Growing Food in the Desert!

Growing food and making shelter with what we have on hand...
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Natural Building and Earthen Plasters
Sunday June 5, 10am to 4pm
We love to build with earth at Ampersand! We have strawbale cottages covered with local earth plasters. We have a hybrid home made with rammed earth, strawbale, as well as post and beam with a framed attached greenhouse.  Earthen building techniques are essential to every structure we have crafted at our site.  We will tour these buildings and review how they were built from the ground up. See how we have used adobe bricks, cob, earthbags, earthen relief sculptures and finish plasters.
Learn the properties of interior and exterior earthen plasters. Understand when to use local soils and when you need just the right combinations of clay and sand and other additives like wheat paste.  We will draw recipes from Carole Crews’ book Clay Culture and adapt them to use locally harvested materials.  Get hands-on with finish plasters and/or clay paints that we make together.
Check out Ampersand in this Green Building Blog!
Please RSVP to
$60 discounts available


Local community artist Ken Wolverton is leading a workshop at Ampersand to help us build a wild and sculptural yet functional shade structure for one of our little strawbale cottages. It will be made of whole trees and branches.  Want to learn and help?  May 29th, 30th, and maybe 31st.  Contact us at if you are interested!


High Desert Gardening
Saturday, May 28th 10am to 3pm 
Join us for our High Desert Gardening Class! See our garden beds made with water harvesting earthworks, get hands-on with transplanting seedlings, and learn about creating proper soil structure as well as planning your garden calendar. We will also cover water conserving irrigation systems. Want to grow food better?  We can help.

Please RSVP to or call 505 780-0535.

Our Summer Schedule!

May 28  High Desert Gardening

June 5   Natural Building and Earthen Plasters

June 18  Rain Harvesting and Greywater Systems

June 26 Arid Land Restoration

July 10  Open House

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