The Permaculture Podcast

    1805 – Avery Ellis on Aquaponics, Water Harvesting, and Creating the Laws We Need

    Avery Ellis, of Colorado Greywater, joins me to talk, in a conversation recorded live at a local coffee shop, about aquaponics, water harvesting, and his entry into the world of community politics when he joined the stakeholder process that changed the laws around how people can collect and use water in Colorado.


    Click here to download the episode. | Open Player in New Window

    From these experiences, he created the foundations for a pattern language, which he shares with us, that we can use to remove the restrictions placed upon permaculture designers, homeowners, and businesses that practice sustainability and build resilience.

    Find out more about Avery and his work at

    I mentioned near the end of the conversation about some allies in our work to change the laws that restrict sustainable practices. The two you’ll find linked to in the show notes are Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund and National Community Rights Network. The National Community Rights Network also has state chapters in Colorado, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.

    If you’re involved in any kind of community engagement around the use of natural resources, definitely check out those two organizations.

    I really appreciate people like Avery, or Adam Brock or Karryn Olson-Ramanujan, who continue to develop various pattern languages, drawing on the earlier work of Christopher Alexander and team in the book A Pattern Language.

    I find that pattern languages extend the core principle of permaculture design and apply this language and thought process to specific problems. Karryn works on issues for women in permaculture. Adam on how to create change, here and now. For Avery, it is to be involved in the stakeholder process and politically engaged on the things we care about and lend our expertise, which lead him to his patterns.

    The ones he explicitly identified that we walked through in our conversation today were: allies on the inside, stakeholder cohesion, speaking legalese, CYA, people power, immutable force, and grit.

    Have you been involved in the process of political change? Are there patterns you would add to this list?

    Let me know. Leave a comment in the show notes or get in touch.

    Call: 717-827-6266

    The Permaculture Podcast
    P.O. Box 16
    Dauphin, PA 17018

    You can also use those ways to reach out if I can ever help you with your project or permaculture path. I keep my door open to lend a hand in whatever way I can.

    From here, the next episode is my conversation with Karen Lanier about her book, The Woman Hobby Farmer.

    Until then, spend each day creating the world you want to live in, but getting involved, changing the laws, and taking care of Earth, yourself, and your community.  

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    Avery Ecological Design
    Colorado Greywater
    Colorado Aquaponics
    Boulder Permaculture

    Sandy Cruz
    High Altitude Permaculture
    Living Routes (Now defunct. Reorganized as CAPE – Custom Academic Programs in Ecovillages)
    Auroville Ecovillage – India
    Master of Ecological Design San Francisco Institute of Architecture
    Greywater Action
    Harvesting Rainwater and Brad Lancaster

    Allies in our work for change
    Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund
    National Community Rights Network

    Other Interviews on Pattern Languages
    1723 – Change Here Now with Adam Brock
    1433 – A Pattern Language for Women in Permaculture with Karryn Olson-Ramanujan

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