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Dahl Santa Fe 1000 Siler Park Lane Santa Fe, New Mexico 87507 505.471.1811 www.destinationdahl.com
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Bright Ideas for Businesses: Dahl Lighting My husband and I have a 3,000-square-foot gallery space that used to use 200 halogen spotlights illuminating at 90 watts each to properly light the artwork. As you can imagine, the electric bills were high, around $750 per month. We’ve been working with Dahl Lighting and they knew we were interested in trying out the new LED bulbs as soon as their light technology improved to our current standards. The eco-friendly fluorescent bulbs, which had horrible light color and quality, were never an option for us as an art gallery. This past August, Dahl sales representative Doug brought us a sample of the new Phillips LED light. The light was better than the standard halogens. Not only did the light bulb use one-fifth of the energy—from 90 to 19.5 watts—but it was also brighter and brought out more details in the paintings while still maintaining the warm light spectrum (2,700-3,000 Kelvin). An additional feature of LED bulbs, unlike the halogens, is they do not emit ultraviolet light, which is better for preserving the integrity of artwork. At around $50 per bulb, our investment was to be between $6,000 and $7,000. Fortunately for us, Dahl is an approved trade ally for the PNM rebate program. Our application received a rebate of $12 per bulb to 50 percent project cost. In our case, we were able to eliminate bulbs and had such an extreme change in our electrical usage that we qualified for a bigger bonus. Our next month’s electric bill was drastically reduced to a
mere $155. That same week we received our rebate check from PNM. Based on the huge energy savings and rebate, we would pay off our investment in less than a year. There were other “costs” associated with outdated technology that became apparent to us after installing the LED bulbs. Half of the year we had to cool our building down to offset the tremendous amount of heat coming from the old halogen bulbs. In September, we did not have to run our swamp cooler because the rooms stayed cooler thanks to the LEDs emitting less warmthå . Additionally, we saved on the cost of buying halogen bulbs every three months and extra staff time taken up by looking for and replacing the burnt bulbs, climbing up the tall ladder to our 12-foot ceilings, waiting for the light bulbs to cool before changing them out—all unnecessary, hidden maintenance hassles. We cannot express how pleased we are since we have made the switch to LEDs for our business. We also chose to receive 90 percent of our energy from the renewable wind option offered by PNM to be extra eco-conscious for our business. Now the gallery looks much better, saves money every month, and uses less electricity at the same time. Thank you, Dahl Lighting, for your help. Kim Kelly Nüart Gallery, Santa Fe
Dahl Lighting Showroom 1000A Siler Park Lane Santa Fe, NM 87507 Tel (505) 471-7272 Fax (505) 471-9232 dahllighting.com 2 ecotrendsource.com
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“Can I smoke it?” is the most common ques-
from Tibet to Finland. Hemp is versatile—a renewtion Kathleen and Kelly Savage of Santa Fe Hemp able crop that can source many human and animal get asked. The mother-daughter duo embrace the needs—and is good for the earth too. question with seasoned smiles and use it as an When the Savages learned the truth about hemp opportunity to inform their customers about the hisand the need for natural, locally-made products; tory of hemp and the myriad other valuable uses of they opened Santa Fe’s first hemp store in 1997. this extensive resource. “One of the unique aspects Santa Fe Hemp began as a push-cart with an array of our business is that we have the chance to educate of hemp products in Sanbusco Market Center. Two people every day,” Kelly Savage explains. years later they moved to their current location on Back in the 1930s, the U.S. government and the Water Street and expanded their inventory. Santa media lumped hemp with its high THC concentratFe Hemp offers hemp and organic cotton clothing santafehemp.com ed sister, “marijuana,” as a schedule 1 narcotic and and accessories, eco-friendly paper products, reused that designation as a propaganda tool to ban the crop. Hemp cycled/up-cycled goods, hand-crafted gifts and collectible pottery, was a competitor of the new plastics and synthetic fiber industries; locally-produced music, new and used books, and much more. Delobbyists for those industries went after hemp and successfully “despite the recession and the fact that 80 percent of the hemp supply monized” it. The American public mostly bought into the ploy, causcompanies no longer exist, Santa Fe Hemp is celebrating their 15th ing industrial hemp to suffer a deliberate case of mistaken identity. anniversary as a local eco-business. As a flexible natural resource, raw hemp can transform into bioThe Savages began with and maintain their political, social, and fuel, paper, textiles, clothing, rope, building material, animal feed, environmental values: “First, we support local vendors. Second, we animal bedding, body products, plastic, oil, or nutrient-dense food. source nationally. And third, we import fair-trade,” says Kathleen Additionally, hemp is one of the easiest and most ecologically sustainSavage. able plants to grow. No pesticides or herbicides are needed, minimal In the heart of downtown, Santa Fe Hemp shares their knowlwater is required, and given its vast number of strains is highly disease edge and sustainable, socially responsible ideals with a local to interresistant. Hemp is used as a rotational crop since it pumps nutrients national clientele. Stop by Santa Fe Hemp for some down-to-earth back into the soil, and can be grown in climates ranging anywhere green sharing and shopping.
