Green Fire Times

Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center in Cerrillos schedules June events

June 8   High Desert Gardening

10:00 am to 4:00 pm

$60 Discounts available
Want to learn how to grow food successfully in our harsh climate?  This class covers methods to help your seedlings survive the spring winds, summer pests, and blazing sun.

Rainwater harvesting and greywater use should be the foundation of desert gardens whenever possible, so we will observe these techniques in practice at Ampersand and discuss how to get the most out of small growing areas through staged plantings, inter-cropping, and perennial plants.  We will observe appropriate Permaculture strategies and discuss details from how to prepare your soil to extending your growing season to harvesting rainwater to water harvesting earthworks.

June 14  Arid Land Restoration

10:00 am to 4:00 pm

$60 Discounts available
Learn to read the unique landscape of the arid Southwest! With some attention to deposit patterns of soil and organic material and wild plant indicators, you can determine storm water flow areas that nourish the land, and ones that dehydrate it and 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 floodwaters rather than watching the land wash away. This class will give you an introduction for healing degraded landscapes through mulching, seeding, and creating erosion control and water harvesting structures that create microcimates for moisture and vegetative growth.

We will tour Ampersand’s largest and most important land restoration project on site.  This is adjacent to an old mining railroad bed.

June 22  Passive Solar Design

10:00 am to 2:00 pm

$60 Discounts available
Spend the day learning to make best use of this amazing resource for heating and cooling. The fundamentals of passive solar design for new structures and retrofit possibilities will be explained.

You will learn how much window you want, where to place them, and how to locate insulating materials so that they will make the most difference in reducing heat loss.

Thermal mass, Solar water heaters, Greenhouses and Trombe walls will be discussed. Observe these different building techniques at work in different stages of completion at Ampersand.

For more information:

505 780-0535