In the small town of Loveland, Colorado, in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, lives an intentional community with a 70-year-old organic farm and a Permaculture Design Course. The community is called Sunrise Ranch, and it hosts educational programs in holistic agriculture management and sustainability. Its permaculture course is based on an original curriculum established by Bill Mollison and David Holmgren, the two men who coined the term “permaculture” in 1978.
In the Permaculture Design Course, which takes place in April each year, students visit and learn on the ranch’s farm and garden. Course content includes regenerative design studies, full loop waste systems, food forest design and implementation, community scale fruit and vegetable production, plant propagation, greenhouse operations, home/community scale composting, fractal patterning application, water harvesting, pasture management, rotational grazing strategies and implementation, home scale permaculture, food preservation and storage, social permaculture, and more.
Course instructors include Patrick Padden, a graduate of Colorado State who studied natural systems building design in Namibia and urban food forest implementation in Johannesburg, South Africa. He has a certificate in design from the International Permaculture Design Course in Harare, Zimbabwe. Padden has produced food for residents at Sunrise Ranch for five seasons and is currently serving as a consultant, public speaker, and educator.
Instructor Joel Glanzberg has studied, practiced, and taught permaculture for more than 20 years on three continents, including the United States and Latin America. He focuses on engagement and integration of all communities and the larger contexts in which sites are located.
Jason Gerhardt holds a bachelor’s in Sustainable Design and a diploma in the fields of Permaculture Design and Education and has been applying his knowledge in sites across the United States for more than a decade. He has also taught for the Denver Botanic Gardens, University of Colorado, Permaculture Institute USA, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
For more information on the Permaculture Design Course and other educational opportunities at Sunrise Ranch, visit the website.