Category: Events

Credit Union Flies Coop Lands on Bank

Friends, clients, permaculturalists!

Please note that the Permaculture Credit Union has moved! It's still in Santa Fe and its still going strong, and you can still become a member online (You don't even have to live in New Mexico) at You can also read all about it in my October 2012 column in the Santa Fe New Mexican's real estate magazine. See below.



11/04/2012 | Community | Ecology | Events | (0) Comments

Garlic Tea

Here's the low down on growing big garlic. I'm not sure if size matters when it comes to garlic. Large or small, it's probably the most medicinal plant I know. Going into cold and flu season, always make sure you have at least a few cloves on hand. If anyone starts complaining of the first signs of a soar throat, congestion, unexplained achiness, or the gamut of cold-and-flu symptoms, we suggest a simple "garlic tea."

11/03/2012 | Edibles | Events | (0) Comments

With Book Release on Tuesday, Here’s My Schedule

August, 2010

TUESDAY, AUGUST 17 (AFTER MIDNIGHT), HARVEST THE RAIN IS AVAILABLE! Nate releases Harvest the Rain: How to Enrich Your Life by Seeing Every Storm as a Resource.

08/16/2011 | Books | Children | Edibles | Events | Water Harvesting | (0) Comments

Bioneers Day 3: Not as a God, but as a God Might Be*

On the third day (a wonderfully wet Sunday Morning), the Lafayette Bookstore (the bookstore at the conference) graciously let me sign books. One might think a 100-person line at a signing would be impossible for a new author like me, but in fact it actually happened! The catch was that the line was made up of early birds waiting for Jane Goodall.

Oddly, it wasn’t at all surreal to have one of the environmental movement’s founding mothers scheduled to sign books right after me. All of us in the movement seem to be doing the best we can do given our lots and talents. Sure, she’s borderline godhead, but so are YOU! (And she’d probably be the first to admit this.) Plus, when all was said and done, I noticed stacks of Goodall books that were NOT purchased, whereas we came a mere two books shy of selling out of Harvest the Rain.

*from “Sunday Morning” by Wallace Stevens

10/14/2010 | Books | Ecology | Events | Water Harvesting | (0) Comments

Bioneers Day 2.1: Green Jobs? Toxicologists Wanted.

(The Sad Tales & Real Promise of a Green Scientist)

A longtime Polaroid employee addressing thousands of cutting-edge environmentalists? Sounds like a concoction for conflict, but it turned out to be a fabulously successful experiment yesterday. John Warner told his story about becoming the founding father of Green Chemistry with one part optimism, two parts tale of innocent death, three parts useful information, and four parts humor (ranging from deadpan to verbalized slapstick).

10/13/2010 | Ecology | Events | (0) Comments

Bioneers Day 2: Walkin’ the Walk to a Lipkis Talk

Woke up this morning and found two flat tires on the bike I’m borrowing for the conference. The tires had been losing air slowly, but after last night’s goat head attack, the situation was grim. I pumped up the tires got dressed, shaved, called the family, responded to some emails, loaded my computer, bike pump, and books into my back pack, and strapped on my helmet. When I grabbed the bike, I immediately discovered that both tires were miserably soft.

10/12/2010 | Bike Commuting | Books | Edibles | Events | Water Harvesting | (0) Comments

Bioneers Day 1.1: YERT Provides Hope and Humor

After chowing a few-too-many organic sandwich-cookies found on a plate on a table in the media room, I strolled over to the “Leading-Edge Climate Initiative” panel featuring David Orr and four other power-grid whizzes. The biggest threats we face are not technical. It seems they center around our lack of cultural and political will. Meanwhile, the Clinton-era media consolidation, the costs associated with Bush’s Wars, and the Robert’s pro-corporate court all make a difficult situation worse.

10/11/2010 | Community | Ecology | Energy Savings | Events | (0) Comments

Bioneers Day 1: An Ultratransformative Conference!

I must have been about seven years old when my Gramma Adams got together with some friends and they stopped the construction of an interstate highway that would have run across the west side of Connecticut, through Massachusetts, and all the way up to Burlington, Vermont and beyond. The death of the Super 7 project was a great political victory, and I think I’ve been an avid and positively focused environmentalist ever since.

10/10/2010 | Children | Climate | Community | Events | Water Harvesting | (0) Comments

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