Testimonials

“I met Amanda and found Ampersand eleven years ago after applying for the summer intern program because I wanted to learn skills of rainwater harvesting and water conservation that needed to be shared with the communities of the Colonias in South Texas. The experience not only taught me how to create these systems practically, but taught me about my deeper connection to the Land and Water itself and helped lead me to formulate a deeper relationship with Nature and in turn myself. I have returned to this space many times and have learned something profound about the land, the community, and our relationships every time. Amanda continues to be my mentor and supports me and the community I work within by sharing her wisdom and her intuition on navigating the complexities of working and living in complex systems and communities of diverse backgrounds.”

Dorothy Pena, Indigenous Rights Organizer and Farmer

“I interned at Ampersand in 2012. Amanda Bramble is the real deal. She lives and breathes connection to the land, with a deep understanding of arid ecosystems and the many facets of sustainable design that can harness and work with natural processes – from the garden, to the home and within the wider community. Amanda blends the practical with the thoughtful. Her mentoring builds your skills in permaculture design and land restoration, and her deep awareness of indigenous cultural practices and the role of colonizers encourages you to think deeply about land stewardship and reciprocity. Don’t miss an opportunity to be guided by Amanda on an incredible journey of learning and awareness.”

Imogen Semmler, Agro-Ecologist

“I was lucky enough to be able to do a work-exchange internship at Ampersand. I gained a tremendous amount of insight into all aspects of what it takes to plan, build and maintain a sustainable permaculture community that truly thrives and benefits those around it. Amanda made systems and principles easily understandable to me and was happy to answer questions on any detail whether big or small. Her in-depth first hand experience and knowledge with these systems really shines through as she passionately teaches and demonstrates the history and workings of Ampersand. Through this experience I was able to develop not only practical skills but a deeper connection to the earth, the elements, community and myself all while having fun. I left feeling grateful and confident to take on my future goals because of the experience and skills I gained while at Ampersand with Amanda and Andy.”

Daniel Murphy, Massage Therapist

Amanda’s deep understanding of sustainability practices, her genuine concern for both her community and the Earth at large, as well as her kindness and humor, all work together to make her a true teacher and an invaluable mentor. Whether it’s working to create and sustain a community garden, or enhancing Madrid’s children’s playground with a rain garden, or working with neighbors and county leaders to protect this unique environment, Amanda has contributed so much to the local community. Additionally, Amanda has generously shared her love for sustainability with others through so many excellent workshops and classes. When I first moved to the Madrid area, Amanda helped me so much. Through her I gained a genuine appreciation for the preciousness of water and the need to conserve it. She helped me learn how to grow food in the desert! I cannot say enough good things about her and Ampersand.

Leslie Bevis, Graphic Designer and Food Preservation Instructor

“I am in process of creating an oasis for myself and loved ones on a very special piece of land in hills of the Ortiz in Northern New Mexico. Finding Amanda has been a true blessing since moving to NM from the south, a very different bioregion. I bought land with the intention of stewarding, homesteading and creating an oasis, which Amanda has taught me is possible. I spent one month apprenticing with Amanda at Ampersand durning seed planting and transplanting season, and she has continued to be a resource for me with a variety of projects I have going on across the way. She is truly an inspiration to me, and is a deep well of knowledge in sustainable living. I am grateful for her knowledge and her generosity.”

Lauren Morlock, Breathwork Instructor

“Amanda brings just what you want in a teacher- a vast depth of knowledge of the subject learned through lived experience, a steady demeanor to keep projects moving at a pace that still feels fun, and a warm, non-judgemental presence where you feel like you can ask any question – however small. I personally found it really powerful to have a femme teach me how to use certain power tools and building techniques- a space I normally find very masculine and intimidating, Amanda has such an intricate knowledge of the bioregion that she shares generously- and that spans how water flows and what that means for surrounding flora and fauna- to how to create fermented soda from pine needles. I cherish so many of the relationships I have made through their broader community over the years. I would recommend an Ampersand course or workshop to anyone looking to learn more about off-grid living and living more broadly in right relationship with the earth, as well as connect with others who are trying to do the same. Seeing what Amanda and Andy have created over the last two decades in the high desert landscape is so deeply inspiring.”


Charlotte Grubb, Abolition Organizer and Baker

“Amanda offers an incredible blend of practical know-how, sensitive awareness and silliness. Working with her at Ampersand taught me a deep understanding of the necessary details for building and maintaining a permaculture community, while developing playfulness and devotional space. Ampersand has held amazing people over the decades and their relationship to the eclectic local town of Madrid NM makes it even more special.” 

Leo Saraceno, Massage Therapist

“Over the past year, I have enjoyed taking Amanda Bramble’s online courses. Amanda is an accomplished, capable, and generous educator/instructor, able to communicate complex information to lay audiences through well-crafted visuals and first-hand stories. She shares valuable content as both foundational theory/principles (drawing from and acknowledging many recognized experts in these topics), as well as their hands-on practices and learnings over 20 years at Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center. The Brambles walk the talk, and are enthusiastic in sharing their experiences with everyone.”

Laura Murphy, Emeritus Professor of International Development, Social Innovation, and Design Thinking, and Sustainability Student

“I have known Amanda for over 15 years, and when I visit her Ampersand community, I continue to be impressed with her lifestyle of self-created natural abundance, and land rewilding and reclamation. I have gotten great take-aways from all of her workshops, and she inspired me to construct my own solar oven, (which I use every day in warm weather) and to cease using propane. I hope to have a composting toilet soon. Her annual donated seedlings to the community garden grow into big happy plants that feed many people. She is so wise about a loving connection to the Earth, and I always enjoy my time her.”

Betsy Burke, Film Maker- nightofthestarlings.com

Amanda Bramble is a phenomenal teacher. 13 years ago, I had the opportunity to complete an internship at Ampersand. I lived and worked with an amazing team of like-minded individuals. During the 6 week program, I learned about high desert gardening, creating rain-water systems in the desert, solar cooking, how to create irrigation systems to prevent erosion, and how to build homes using natural materials. Amanda is very driven in the work that she does and is passionate about teaching others how to build sustainable lifestyles. She is an expert when it comes to making connections with land. She is also connected to a wide network of people who are passionate about sustainability. I would highly recommend working with Amanda!

Ava Samuels, Yoga Instructor

It is impossible to leave Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center uninspired. Getting to learn from the land and Amanda continues to shape my relationship with the world around me. Ampersand encourages visionary thinking and practical skills for living sustainably, a much needed combination in todays world! Thank you Ampersand!

Jacoba Wikselaar, Goat Mama