Hi! We are the Henrys, a family of permaculturalists and natural builders who are passionate about regenerating the land, living off the grid, and making permaculture accessible to everyone. Here’s the story of how The PermaHaus Project started. Want to know more about permaculture? Check out this page 🙂
The idea for The PermaHaus began in 2014, when we purchased a home on two acres in Indian Hills, Colorado, with the intention of building a permaculture site that would regenerate the land, provide food year round for our family and neighbors, and serve as an educational site for students and other ‘permies’ to visit and share ideas. We had high hopes and we eagerly moved in, ready to roll up our sleeves and start planning.
Three weeks after moving in, our house flooded, and when we pulled up the carpet to address the flood, we discovered a whole slew of major issues. Surprise! There is no foundation under our house! Surprise! The water damage under the carpet suggests frequent flooding! Another surprise! The lack of foundation is causing our house to crack apart! Many of you have asked – didn’t you have an inspector? Of course we did, however the previous homeowner carefully covered up all of these problems and the house passed inspection. Lessons learned: 1.) inspectors are not legally at fault for anything related to the inspection; 2.) Always get an engineering inspection when buying a house.
So where does that leave us? Well, although we have been observing the land for over a year now, our time and attention has been eaten up by all of these issues related to the house and the question: “How we are going to afford to get everything into the shape we THOUGHT it was in when we purchased it?” Regardless, we did manage to design and install a small food forest. It’s a good start, but we have big, fat dreams for this place, and having to vacate our flooded home was not one of them.
After a year of legal battles and struggling with our reality vs. our dreams, we decided that we have to change the energy around this property in order to begin creating something positive out of this horrible situation. It happened like this: I was chatting with a friend about everything that’s been happening over the last year, and I said “Enough already! I just wish the Universe would tell me what to do, and I’ll do it!” At that exact moment, an “idea bomb” dropped into my head and the vision for The PermaHaus came into being (If I had known an answer would be delivered that quickly, I would have asked that question a year ago).
We had always talked about building a permaculture haven to serve as a working example and educational tool. But it was a vague notion, and until that moment, I had no idea how we were going to make it happen. Now, with every day that goes by, we get closer to achieving our vision!
Please help us build the PermaHaus! When completed, it will be a beacon of regenerative living and a working example of natural building in harmony with nature. Please check out our Project Plans page to see the plans for the permaculture site design, the recycled and upcycled materials to be used in the natural building process, and the community benefits and educational opportunities of the finished project.
We thank you for sharing in this process with us!!