[permaculture] Introdution

Johnathan Avery Yelenick yelenick at riseup.net
Sun Sep 24 13:55:04 EDT 2006

in the landscape of Spring, there is nothing inferior and nothing superior.
flowering branches grow naturally. some short, some long.
-Zen saying-

I thought I would introduce myself to the people on this list and tell a
little about the permaculture projects I'm involved in currently. The
taciturn participation I've played over the last month, or so, while on
this list has been good for me and a healthy introduction to what this
list is about. It's very wonderful to see the networking going on here
with permies worldwide. I'm happy to be a part of it.

My name is Johnathan Yelenick. I recently took the design course with
Jerome Osentowski and Becky Elder and the advanced design course with
Peter Bane and Andrew Goodheart Brown at the Central Rocky Mountain
Permaculture Institute. Before this "official" entrance into the
permaculture family, I had been studying the theory and engaging the
praxis of permaculture for a couple of years, beginning the final year of
my college career. My initial introduction to permaculture began with Toby
Hemmingway's book "Gaia's Garden" and continued with front to cover
readings of Mollison's "Designer's Manual", Kourik's "Edible Landscaping",
Fuyukoya's "One Straw Revolution" and "Theory and Practice of Green
Farming", beginning to end readings of the back issue "Permaculture
Activist" magazines, among others. I'm currently in the midst of flowing
through the thoughts of David Jacke's "Edible Forest Gardens".

I'm 24 and besides a Boulder sojourn, where I studied biochemistry and
molecular, cellular, and developmental biology, I have lived in the Denver
area my whole life. My heart in college and to this day, however, has been
in anarchist studies and philosophemes; gleaning influence from such
sources as the Situationist texts, Bakunin, Kropotkin, Marx, Lucas,
Debord, Vanegeim, Nietzsche, Stirner, Zen texts, Lao Tzu, Alan Watts,
permaculture texts, et. al.  I am a capoeirista as well and have been
playing capoeira for a little over three years.

As of current, after deciding in college that farming was the way of life
I wished to pursue, I moved to the old 'family farm' here in Henderson,
Colorado, just 30 minutes from downtown Denver, in the front range, Platte
River bioregion. For a map, go to:

I've lived here for little over a year and will probably continue living
here for the rest of my life. Already, we've made significant headway in
implementation of a permaculture design for this land, its buildings, and
its ecological systems. When I moved here I came with the intention of
establishing cooperative human enterprises such as cooperative living and
the establishment of worker cooperatives. Thus far, our living cooperative
has been a success, having a little trouble with member retention at the
beginning due to the near derelict state of the farmhouse where the
cooperative is present. The situation continues to get better as we repair
and retrofit the house to the permaculture energy guidelines we want. The
worker cooperatives remain to be formulated, but we hope to get them off
the ground with market gardening, nursery work, and market niche creation

These 38 acres has been in my family for a few decades now being legally
appropriated by my grandfather. I and my cooperative associates intend to
collectivize the land through a strategic dual land trust operative,
similar to the suggestions made by Bill Mollison in the final chapter of
his "Designer's Manual". The strategy hasn't been articulated to the
degree it needs to be yet and remains nebulous, as we haven't even set up
any legal entities. My family is down with the whole
permaculture/ecovillage thing and has been INCREDIBLY supportive of this
project. They want to see this succeed almost as much as I do. Hopeful.

The site is in an interesting area. As I mentioned, we are just 30 minutes
driving from downtown Denver and 2 hours away by bicycle, with which you
can traverse along the beautiful Platte River Trail. The municipal mass
transit service stops right at site and makes this place very accessible
to the inner city urban populations. We are surrounded by the burgeoning
suburban growth in the area and are one of the final rural enclaves
around. To our east is a major highway and Union Pacific rail spur (see
map) on which thousand of commuters pass daily. To our north and south are
two several hundred house neighborhoods with rich ethnic diversity and
middle class backgrounds. Our West is a built ten-acre reservoir,
siphoning water from the Platte River. The view is magnificent and always
will remain so. One can see Long's Peak and Pike's Peak, Boulder and
Colorado Springs from here.

Please ALWAYS feel free to come and visit. It would be very nice to have
traveling permaculturists drop by, help out, and critique. Our house is
always open for a few nights' stay if needed. Call or email me ahead at
303.288.4190 or yelenick at riseup.net.

We are looking for help setting up a website. We would like to integrate
our mature foodforest overlays to extant and future buildings, waterworks,
energy flow and other infrastructure overlays in an accessible,
interactive design we would like to make available online for critique,
interest, and suggestion. If you've got any leads or would like to help us
set it up let me know!

Johnathan Yelenick

phone: 303.288.4190

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