Santa Fe Hemp • 105 East Water Street, Santa Fe, New Mexico • 505-984-2599
“Randy and John are very knowledgable and are
involved every step of the way. Not only do they
28 cents and sensibility of thrifting
own the company, they design the systems and
Great Finds and Deals the Second Time Around By Chase Dionysius and Alex Espeset
personally install them as well!”
42 THE DARK HORSE IS GREEN
— Chris Kramer, Santa Fe, NM
A green craftsman and builder takes Santa Fe by surprise By Kimber Lopez Photos by Kate Russell
48 SANTA FE TIME BANK
The equitability of time shared By Gershon Siegel Kate Russell
54 TAKING A STAND AGAINST FRACKING A small community takes back their rights By Lee Einer
Specializing in Grid Tied PV Systems
departments 14 FOOD FOR THOUGHT
The latest on farming internships, education, and winter greens at market. By Valerie Blomberg and Kimber Lopez
You can get there from here—buses, bikes, and byways By Dawn Sperber
20 ECO-HOME Painting a picture of permaculture one brushstroke at a time By Lyn Bleiler
60 ECO-HEALTH A is for Alternative By Moriah Williams
64 GREEN MONEY
Grid-tie doesn’t just make solar affordable, it makes solar profitable.
69 GREEN TECHNOLOGY The science of enclosed ecosystems in Taos By Lyn Bleiler
• PNM will pay you every month for each KWH of energy you make
• Take advantage of the 40% combined Federal and State Income Tax Credits
71 Community living with intention By Carole Langrall Photos by Kerry Scherck 74 From the inside out—succulent skin care By Lyric Kali
76 Keeping in the flow—honoring our H20 Two-wheeling for fun and profit By Kimber Lopez By Valerie Blomberg Photos by Tim Fowler
• Low-interest finance options available through Homewise
On the cover: Laird Hovland’s Fibonacci Photo by Jennifer Esperanza
www.bellasolar.net Call us today for a free consultation.
Randy Mulkey 505.660.8272 John Gwynn 505.660.6220
I have a passioN that encompasses all aspects of sustain-ability, social justice, and our local community. I grew up in Santa Fe and briefly moved to Southern California to receive my BA in Environmental Biology from Pomona College. I became captivated by the ideals of sustainability and social justice, the growing green movement, and the search for solutions to numerous global problems. I moved back home to put my enthusiasm and budding knowledge into tangible practice—within the community that raised me. I have since worked with Earth Care to help build a local, sustainable food system; addressed climate change and adaptation strategies through New Mexico governmental policy work; and supported Northern New Mexico farmers through programmatic work with the Santa Fe Farmers Market Institute. Working with EcoSource has allowed me to further fuel my passion for ecological issues and sustainable solutions. EcoSource is a community resource tool designed to reflect the locally-owned, eco-minded businesses in Santa Fe, Taos, and Northern New Mexico that value the future of our world. EcoSource aims to highlight innovative projects and trades, and collaboratively connect people with local businesses. We want to thank all the businesses that share our values, and welcome all those that are jumping on board for the next issue, out in July 2013. Please help us make Northern New Mexico a model for environmental success. Pick up a copy of EcoSource at Cid’s Market in Taos and at La Montanita Co-op and Counter Culture in Santa Fe. Pass this resource guide along to your friends, family, and colleagues—whether companions or competitors. By joining forces we can emboy sustainable community living and enjoy a world that engages our future gnerations. Like Ecosource on Facebook at facebook.com/pages/EcoSource/ 417968258237786 Kimber Lopez Writer and Sales Representative
A GUIDE TO SUSTAINABILITY IN ACTION
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Lyric Kali Janine Lehmann
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Santa Fe and Taos
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Lyn Bleiler, Valerie Blomberg, Marc Choyt, Chase Dionysius, Lee Einer, Alex Espeset, Lyric Kali, Carole Langrall, Kimber Lopez, Gershon Siegel, Dawn Sperber, Moriah Williams CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS AND ARTISTS
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y commitment to green living began at home in the rolling hills of Southwest Pennsylvania. When I tell people that I grew up on an organic farm, they typically raise their eyebrows and say, “How progressive.” “Well, not really,” is my usual response. My dad was the son of a farmer, a sharecropper, who was also the son of a farmer. It was in his genes and his jeans, as he rambled around our 40 acres in his dirty overalls; my father loved the land. He simply did what farmers for thousands of years have done: provide food for their families, neighbors, and livestock. The ultra-modern farming method of “better growing through chemicals” wasn’t part of my father’s vernacular. It simply didn’t occur to him to spray poisons on his food. Many were the evenings spent shelling peas where I heard him lament the loss of the broccoli patch to some “vermin.” I spent my late summers and early autumns picking row after row of beans, corn, squash, tomatoes, onions, greens, and