Saturday, May 29, 2010

Permaculture Classes in Manitou Springs

Black Cat Books in Manitou Springs is hosting a couple of permaculture classes this June.

  • Biosystems - Animals in the Gardens
  • Integrated Pest Management
More details here or call Black Cat Books at 719 685 1589.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Small Acreage Seminar

From a meetup mailing list I'm on:

What: Small Acreage Seminar

When: Saturday, June 5, 2010 8:30 AM

CSU Extension Office @ the Jeffco Fairgrounds
15200 West Sixth Avenue
Golden, CO 80401

Colorado State University and Natural Resources Conservation Services are offering a Small Acreage Seminar at the Jeffco fairgrounds June 5, 2010 from 8:30 to Noon. Admission is free. Among the subjects being discussed will be Beekeeping, Sustainable Landscapes, Alternative Energy Resources, and Homestead Planning. The location is CSU Extension office located at the Jefferson County Fairgrounds
15200 West Sixth Avenue, Golden, CO (near intersection of I-70 and W. 6th Avenue). A minimum of 20 people is required to host this workshop. Preregistration is appreciated.

Please RSVP to: Jennifer Cook
303-659-7004 ext.3 or


Friday, May 21, 2010

Liberation Economics: Financial Permaculture for Transition

May 25th from 6-8pm at the Boulder Meadows Community Room.

This is the second of a series that will take place on May 25th from 6-8pm at the Boulder Meadows Community Room. You do not need to have attended the first session to gain benefit from this one! Each session will be different but both will share a common introduction to our core concepts. This session focuses on complimentary currencies. A $10 suggested donation.

The following tells about the introduction to the first Liberation Economics event for Transition Colorado:

We share a common purpose in knowing we have the potential to live in a ecologically beneficial society. We feel the possibility and share the inspiration to create deep sustainability in our ecosystems and to live our lives in balance with both our watershed and community.

While we hold the intention for this more harmonious way of living in our communities to emerge, we become aware that there are several crucial misalignments.

What are these? If we really feel into the needs of our community right now, they become quite obvious. While many of us are inspired to share our gifts and passion around living in sustainable community, there is also a large problem around the financial sustainability that is needed to make the changes we know are needed.

Many of us have also awakened to a broader sense of awareness and see a deeper meaning for our lives. From this place, we want the opportunity to create abundance for ourselves from offering our unique gifts to positively impact the world. Yet for most of us this is still an aspect of our lives that we still feel constrained by, and perhaps even an ongoing pain around. This pain comes from the deep longing to express all of who we are in our lives and through our work to benefit others, but not knowing how. That’s because we can’t do it alone.

The good news is that we are not alone. The intention of Liberation Economics is to invite you into an emerging practice community that collaborates, supports, and even relies on each other to co-create opportunities for all members of the community to make a living through living our purpose.
Whether it is the financing of the Transition Movement or the support needed to pursue right livelihood, working together it becomes possible for us to have both the means and the meaning.

In the Permaculture movement, we have this saying, "The Problem is the Solution" The widespread economic challenges we face are an incredible opportunity to actualize our potential in the Transition Movement. The opportunity to use these challenges to create new economic structures and livelihoods around the abundance in our local community.

We invite you to share in a common inquiry that is taking place in our community where we become catalysts for moving us from the potential of a sustainable economy to its manifestation. We are working on updating the financial permaculture curriculum to meet the needs of our particular community in Boulder and we need your help and feedback to help us match our curriculum to your needs.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

HOAs and Community Gardens

I lived in a condo association for a number of years, and organized a community garden for 2 of them. Boulder has a number of area community gardens, but none of them were close enough for me.

A community garden can be a great way to build community--even people who didn't really want to garden appreciated seeing the veggies grow.

I didn't find a lot of good resources about this particular problem of starting a community garden within the confines of an HOA (though this page is full of information about starting a community garden, and this page is a great example of documenting support for a garden to an HOA), so I decided to post some of my observations.
  • Define the type of garden you want--it can either be shared entirely, or divided into plots for each interested resident.
  • Gauge the interest of residents as best as you can, but realize you can have a successful garden with just 2-3 gardeners.
  • Gain the support of at least 2 owners. Yes, renters do have a voice with the board, but owners have a louder voice.
  • Ask the board for permission. As in the link above, make sure you know what you're asking the board for: tool storage, water, money, gardening space, access to the space, etc, etc.
  • Aesthetics are key for many board members, so address this up front, and make sure you keep the garden looking neat.
  • Siting of the garden is crucial as well. Because of the aesthetics concerns, it's useful to find a place that is out of the way for at least the first year. But also find someplace that you won't ignore or have too hard a time getting access to.
  • Put the garden to bed every year with a nice layer of mulch--that leaves it looking clean for the winter.
  • Start small--it's better to have a few people interested in a small space that is kept clean and neat than to have an acre that is ignored and unkempt.
  • Report back to the board a few times a year. Remember that the garden reflects on them, since they gave permission.
Any other thoughts on how HOAs and community gardens?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Urban Agriculture meeting in Lakewood

Looks like they're revising the zoning laws in Lakewood, Colorado, and want to discuss the place of urban agriculture.

Lakewood is hosting an event to explore the topic of urban agriculture. The event will allow residents and business owners to hear from experts on the topic and to share their comments and ideas as a part of the Lakewood! Zoning Improvement Process. The event will begin at 5:30 p.m. with an open house in the Civic Center South Building and a formal presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. Both sessions will be at 480 S. Allison Parkway.

Urban agriculture is gaining momentum in metropolitan areas around the country. While Lakewood allows the keeping of food producing animals in some residential districts, the areas that allow for this type of use are limited. The City is hosting the event to provide education on urban agriculture topics such as keeping chickens for personal egg production and harvesting bees for honey. There will also be an opportunity for Lakewood residents and business owners to voice their views on how to address this emerging topic as the City updates the Zoning Ordinance.

More information here

Via the Greater Denver Urban Homesteading Group

Denver Urban Permaculture Salon

From a mailing list I'm on


The Salon of Urban Permaculture SoUP) is a new monthly potluck focused on building skills and community around permaculture in the city. Each SoUP gathering showcases a different urban permaculture site, and includes an informal talk, activity or workshop based around that month's theme. People of all levels of familiarity with Permaculture are encouraged to attend.

The first Salon is happening on Saturday, May 15th at 5:30 PM, at the Orbis House on 1818 Gaylord. The theme for the month is "Becoming Native to this Place", and we'll be exploring what it means to be an inhabitant of the South Platte watershed on the Shortgrass Steppe. You're encouraged to bring a dish featuring native or wild-harvested ingredients - although of course every dish is welcome!