The Land is Alive!

Here's what's going on at Ampersand...
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Ampersand has been bustling with community and Spring growth on the land like we haven't seen for years.  The corn we planted in the flood zone micro-climates has emerged.  Our interns are mastering gourmet solar cooking.  Our wild landscape is lush and beautiful.  We are living well!

Arid Land Restoration

Saturday, June 14 10-4

Learn to read the unique landscape of the arid Southwest!

With some attention to wild plant indicators and the deposit patterns of soil and organic material, you can determine the storm water flow areas that nourish the land, the ones that dehydrate it and those that create erosion.

We will tour the ecological restoration projects on Ampersand’s site, discuss the reasons for each design, and observe success rates.

Learn to think like a watershed! We will get hands on experience constructing grade control rock structures that help calm the flood waters as they pass through the landscape. This way we can harvest these strong flood waters rather than watching the land wash away.

We will tour Ampersand’s largest and most important land restoration project on site.  This is adjacent to an old mining railroad bed. More on this class.
Register by sending us an email to

Volunteer Day!  Free

Sunday, June 15, 10-4

Join us for a fun day of constructing the walls to our shop with salvaged pallets, straw, and earth. See more photos of the project here.

This is a great chance to meet great people, learn some new techniques, and get appreciated for your contributions to our project.  We will even cook you a solar lunch!  Lunch contributions also quite welcome.

Please register and we can help arrange carpools.  Email us at

The New Mexico Feathergrass has been showing off! 
The great group from East Mountain High School.

Passive Solar Design

Sunday, June 22 10-2

It's not brain surgery, but it's more than just South facing windows.  Learn to make best use of the sun for heating and cooling with the use of thermal mass, glazing, and well placed insulation. Familiarize yourself with the fundamentals of passive solar design for new structures and retrofits. 

Check out the three different kinds of  Solar Water Heaters we have on site. We will also cover Solar Dehydrators, Greenhouses and Trombe walls. Observe these different building techniques and useful technologies at work and learn the principles and formulas you will need to apply them to your own home.  More information on this class...

Register by sending us an email to

Here's the corn we planted in the confluence of two arroyos.  This is why they have not been eaten by bunnies.
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