more beans. I spent time up in trees to pick apples or at the vine, pulling grapes. These experiences—combined with many hot and stifling hours in our kitchen with Mom (this was pre A/C) canning and freezing vegetables and making applesauce and jam—have given me a deep appreciation of where my food originates. And a great respect for my Depression-era parents, for whom breakfast, lunch, or dinner often came only through hard work and sweat, or by waiting in ration lines with food coupons in hand. My other influences toward sustainability came via my grandmother and a passel of great aunts and uncles who taught me the art of invention as they learned it: from necessity—they too grew up during the Depression. One of my favorite sayings, overhead from my Aunt Bea and Uncle Hicky (a short form of his nickname, “Old Hickory”): “Use it up, wear it out, make it do, or do without.” As I grew up under their tutelage, I learned how to reuse rather than throwing out, as well as the art of repurposing—how to use an existing item in a new and interesting way. In Northern New Mexico, I see generation after generation of families living, growing, thriving, and yes, dying here. Home is where we do all of these things, and this place has been home to so many who know that the land and water are our true wealth. Generations of Natives and those who settled later here in Santa Fe and its environs have lived off the high desert’s bounty. They learned and taught their children how to use our natural resources wisely and to live sustainably, because while Mother Earth provides, she can also take away. With modern living and the industrial age we’ve been distracted by consumer culture, and many of us have forgotten that our heartbeat lies with the land that gives us life and nurtures us. We already know sustainability; it is in our blood. In this issue of EcoSource, one of our goals is to provide resources and methods to help you get back to the green—one step, and one day, at a time. Our other mission is to inform you of the worrisome or wonderful things happening in your backyard and how you can participate in lending a helping hand to your neighbors. Santa Fe is my adopted home and Northern New Mexico, my adopted land. I will tend this high desert garden with my heart and my hands. Let’s dig in, together.
Mini Mikado Chandelier from LZF Handmade
621 Old Santa Fe Trail • Santa Fe, NM 87505 Tel: 505.986.1715 • Fax: 505.986.1518 Monday - Friday • 9 a m - 5 p m TRADE DISCOUNTS
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From 1995-2007, Gershon Siegel co-published Sun Monthly (aka Eldorado Sun). He landed his first paid writing gig in 1978 at the late, great Berkeley Barb and since then his many articles, editorials, profiles, and interviews have appeared in a variety of periodicals. Five thousand copies of his “channeled” novel, Paradigms Lost, continue to take up an inordinate amount of space in his garage. Still, Siegel is grateful to live with his family in the Land of Enchantment, and he is relieved that he no longer has to scramble to pay a monthly printing bill.
The Elements of Sacred Geometry
I’m inspired by the realms of sacred geometry and spirituality, music and science, and I express that through bronze and steel mediums. I mimic nature through a combination of philosophy, spatialism, abstract expressionism, and minimalism. I seek to strike a balance and create elegant interplay between positive and negative, technology and nature, and a sense of simultaneous order and chaos. My current series is based on the relationship between the Fibonacci Sequence and the Golden Ratio, observed in such things as sunflowers and pine cones, the arrangement of branches on plant stems and of veins in leaves, the geometry of crystals, and the human body. The designs incorporate this literal geometry and, with repetition as fractals, create shapes that resonate with nature. My intention is to bring the artist and viewer into a deeper relationship and greater conscious connection with the creative force of the universe. lairdhovland.com
© Jennifer Esperanza
Lee Einer is a former healthcare whistleblower featured in Michael Moore’s documentary, Sicko. These days Einer is blissfully absent from the medical field, and works in Las Vegas, NM, as a community organizer and freelance writer. Einer is secretary of the New Mexico Coalition for Community Rights, and is actively engaged in promoting community rights ordinances in New Mexico. He is also active in the local food movement, coordinates the Las Vegas Farm to Restaurant project, and writes on sustainability topics for local publications.
Carole Langrall has been a designer, writer, and consultant in the floriculture industry for over 23 years. Her passion is finding the beauty neglected—highlighting environmental visionaries, key players, and artists. She is an advocate and lecturer on the importance of supporting local and sustainable flower farms, as well as being a Master Gardener. She shares her time between Santa Fe, NM, and Baltimore, MD, where she opened the first green floral design studio of its kind in 1996. She has a monthly column in the Santa Fe New Mexican, “Santa Fe in Bloom,” and believes life begins in the garden.
