• 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.

  • Friends, Clients, Colleagues Bend Me an Ear: THANKS!
    In 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.

    In alphabetical order within each category they are:

    Reese Baker
    Consuelo Bokum
    Bette Booth
    Laura Brown
    Mark Duran
    Richard Jennings
    Jeremiah Kidd
    Tom Knoblauch
    Pamela Mang
    Greg Nussbaum
    Patty Pantano
    Doug Pushard
    Peter Wilson
    Xubi Wilson
    Rick Word
    Mary Zemach

    ORGANIZATIONS (non profit):
    Camino de Paz School and Farm
    Earthworks Institute
    Green Party of Santa Fe
    Oshara Village
    St. John’s College
    Santa Fe Community College
    Santa Fe High School
    Semi-Arid Café
    WildEarth Guardians

    BUSINESSES (for profit)
    Earthwrights Designs
    Net Zero Design
    Raincatcher, The
    Regenesis Group
    San Isidro Permaculture
    Santa Fe Permaculture

    Thanks to all who made my night such fun the other night. It was great celebrating with you among the greywater and rainwater harvesting systems tucked away in the backyard. Please know how much I appreciate all that you do for the betterment of this Earth! See ya soon, I hope!

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

    Thanks 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:

    1. After an hour-long very-light drizzle, it rained like crazy for a couple of minutes at the exact time the event was scheduled to start, and then it cleared up completely for the rest of the night. Since it was obvious that there was little chance of pulling the event off under our roof, many guests saw this as an auspicious sign of something-or-other, something big. (In contrast, I think I saw it as a shame that we weren’t going to get even more rain into our cistern.)
    2. Everybody seemed to be having a great time, and many stayed late into the night (including signer-songwriter Nelson Denman who is even working on a catchy anthem—appropriately called Harvest the Rain—for the book tour and beyond)!
    3. I got to sign and inscribe books for nearly four hours straight! Writing the inscriptions was a total blast. In order to keep the line moving, I had to write pretty much the first thing that came to mind. Some of the pithy phrases came out perfectly. Others…maybe not so much…But at times someone would say something halfway through that would cause me to change the whole direction of the inscription in mid sentence. Pulling off those exercises in spontaneous creativity may have been the most fun of the whole book-writing process (which ranged from almost gruesome to pretty darn fabulous on any given day)!

    The only time I wasn’t signing books occurred just after 7pm when it was my turn to take the microphone. My plan was to thank everybody who played a role in the creation of the book, but with 30 people waiting in line, I decided to truncate the talk. I’m not very good at waiting in lines, so I was quite afraid of losing a potential reader to a too-wordy speech. So I went to plan B, which meant be sure to thank all of the teachers in my life, all of the farmers in northern New Mexico, Gramma Adams who taught me how to compost, cover photographer Charles Mann, portrait photographer Jennifer Esperanza, long-time cohort Tom Knoblauch, illustrator George Lawrence, proofing editor Barbara Doern Drew, copy editor Steven J. Schmidt, and my wonderful wife Melissa McDonald.

    Ironically, my plan for this blog entry was to make sure I thanked those who didn’t quite make the above list, but alas I’ve gone on too long already here, so it’ll have to wait until tomorrow’s blog post.


The final frontier.

These are the musings of an engaging enterprise.
Its thirty-year mission:

To create a greener planet.

To seek a better life in our lumbering civilization, and

to slowly go where we are all are headed anyway.


Is an unproven system for generating wide-spread sustainability.

it asks for 10 minutes a day for a year. At the end of the year, it asks for 10 more.

So in the second year, you spend just 20 minutes a day, in the third year, 30 minutes.

If you keep up this pattern, 27 years later you spend over 4 hours per day being extremely green.

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Describe your attempts At a sustainable life.