Archives from September 2010

Little Earth School Planning Next Year’s Garden Now

My younger son goes to a cool school called Little Earth. Tonight they had me as the first speaker in their series of practical talks for parents and educators. I called my presentation “Garden Design with Children in Mind,” and I focused on five garden components that students of all ages love.

1) The Bean Tipi, an edible playhouse made out of scarlet runner beans and five-to-ten long sticks, posts, or poles.
2) The Sunflower House, a playhouse (or tunnel) made out of mostly giant sunflowers, that teaches kids of all ages about microclimates and makes for a nice afternoon snack in the fall.
3) Edible Plants, these are very important in a children’s garden for a wide variety of reasons.
4) Sheet Mulch, an easy way to build soil, suppress weeds, and harvest rain in the soil, it uses cardboard, manure, and straw as its main ingredients,
5) Worm making, no kids garden is complete without a compost pile, and no compost pile is complete without worms.

I plan to elaborate on each of these in the coming weeks, so please stay tuned.

09/11/2010 | Children | Community | Compost | Edibles | Events | Mulching Materials | (0) Comments

Friends, Clients, Colleagues Bend Me an Ear: THANKS!

Nate Downey and Melissa McDonaldIn preparing to thank every New Mexico-based person, organization, and business that had a hand in the creation of my new book “Harvest the Rain,” I discovered that there are over 120 of these entities ranging from cover-art photographers Charles Mann and Jennifer Esperanza to envelope-pushing people-leaders Miguel Santistevan and Roberto Mondragon. To keep this blog post to a reasonable length, here I’ve decided to limit my thanks to a list of the locals who I did not mention in my previous post and who were also able to make it to Wednesday’s book-launch party.

09/10/2010 | Books | Events | Greywater | Water Harvesting | (0) Comments

Book-Launch Party Brings Rain, Fun, Song, & Sales!

Nate Downey Book SigningThanks to all who came to my book-launch party the other night! Everyone who was there knows what a blast it was, and even I (who did most of the inviting) was surprised at the size of the multitude. Even though some of my favorite people in the Santa Fe area couldn’t show up, most of them did. We’re guessing we had between 200 and 250 people packed into our backyard, but a doctor in attendance told Melissa today that it was more like 300 including all of the kids. Whatever. What’s important is this:

09/09/2010 | Books | Events | Water Harvesting | (0) Comments