Valerie Blomberg is a recent graduate of St. John’s College and currently serves as a communications intern in economic development for the City of Santa Fe. A spirited adventurer, Blomberg has explored all the must-see places in New Mexico. An avid naturalist, Blomberg interned at two organic farms in Montana and Wisconsin prior to moving to Santa Fe. Working on farms taught her the joys of living simply in connection with the land. She continues to be an advocate for organic, local food.
food for thought
Go to the Land, Young One Teaching Farming and Food Sourcing with Intention through Green Internships By valerie blomberg | photos by Kerry sherck
he Santa Fe Farmers Market attracts a multi-generational crowd. Kids slurp naturally-sweetened snow cones while adults sip coffee and balance heavy armfuls of produce. Behind the farm stands, you see old and young faces together. Are the young ones sons and daughters? Not always. Many come from far corners of the globe to spend a summer or a season learning how to farm. Bob Pederson at Tierra Lucero Farm in Taos attributes the growing interest in farm internships to the fact that university education is increasingly more expensive and jobs are scarce. Young, educated people are looking to gain practical skills to serve in a time of need. Pederson tends to host short-term interns who stay for several weeks and camp. Young people sometimes seek farm internships simply for a place to stay. Other interns look for knowledge and agricultural expertise to supplement a degree in environmental science or to further an interest in sustainable living. In other places, interns seek spiritual growth and guidance at farms connected to spiritual retreat centers. Interns are as diverse as the farms that host them, so it is essential that both interns and hosts put time and effort into finding the right fit. Most interns connect with host farms through one of several websites. World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF) seems to be the most well-known. For a small fee, interns have access to 14 ecotrendsource.com
Shane Eazor, intern at Talon de Gato, shows off the season’s produce at the Santa Fe Farmers Market.
hundreds of farm listings in North America. WWOOF is designed for volunteers who receive room and board in exchange for 20 hours of work per week. Volunteers contact host farms independently, and work out particular arrangements and expectations. Internships listed through the USDA’s Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas (ATTRA) website often have a structured format with a serious educational focus and typically offer a monetary stipend. GrowFood is another listing site with a small but growing following. Help Exchange (HelpX) and Workaway list a variety of live/work opportunities in addition to farm internships, and appeal to an international community of travelers looking for a “worldwide vacation,” as Kristen Davenport Katz of Boxcar Farm in Llano says. Interns are between the ages of 24 and 28, on average, and share an interest in local food, agriculture, and sustainable living. “Politically, it draws a group of like-minded people,” says Jessica Farrell, an intern at Skarsgard Farms in Albuquerque. Farrell says she is impressed with the quality of the community she’s found at
RESOURCES Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms wwoofusa.org US Department of Agriculture (ATTRA) attra.ncat.org/attra-pub/internships/ GrowFood growfood.org Help Exchange helpx.net Workaway workaway.info
Skarsgard—one based on people seeking to help each other. Most farms request at least two interns for the May to October growing season. Skarsgard Farms has a larger operation, and hosts between nine and twelve interns for a season. Monte Skarsgard, who runs the farm, says that interns by and large arrive open-minded and ready to learn everything. Farmers Market and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pickup days are probably the interns’ favorite work days because there is a lot of direct contact with the customers. A farm internship is hard work, but interns generally have time to explore the outdoor wonders of New Mexico. In fact, many farms highlight opportunities for outdoor recreation in their farm listings. Skarsgard Farms is proud of the number of interns who have gone on to start their own farms in the area. “The Farmers Market is like an alumni reunion,” says Skarsgard. Six farms have started locally from their program. The farms stay connected by helping each other out. For example, one farm might buy an organic fertilizer in bulk and exchange whatever they don’t need for a team of interns to work-share for a day. The freedom to collaborate and exchange goods holds true for farms everywhere. Roni Stephenson, who runs Stephenson Natural Farm in Española, sometimes features produce from another farm at her Santa Fe Farmers Market stand. Swapping and sharing produce, she says, helps diversify her stand while helping out her colleagues. The high desert climate of Northern New Mexico presents many challenges to farming, and unique educational opportunities for interns. “Interns learn everything we do,” says ecotrendsource.com 15
food for thought
Steve Jenison, head farmer at Talon de Gato Farm in Dixon, “from seed-starting to transplanting to what to plant when, to how to manage water. They learn the procedures and policies of the acequia; how to cultivate, harvest, and market; how to compost.” Jenison receives about dozen serious requests a year and has a rigorous interview process for his full-season internship. As you wander through the stalls at the Santa Fe Farmers Market, it helps to realize that a beautiful carrot or a lush basket of greens signify only the very end of a long process. Interns at organic farms experience the story firsthand from start to finish. Shane Eazor sought a farm internship to combine his interest in sustainable living with his desire to travel. He knew that he wanted a place where he could be involved in the whole process of food production, from planting to harvesting to cooking: “I wanted something on a small enough scale where I could work alongside someone who
could teach me.” After looking at hundreds of farm listings and making careful selections, he chose Talon de Gato partly because of positive references from previous interns. “I’ve learned how to plant seeds, grow, harvest, cook, and eat on a scale large enough to support myself. I’ve become comfortable in a place I’m not familiar with. I’ve explored a lot,” he says. Eazor’s experience at Talon de Gato, from getting to know the local community to backpacking in the surrounding wilderness, has made him want to study anthropology and geology. “Some people romanticize farm work,” he says. “But farming is hard work. You have to imagine yourself weeding for eight hours. People get into farming hoping to answer some of life’s to answer some of life’s questions. I don’t know if I’ve answered those questions by putting my hands in the soil.” But putting his mental and physical strength into farm work has given him a new perspective, and an idea, at least, about where to start to look for those answers.
