Archives from October 2016

Tracing the Acequia Commons

Our friends over at the Agrarian Trust have put together a fabulous symposium with a wide range of speakers.  From Dixon to Flint, the symposium's theme of land transition, continuity, and commons will delve into areas of our past and future. The events are scheduled from 13th through the 17th.


10/30/2016 | (0) Comments

Tierra Viva

Online registration ends soon for the 2016 Biodynamic Conference.  It is good to see Santa Fe play host to such a major conference.  Events are schedules all day and into the night November 16th through the 20th.


10/29/2016 | (0) Comments

Melissa’s Award

Here's Melissa getting an award for her role as Santa Fe's sustainable watershed warrior-healer.



10/26/2016 | (0) Comments

Trees Eat Us All



My first carol of the season wasn't a Christmas carol. It was a permaculture one featuring Bill Mollison, the father of the movement. It's called Trees Eat Us All and it's by the Aussie, Charlie Mgee, of Formidable Vegetable Sound System. EnjoyI It's truly lovely.  Here are the lyrics by Charlie Mgee

Designer, you’re now a recliner.

So long, and thanks for the yield,

And your tools left behind

Have all sharpened our minds

To keep growing the change in the field.

The future is looking quite shady

Under all the ideas that you’ve grown,

And to look out the window at food in the ground

Gives us power to face the unknown.



But trees eat us all in the end,

So plant one for me when I’m gone,

And if you hear that I’ve died

You can tell ‘em they’ve lied.

I’m shading out somebody’s lawn.

Tapping into the rhizomes of wisdom,

You wove them all into a tale,

And with seeds in your

Pockets and dirt on your hands

You took us into the belly of the whale,

Took us into the belly of the whale.


10/25/2016 | (0) Comments

Our Inspiring Mayor’s Remarks

Here's the tail end of our inspiring mayor's remarks at tonight's sustainability awards ceremony--standing up for the underprivileged in our community, speaking out for sensible stormwater management, encouraging urban agriculture, and setting a goal of getting solar panels on every roof in the city. Thanks Mayor Javier Gonzales




10/25/2016 | (0) Comments

Great Lineup for Quivira

This should be a spectacular conference with all these great speakers!  The conference runs from November 9th through the 11th, as is packed with more that 20 speakers addressing how we can implement regenerative solutions today and in the future.

10/17/2016 | (0) Comments

Bill Mollison (1928 - 20016) Rest in Peace and Bloom Forever

“If you hear that I am dead tell them they lie.“ --Bill Mollison 

Today, the permaculture community mourns the bodily death of Bill Mollison, but let's remember that the *problem* of his passing provides an *opportunity* to both celebrate his essential teachings and to pass his work on to others. If civilization is to save itself from itself, it will depend on people not only spreading Mollison's legacy but also making it grow into the saving grace that it could become.

I am sorry that my deadline for my monthly "Permaculture in Practice" column has come and gone, but I look forward to spending my 500 words in the November issue on what Bill meant to me--and should mean to us all. In the meantime, in the weeks ahead please check out Nate Downey (my FB author page) for more posts about the most important person to have ever lived. I seriously think this is an arguable position, but I don't have time at the moment to make this case. Please stay tuned.

10/12/2016 | (0) Comments

Native Challenges and Gardening Wisdom

My October Permaculture in Practice column weaves through the Dakota Access pipeline crisis to dryland gardening wisdom and back in solidarity with the protesters in North Dakota and beyond.

Glendive, Mont., must sit close in the hearts, minds and guts of the Standing Rock Sioux. A little more than 200 miles away as the crow flies — perhaps twice that many as the trout swims — the little city with a population under 5,000 has experienced two major pipeline-leak disasters over the last five years. As a result, the 12-inch-diameter pipeline that crosses the Yellowstone River just above Glendive has spilled about 125,000 gallons of crude oil into its water supply. (Can you say, “Montana Acreage! Price Reduced!”?)

10/12/2016 | (0) Comments