AER. Growing Abundant Futures.

Why AER?

Though well-intentioned, many modern land management practices contribute to degraded soil, lost water and displaced wildlife. AER's mission is to slow and reverse this trend. Using agroecological principles, we design self-sustaining systems that can achieve carbon neutrality and improved fire prevention, greater soil health, deeper water retention and responsible financial management.  Our vision is a future where land is managed for place and context, and soil is increasing exponentially. In this way, AER works to transform agriculture and its place in the community. And beautiful landscapes go hand-in-hand!

How We Achieve Our Vision

Our foundational approach is to always observe local ecosystems, interpret nature's patterns, then apply those patterns in a production context. And the fundamental pattern of land regeneration occurs as patchy, intermittent disturbance. For instance, millions of bison once roamed eastern Boulder county, grazing and trampling grasses and depositing urine, driven by wolves and seasons. This pattern compelled the grasses to build soil at incredible rates via photosynthesis. We can mimic this pattern with cattle and holistic planned grazing to achieve similar outcomes, as an example. In this way, AER works to transform agriculture and its place in the community.

What We Do

AER Design Principles

Principle 1:

Observe Nature's Patterns

Our foundational approach is to interpret nature's patterns by observing your local ecosystem and its micro-climate, then applying those patterns in production landscapes

Principle 2:

Regenerate Soil

Topsoil regeneration is imperative. Every civilization that has degraded its topsoil has gone extinct. Topsoil changes exponentially, whether in growth or decay. If we are not building soil, then we are not regenerative.

Services Available

Is sustainable good enough? As land managers, we often work with many damaged soils, damaged watersheds, and even damaged communities. In these cases, we must ask “what are we sustaining?” 

At AER, we recognize that we must first restore damaged systems, and then sustain them as fully functional. We specialize in designing, installing and managing stable, regenerative systems that maximize benefits for small and medium landholders and support ecosystem function.

Whole Farmscape Design-Build-Manage

Irrigation Systems and Earthworks

Fire Mitigation and Prevention

Flood Mitigation and Prevention

Pastured Animal Enterprises

Market Garden Design-Build

Perennial Agroforestry Systems

Native Pollinator Habitat

*Photo Credit: Richard Perkins, Ridgedale Permaculture AB

From Patterns to Details

AER Methods, Practices and Frameworks


Agroecology emphasizes the use of ecological principles to design and manage sustainable and resilient farming systems. In a drylands context, agroecology is important because it addresses many farming challenges such as irrigation load, biodiversity loss and soil degradation by conserving resources and improving the well-being of farmers and rural communities.


Agroforestry is a diverse set of practices where landowners might, for example, plant trees alongside crops, integrate trees into pastures, or create forest gardens. Agroforestry on the small farm is useful because it can increase productivity, soil health and erosion control, and typically reduces the amount of chemical/fossil inputs needed for farming, reducing costs. Agroforestry can also provide the small producer with additional income streams while improving their resilience to changing weather patterns and market fluctuations.

Keyline Design

Keyline design is a land-management technique that prioritizes the relative permanence of factors and features on the landscape. Importantly, it utilizes the shape of the land to optimize the flow and distribution of water on a property. The main goal of keyline design is to increase the amount of water that infiltrates into the soil and to decrease it's transit time through the soil, which in turn improves soil fertility and yields. This is achieved by using specific techniques, such as various subsoiling patterns and water catchment structures. 

Keyline design is particularly useful on small farms because it can improve the efficiency of water use and increase the productivity of land in dryland regions with low rainfall.

Closed Energy Loops

Nature wastes nothing but heat. An integrated farm system can and should be a sustainable and regenerative system that mimics the natural cycles of nutrient and energy flows, and reduces the use of external inputs and reliance on an external supply web such as fossil fuels.

We center closed-loop integrated farm systems in our designs, where the waste by-products from one process can be used as inputs for another process. This approach can an be applied to various types of production, but it always attempts to mimic natural ecosystems.