Down at Camino de Paz School & Farm Photos courtesy of Camino de Paz School & Farm
Earthwise education in the Española Valley By valerie blomberg
amino de Paz School & Farm, located on the Santa Clara River in Santa Cruz, NM, provides Montessori-inspired education to allow students to learn in the context of meaningful work in agriculture, food production, and animal husbandry. At the same time, students develop a close relationship with the land, the animals, and with each other. “First and foremost, we create an environment in which young adolescents can thrive,” says school founder and teacher Patricia Pantano.
“This doesn’t mean it’s the only environment in which they can thrive, but we know it’s one that works.” Pantano says that the program’s success is seen in the students: “The students can talk with real understanding, confidence, and ownership.” Additionally, the school’s educational acumen is illustrated through test forms, feedback from parents, and the confidence students demonstrate when they represent the school at public speaking events two to three times a year.
Reyes cares for one of the goats during his time on the Sheep & Goat crew
The school currently has 13 students enrolled in grades 7 to 9. The students work together, eat together, and learn together, throughout nine months
of the year. “It’s about valuing work, and seeing work as learning,” says teacher Bridget Love. “Kids get a lot of ownership. In many cases there’s no one else to do the work.” Love said that the students’ responsibilities are linked to natural consequences that can range from minor to serious. As we talked, we were joined by students Nicole (age 13), Pamela (age 13), and America (age 12) returning from herding goats to pasture. The students remembered that the year before, the goats had been fed the wrong food, and as a consequence, five goats died. As often as possible, teachers allow students to select work based on their interests. Farm work is a part of the school’s daily routine, and class assignments often relate back to the land. On the day I visited, students identified grasses for a science project, and learned about the biology of plants and animals. The project was focused on using their school learning to decide which grasses the goats could eat. Students begin each day on a work crew responsible for a specific aspect of farm work. When I visited, the Horticulture crew cleared and tilled a greenhouse; the Dairy crew made cheese; and the Sheep & Goat crew herded the goats to pasture. The school year follows a quarter system of eight to nine weeks. Students rotate to a different work crew each quarter. In their third and last year, they may find a crew they really like and specialize. The school emphasizes the
business aspect of running a farm. Each crew keeps their own set of books to keep track of sales and the cost of goods. Every week, two students help run the stand at the Santa Fe Farmers Market. Each student has the opportunity to attend the market about once per quarter. The farm sells produce and dairy products to co-ops in Santa Fe, Taos, and Los Alamos, and also markets through Community Supported Agriculture shares. Students track and report their financial successes (or losses) at a business meeting at the end of every quarter. The farm is able to sustain production throughout the year by using row covers for the crops. Sunlight heats the ground during the day. At night, a thermal cloth is placed over each row so that the ground radiates heat to nurture the plants. “We can grow throughout the year without supplementary heat with this system,” says Pantano. In the summer, when the students are on break, adult interns help run the farm, and some stay for part of the school year as well. Students are also assigned to help with farm work for one week each summer. Often, an older student is paired with an incoming student to serve as an orientation leader. At a weekly class meeting, students and teachers share “feedback” and “acknowledgement.” I attended a meeting as an observer and was deeply impressed with the way teachers and students related to each other as equals.
Students brought up suggestions for electives and field trips, and “feedback” time allowed students to express negative feelings in a respectful and mutually constructive way. The serious atmosphere lifted when “acknowledgement” or “thank you” time allowed students to share joy and appreciation for each other. The students at Camino de Paz learn practical skills in agriculture and animal husbandry, while at the same time learning respect for each other in the context of a community. “Kids at this age love being together,” says Pantano “This is an opportunity for them to find their place in society; an opportunity that allows them to practice connection and relationship; to practice caring for others, for animals, for the garden, and for our river.” Pantano says that ideally, in the future, the school will be a boarding school to allow more students from outlying areas to attend. Currently, two students live at the farm full-time. “Early adolescence,” she said, “is a time when a child naturally pulls back from his or her family and wants to be with their peers. [Camino de Paz] allows them to live in a place that isn’t as plugged in and frenetic as the rest of modern society.” The kids are capable of so much, she says, and empower themselves through meaningful work with real consequences and real responsibilities. caminodepaz.net
food for thought
A Look in on Khalsa Greenhouses A Cold Season Sensation at the Santa Fe Farmers Market Text and photos By Kimber Lopez
halsa Greenhouses is nestled in an active spiritual and art community within the Española Valley. Gentle, yogi chanting music welcomes visitors inside the greenhouse and creates an immediate, relaxed ambience. “Yes, we have music soothing the plants 24 hours a day, 7 days a week,” Guru Jiwan Singh Khalsa replies. Music is only part of the new world of Khalsa Greenhouses; rows of kale, Asian salad greens, chard, and tomatoes erupt as bees fly about to pollinate the plants, and ladybugs and praying mantises linger to control pests. “Each of these greenhouses used to be filled with raised beds containing peat moss and red worms—somewhere between 20 and 30 million worms,” Khalsa says. His original idea was to provide bait worms to a supply company in Missouri. However, a fire at the Missouri company’s property torched that plan. Khalsa thus reinvented his business and decided to put the remaining rich worm casting soil beds to good use: local food production. Khalsa’s business is unique in that it takes advantage of off-season production. While most farmers close down for the winter to earn a much-needed break, Khalsa flows into full production mode. Two of the three greenhouses are “cold houses” that remain at 35 degrees during the winter months. Leafy greens are able to flourish under such circumstances. The other greenhouse nurtures roughly 450 tomato plants at a much warmer temperature. Time and labor create tomato vines that grow to be 30 to 40 feet long, producing at naturally variable times
Guru Jiwan Singh Khalsa shows off the winter bounty in one of his greenhouses.
