's an optional pre-proposal meeting at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, December 15, 2009 at the Boulder County Fairgrounds, 9595 Nelson Road in Longmont.

Here's a contact if you have further questions:
Meaghan Huffman
Boulder County Parks & Open Space
Resource Specialist
5201 St Vrain Road
Longmont, CO 80503

Willow Way seeking variance to continue teaching permaculture

I'm a bit late to the party, but Zia Parker has posted a plea on her blog for people to contact Boulder County to support her Low (Limited) Impact Special Use Review. Here's her application documents. The application appears to be 'Tabled Indefinitely' at this time; I'm unclear as to why. I posted a comment asking about it.

It's fascinating (and a bit frustrating) to see the hoops Zia is jumping through and the level of detail required by the application process.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Local Currency

The Touchstone November 29, 2009

Marco Lam

These are times of immense transition and we have a clear calling to create a sustainable and resilient community. The rallying cry of "Buy Local" is heard loud and clear by those who realize the importance of a local economy but we lack a crucial mechanism for supporting a robust bioregional infrastructure. Regional currencies have a strong tradition in our shared American history and recall a time when the local economy was both resilient and decentralized.

Our new private voluntary barter currency, called the "Gaian" is a one ounce .999 fine silver piece that has a community barter value of "fifty". This means a merchant is willing to exchange fifty dollars of goods or services for a 1oz Gaian.

Everyone in our community benefits from using Gaians. Consumers benefit from a 10% discount on purchases when they buy our local currency from our Community Barter Coordinators. Businesses benefit from increased patronage and from the loyalty of customers committed to buying local. Almost everyone has underutilized knowledge, skills and time that can be engaged creatively if they have a medium of exchange. In the spirit of supporting our greater community, we also support non-profit organizations and local farms by allowing them to purchase Gaians at a discounted rate and sell them at full face value to their supporters.

It takes committed citizens working in their own communities, bioregion by bioregion, to create the needed systemic change that will lead to regenerative economic practices. Over time, these practices will support ecologically responsible production of goods as well as community self-reliance. Local currencies are a primary tool to bring about such a change. Gaians are about building community and a bioregional culture while supporting a local economy and a more equitable distribution of wealth .

Gaians are a tool for community empowerment with the intention of generating a society that connects each individual to their creative powers and their responsibility for creating a future that we all want to live in. We guide producers, merchants and consumers to plant the seeds for a regenerative economic future. A future for their community which honors both our natural home and our local culture.

A bioregional currency nurtures and protects the local businesses that accept the currency while discouraging consumption at big corporate retailers. This builds stronger relationships and a greater affinity between the business community and the citizens of the Boulder area. Gaians will not, and are not intended to, replace federal currency. The intent is to create accessible employment and abudance within our local ecosystem and community.

The touchstone of value for the Gaians is the immediacy of creating abundant circulation of trade within our community despite an unpredicatable global economy.

Those in our community who choose to use the currency make a conscious commitment to buy local first. We believe that by taking personal responsibility for the health and well-being of our community we are creating a regenerative local economy and an engaged civic life.