321: Adam Brock on Social Permaculture.

Attuning our minds to social permaculture solutions.

Adam is a facilitator, author, and designer working at the intersection of urban agriculture, sustainable business, and social change. As co-founder of The GrowHaus, Adam helped transform an abandoned half-acre greenhouse in Colorado’s most polluted zip code into an award-winning hub for urban agriculture. The GrowHaus engages thousands of low-income residents per year, grows 1500 heads of lettuce per week, and has a million-dollar annual budget.

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A certified permaculture designer since 2008, he is active in the local and national permaculture communities. In May 2017, Adam released his first book, Change Here Now: Permaculture Strategies for Personal and Community Transformation (North Atlantic Books). It is a “recipe book” of solutions for social change grounded in ecological principles.

In This Podcast:

When given the opportunity to make an abandon greenhouse become useful Adam Brock and a few friends created the GrowHaus. He has traveled many places focusing on the invisible structures of permaculture design and has crafted a course that teaches how to see the needs and make a difference in your community. He tells us how this came about and why he was encouraged to write a book on a topic that is not well known. Adam helps explain many permaculture concepts that are important but often left undeveloped when discussing the stages of design.


Listen in and learn about:

  • Growing up in Denver and going to New York University making up his own major
  • Looking for solutions and getting a permaculture design certification for college credit
  • Starting with the GrowHaus with an abandoned building, some friends, and an idea
  • His definition of permaculture: Meeting human needs while restoring ecosystem health
  • Teaching permaculture classes and coming up with design solutions
  • Getting encouraged to write a book about social permaculture
  • Invisible structures and social permaculture
  • Expanding the Overton Window
  • Edges in permaculture – in ecosystems, and in communities
  • Regenerative systems – an important concept in permaculture
  • Understanding externalities and how they have cost consequences
  • What his new book on social permaculture offers
  • Attuning our minds to social permaculture solutions

As well as:

  • His failure – The time he applied for a job that he felt he would be great at doing and would be a perfect fit, but found out his colleague got it
  • His success – Creating Growhaus and seeing that it is still doing what it was intended to do
  • His drive – Curiosity, and a desire to heal
  • His advice – Identify the people in your community who are engaging in the world in a similar mindset, and spend as much time with them as you can, and nurture those relationships

Books written by Adam:

Adam’s Book recommendations: 

How to reach Adam:           

Website: AdamBrock.me 


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