for a longer harvest period. Additionally, Khalsa started growing a variety of sprouts to diversify his product base, and he provides occasional special order wheatgrass for his neighboring community. “I love the concept of live food because it is so nutritious and vibrant,” he says. Greenhouses create an efficient system. A wet wall, connected to the hose watering system on one end of the green-
house, keeps the greenhouse cool during the hot months. Fans on the opposite end pull cool air across to maintain optimal temperature. An electric heating system keeps the plants warm during the winter, blasting hot air through a central, perforated plastic vein that runs along the topside of the greenhouse. The entire operation is primarily a solo feat. However, volunteers help in exchange for greens, and Khalsa’s family pitches in when time permits. He also has an open-door policy based on the honor system to improve cash flow. Community members can harvest their own produce and leave payment at their convenience. This year, Khalsa made additional adjustments to his production by investing in the rejuvenation of the soil. After five years of relying on the original worm casting soil, Khalsa decided to increase its microbial content ten-fold by planting mustard, salad greens, and clover as cover crops. He incorporated compost and other natural plant foods such as micro-rhizome teas and added worm enzymes and worm teas as well. Khalsa also experimented by installing a new irrigation system with a “tube tumbler.” Internal geometrically placed ball pellets reorganize water as it flows through the contraption. Water is released as smaller-sized molecules that mimic natural flow and result in water that is more easily absorbed by the soil and plants. “It has to do with the concept of intention,” Khalsa explains. On that same note, Khalsa waters each plant by hand so that he can pay conscious attention and connect with the plants directly. The complete package of sheer dedication, hard work, intention, and a splash of mysticism make this operation so successful. Khalsa keeps his dreams big, despite participating only at the Santa Fe Farmers Market for five years. “The reality is that we need more produce at the winter market,” Khalsa asserts. To address the issue, he is expanding by beginning soil reclamation in his neighbor’s two cold houses. Arugula and kale will grow will grow under Reemay® row covers. These spunbonded, reusable polyester row cover blankets float directly over row crops without the use of support hoops. He is also designing a
new greenhouse that he will build to provide necessary insulation to take advantage of the earth’s thermal mass and reduce plastic use. Additionally, Khalsa hopes to create a learning academy where apprentices are given the time to study, apply learning, and work. Ideally, students would work four to five hours a day helping Khalsa in the greenhouse. They would use the remaining time to study old and new farming techniques; organize and plan crop logistics such as when to amend soil, sow various plants, and rotate crops; Managing the greenhouse climate. and learn the economics of farming by creating business plans and developing bookkeeping skills. But if Khalsa is to tackle such a project, he wants to guarantee it is created right. Intern housing is a main concern. Having students come and camp for a few weeks while they learn to build their own adobe, straw bale, or other sustainable housing structure could be a solution. Stop by and visit Khalsa from October through May at the Santa Fe Farmers Market, or look for his produce in La Montanita Co-op, Los Alamos Cooperative Market, or Cid’s Food Market. For tech-savvy users, be sure to check out Khalsa Greenhouses on Facebook and support its online presence. Khalsa ensures that Northern New Mexicans will have access to fresh, sustainably grown produce all year long. Khalsa Greenhouses facebook.com/pages/Khalsa-Greenhouses/147143671993999
By Lyn BLEILER | illustrations by Lee LEE Leonard
An Artful Adventure in Sustainable Living A multi-generational Taos family incorporates polyculture, "aquaponics," and permaculture techniques to create an educational, earth-friendly oasis
few years ago, the tri-generational Leonard family (parents, daughter, and grandson) purchased an in-town Taos property that included an old adobe structure with an intriguing history. Built in 1924, the building’s original owner operated a distillery from the site and is said to have supplied the La Fonda Hotel on Taos Plaza with beer and moonshine during prohibition. At some point there was an explosion at the distillery, and the old adobe lay dormant until the Leonard family purchased it in 2006. The Leonard family remodeled and significantly expanded the main house by incorporating handmade glass and tile accents, artwork, and antique architectural elements and furnishings. Charred ceiling beams in the living room were left intact as a nod to the adobe’s interesting past. The Leonards not only recognized (and ultimately realized) the building’s potential, but were also drawn to the surrounding property that sits alongside one of the oldest acequia systems in the country. The ditch supplies water—a precious commodity in the arid Southwest—from Taos Mountain snow runoff. Peter T. Leonard (also known as Grandpa) developed a deep reverence for flood-style irrigation when, as a teen, he worked at a cattle ranch in the Colorado Rockies. Once he became owner of his own property, and a grandpa, he was eager to impart this knowledge to grandson Thatcher Gray. With a background in landscape architecture, Leonard designed and built a 900-square-foot greenhouse-like casita (which he calls home) beside the acequia, using displaced dirt from its footprint to create a raised bank nearby, now lush with flowers. With three-year-old Thatcher Gray in tow, Leonard proceeded to transform the entire property—combining traditional gardening methods with polyculture (growing multiple crops in the same space, thus reducing plants’ susceptibility to disease and supporting pollinators), aquaponics (a symbiotic system combining aquatic animals with cultivating 20 ecotrendsource.com
