Harvest Swap

Residencies and Retreats...
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Harvest Swap

In order for me to explain my passion for the Radical Homemakers Harvest Swap that I attended last weekend, I have to start with telling you about my obsession with fruit.

All summer, from strawberry to apple season, I glean, trade for, and purchase the fruits of this region. I’ve gleaned shriveled pears from forgotten orchards, and purchased 20 lb boxes of perfect peaches from the San Juan valley of Colorado. I don’t grow much fruit here at Ampersand, partly because we only have rain catchment as our water supply for everything.

If we drilled a well here, it would tap into the same seam that our neighbor’s well draws from. Their water level has been dropping nearly every year. Our draw would make their well go dry maybe twice as fast, or faster if we planted a big orchard. The deep wells in our area tap into old fossil water. Using well water here is is not sustainable over the long term (which is really what sustainability is all about).

Raising milking goats here would not be sustainable either. There’s not enough forage on the land. We would need to bring in food for them, and still, all goat-accessible land would be devoid of vegetation. If that ‘s the case, why don’t we support people to have goats in higher elevations where there are lush green pastures? It makes more sense for me to purchase or trade for goat cheese from a homesteader in a lusher micro-climate...(read more of this blog post and also see some great photos by Gabriella Marks)
We are also now offering Unplugged Retreats in our tipi and strawbale guesthouse. Get away from it all for a night or two on the land.  Contact us!

Monthly Residencies!

Here is an opportunity to get a taste of off-grid desert living here at Ampersand.

Warm and comfortable, off-grid, with earthen plaster and rain catchment, the cottage's design is intended for conscious use of resources. The interior is rustic earthen with charming handmade touches. It's a 250 sq ft passive solar strawbale cottage with a sleeping loft. Wood stove for backup heat. Solar ovens and propane stove. Community bathroom with solar hot water is attached. Composting toilet.

Perfect for those interested in low tech, sustainable living. A small photovoltaic system powers the cottage. Wi-fi is available. Water supply is from rain catchment.  Small kitchen set-up. 1.5 miles out a dirt road.  High clearance or 4wd vehicle recommended. Some experience with camping or primitive living preferred. We provide training on use of the sustainable systems. Otherwise, we leave it to you.

Now available! Month to month rental available through April.
$350/month plus work-trade: work with us one day per month, it's a chance to learn some skills too.
Contact us at amanda@ampersandproject.org or (505) 780-0535

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