Adbongo is hosting a permaculture design course at the Bar H Ranch in St. Jo from Sept. 5-20.

Permaculture is a method of agriculture designed to work in harmony with natural eco-systems.

Photo Courtesy of Adbongo.


Aug. 26, 2014

By Rita Cook 

Since founding in 2006, Dallas-based Adbongo has been offering market research and sustainable development to municipalities and businesses. Now, the certified B Corporation is hosting a permaculture design course to help North Texans lead a more sustainable lifestyle. 

According to Adbongo founder John Bush, whether you’re a permaculture newbie or a graduate of other permaculture design courses, the two-week course held Sept. 5-20 will offer valuable information. 

Right, Adbongo founder John Bush.

“We teach cutting edge design techniques in an engaging and accessible way,” he explains. “We also invite our students to actively share their own knowledge in a way that contributes to the overall value of the curriculum and builds on the knowledge of the whole group.”

Permaculture is a method of agriculture that is modeled on and works in harmony with nature. Water harvesting, bio-fertilization and forest gardening are concepts used. The Adbongo course came together after Bush attended a permaculture design course in Austin.

“I am always looking for a good sustainability product to sell and after experiencing Theron’s permaculture design course last fall I thought ‘Let me bring this home to Dallas.’”  

To be taught by eco pioneers, Theron Beaudreau and Bush, the 84-hour course will be held at the Bar H Ranch, on the sacred grounds that Quanah Parker, the founder of the Native American Church, once utilized as a hideout from troops and mercenaries. 

Nestled on the breaks of the Texas Plains and Red River Valley, the location is about 45 minutes northwest of Denton. It features a 1,200-acre “bourgeoning” permaculture site, where attendees to the event will learn permaculture design skills as well as community building.

Bush says he chose the location due to its historical significance.

“Plus, it is a gorgeous ranch with lots of potential for permaculture improvements,” he adds. “There are many ponds on site and there is plenty of room for everyone to camp.”

Following the end of the class, there is also a weekend-long celebration coinciding with 2014's fall equinox with music and workshops that the permaculture students are welcome to attend free of charge.

As for Beaudreau’s participation, Bush says he is a Permaculture Diploma Mentor with Gaia University and registered as a permaculture design certificate teacher through the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia.

Left, Theron Beaudreau.

“Theron has over 10 years of experience in permaculture design and has taught and consulted with experts in climates throughout the world including Thailand, India, Nepal and Australia. Currently he is the managing director of Xinesi Ranch LLC., a bourgeoning Holistic Design Ranch & Education Center in Douglass, Texas.”

At the event, students will gain knowledge and skills to improve their lives, and the lives of those around them, by creating vibrant edible landscapes and repairing healthy ecological function.   

“They will also learn best practices for applying permaculture to business design,” Bush adds. “We are working hard to make permaculture design knowledge more accessible by breaking this course up into modules that anyone can attend according to their availability and needs. Each module earns you credit toward eventually earning the full permaculture design certification.”

The course is also one of just a handful in the world that has been officially verified by the Permaculture Research Institute of Australia said Bush.

As for his own permaculture practice, Bush says in his own household, he works to minimize or create from his own waste stream.  

“We love to upcycle,” he says. “We grow as much of our own food as we can, and we have water management tools in place along with an aquaponics system. I actively apply permaculture principles to multiple properties for myself, family or clients. My mother just called me shocked that the land her law practice is on is currently producing berries, okra, rye, and figs. That is the power of a bioswale or two and managing the land correctly.”  

Bush also takes part in organizing zero waste workshops for municipalities. 

“We can do more than just sustain,” he concludes. “with thoughtful ecological design we can, in fact, regenerate damaged environments. By doing so we improve our quality of life and open up a world of new economic opportunities since healthy environments and good economics do not have to be mutually exclusive.”

Cost for the workshop is $1,200 or one bit coin, according to the website. Or you can register for individual modules, which range from $28 to $276. Schedule and Registration Form. 

Rita Cook is an award-winning journalist who writes or has written for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily News, Waxahachie Daily Light, Dreamscapes Travel Magazine, Porthole, Core Media, Fort Worth Star Telegram and many other publications in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago. With five books published, her latest release is “A Brief History of Fort Worth” published by History Press. Contact her at

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