Three-year-old Thatcher Gray helps reap the harvest from the many gardens
Chickens range the property freely and serve as natural bug control.
Bottom: One of the gardens and its “jungle of plants”
Top right: one of the water features creating a lush environment for frogs and other aquatic wildlife.
plants in water), and permaculture design principles (such as cover crops to retain soil, lessen erosion, and increase water reclamation and rain catchment). Leonard’s daughter (Thatcher’s mother) Lee Lee notes, “I was really struck by how much Thatcher responded to actually building something with his grandpa and figuring out systems like irrigation. We would go other places in town and Thatcher would point out how the water ran even when the arroyo or cement gutter was dry. I was amazed at how building a garden with grandpa really helped him tune in to the world around him, even at such a young age. The wetlands from laundry greywater reinforced the mantra he picked up from Bob the Builder [an English children’s show] to ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ by actually incorporating it into our garden.” Grandpa also experimented with North Vietnamese hill tribe terracing procedures he had observed while teaching at the University of Saigon and at a Vietnamese school that he founded. The former distillery compound has grown to include chickens, water features, wetland water filtering systems, a south-facing aquaponic greenhouse complete with a fish pond that nourishes nearby plants, and a myriad of thriving vegetables, berries, and fruit trees. “One of the most satisfying things about building the pond, especially, is that animals come back because we have created habitat,” Lee Lee observes. “Now we have frogs, garter snakes, skunks, and chickens. I love that part of it. Especially the frogs.” An accomplished artist, Lee Lee documented the property’s transformation
in a series of watercolor paintings and narrative about the process, to which Peter added haiku. The project, which is currently a blog, Tales of Thatcher Gray: ”A Voice for Children of the World”, will culminate in a book entitled Grandpa’s Garden: Small-scale Solutions & Emerging Technologies. It is a charming account of three generations working together to create a utopian family haven that speaks to global responsibility. “Tales of Thatcher Gray seeks to educate children about solutions to some of today’s biggest environmental problems, which are caused by the industrial food machine,” Lee Lee explains. “Important solutions stem from growing food in a sustainable way that involves the next generation. Through exploring the importance of composting, greywater recycling and filtration through wetlands, habitat construction and maintenance, seed saving, biodiversity, and nourishment, Thatcher learns to be conscious of the impact we have on our surroundings.” The journey covers topics such as the importance of composting, how to get an early start by using homemade cold frames, and the benefits of greywater which, at the distillery, flows directly from the laundry, sink, and bathtub to a plant wetland “filter” area on the way to irrigating garden beds. Companion planting is discussed as well. Peter writes, “Plants mingle with other plants they like, intertwining their roots, benefitting each other, maybe even communicating with each other, like one big happy family.” Instead of planting traditional gardens where string was used to form straight rows, Leonard says, “Now I prepare a five-foot-wide bed; mix the seeds
of carrots, lettuces, marigolds, radishes, chard, beets, parsley, spinach, kale, and whatever in a bowl; broadcast them over the bed; rake and tamp lightly; water; and wait to see what happens. The result is a jungle of plants, no order whatsoever, but producing much more in the same space than the beautiful rows of yore.” In this process, weeds are crowded out and the only work involved is thinning out the plants. “When the plants are mature, the strongest are left to go to seed, and the next spring, another polyculture will emerge,” he explains. “It’s Nature’s way, and it sure cuts down on the labor.” The Leonard family generously shares what they have learned. They have made their property available to the public on a recent Taos Los Jardineros Garden Tour and Taos Artist Organization (TAO) Studio Tour, and it is a featured destination in ISEA2012 Albuquerque: Machine Wilderness, the 18th International Symposium on Electronic Art, which explores the discourse of global proportions on the subject of art, technology, and nature. Due to her dedication to sustainable living and creating a healthy environment for her son, Lee Lee was recently chosen as a Slow Food USA delegate to exchange ideas and solutions at the Terra Madre conference in Turin, Italy, an event “for those who seek to grow, raise, catch, create, distribute, and promote food in ways that respect the environment, defend human dignity, and protect the health of consumers.” The Leonard family hopes their multi-generational efforts inspire as many people as possible to embark on a similar gardening and lifestyle strategy. talesofthatchergray.com ecotrendsource.com 23
ing air of those early days. Both old and new residents prefer to remain part of a great neighborhood with a strong community of artists and merchants flourishing amidst local roots. You can still peek into studios and see the fiery glass; the hammer on bronze, gold, and silver; and fingers in the grey wet clay. You can still stop in for a muffin and coffee or a steak and glass of wine.
