In the arid West, where water is precious, sustainable practices are key.
The public is invited to learn about ways to reuse and repurpose at the second annual Four Corners Permaculture Convergence, which will be held July 16-17 at Thunderbird Ranch, 11020 Montezuma County Road 105, Mancos.
Permaculture describes systems, such as agricultural practices, that are self-sufficient.
Gary Fourstar, one of the event organizers, said sustainable practices start at home.
“The convergence is about sharing with each other how to repurpose old wood, rebuild vehicles with old parts,” Fourstar said. “Especially in La Plata County with water always being an issue, there are ways to store, conserve and repurpose that. Everything has a purpose, and to waste or burn or throw something out means it can’t be reused.”
Several speakers are slated to give presentations on water-retention systems, seed saving, organic pest control, orchard restoration, permaculture design, beekeeping and building with recycled materials, among other workshops.
Grant Curry, who hosted last year’s event in Cortez, will be giving classes on the values of digging swales, or shallow ditches that capture rainwater and revitalize dry or eroding land. The technique has been used for thousands of years.
“Especially in Colorado, erosion mitigation is the most important thing,” Curry said. “If you want to stop erosion, you’ve got to slow water down, and swales can do that.”
Last year, Permaculture Convergence drew 350 people, and Fourstar expects about the same to attend this year.
The first speakers will start at 9 a.m. July 16, and attendees are invited to camp that evening on the premises.