Mon, Sun 8 am – 3 pm Tue–Sat 8 am – 8 pm 930 Baca Street Santa Fe 505.995.1105
© Jennifer Esperanza (2) Cynthia Canyon (1)
ack in the early 1990s, a few intrepid “creative types” found Baca Street. Amidst the old adobe homes, warehouses, former auto repair shops, and gas stations, they built their kilns, connected torches to acetylene, set up casting operations, attached hand-forged anvils to cottonwood stumps, and installed a grill line and set out tables and chairs. At that time, Baca Street didn’t exactly support an art or culture scene—or any type of scene at all. It was just a bunch of people creating all kinds of art—in a space they could afford— relatively close to downtown in an area zoned Light Industrial. In 1991, Baca Street was framed by Counter Culture, a contemporary and eclectic café founded by Chef Jason Aufrichtig, serving as an artists’ hang-out and a popular eatery for Santa Fe locals and tourists. Baca Street finally became known as an arts district and a cultural destination in 2002, when Elodie Holmes, glassblower and owner of Liquid Light Glass, and Marc Choyt, a jeweler from Reflective Images, organized the first Baca Street Studio Tour and benefit. Over 20 artists and merchants signed up, and in late November farolitos lined the street for the festivities. Then, as today, visitors discovered artisans working in small rooms with tall ceilings, some barely heated, others lacking plumbing. The energy of creative chaos ricocheted off the walls—as metals were forged, glass blown, stones cut, and clay worked. It was here, in this almost forgotten warren of the City Different, that some of the best art featured in Santa Fe’s downtown galleries began as flashes of inspiration and vision. Soon after the first tour, Sunset Magazine wrote a blurb about Santa Fe’s “new SoHo,” and a brochure with a map listing the studios and hours was put together. Baca Street was now literally on the map as a Santa Fe destination. Over the years, the SoHo of Santa Fe has evolved into a
material sample for their Passive House projects; and Santa Fe Mountain Sports provides a bike pump track conveniently located off the adjoining rail trail. The expansion that honors the original Baca Street energy and vision by offering mixed use studio space, live/work options, fine art, furniture, design, and funky and fun retail shops. Baca Railyard still has the unassum-
bustling and thriving arts district a mere hundred yards from Cerrillos Road. New artists and merchants have moved in; the annual studio tour is still well attended; and local and tourist traffic is constant. In the mid-1990s, in order to prevent the development of a hotel and a Smith’s grocery store, the City of Santa Fe purchased a ten-acre parcel that adjoined Baca Street. Over the next decade, under the management of the Santa Fe Railyard Community Corporation and the guidance of over 6,000 local residents, including the constant presence and dedication of Aufrichtig, Baca Railyard combines the SoHo of Santa Fe and a recently developed modern and industrial zone near the railroad tracks. The progression of Baca Street into Baca Railyard opened a path for new entrepreneurs and existing merchants to relocate to this great neighborhood. Molecule Design has the distinction of being the first building in Santa Fe built out of 11 recycled 40-foot cargo containers; MoSA Architects’ office displays a live/work
© Jennifer Esperanza (2) Cynthia Canyon (1)
by Marc Choyt and Kimber Lopez
© Jennifer Esperanza
The SoHo of Santa Fe
Baca Railyard Businesses
Baca Railyard Businesses
Liquid Light Glass Fine Glass Art Studio & Gallery
100% Recycled Gold and Silver Fair Trade Gold and Gems • Locally Owned and Made
• Handblown Glass Art • Glass Classes • Paperweight Workshops • Glass Demonstrations
Reflective Images Beautiful & Ethical Designer Jewelry Hand Made at 912 Baca Street in Santa Fe
CelticJewerly.com • ArtisanWeddingRings.com • 988-7393 • Mon-Sat 10-6 26 ecotrendsource.com
Hours: Monday - Saturday 10am-5pm 926 Baca Street #3 • Santa Fe, NM 87505 505-820-2222 • www.liquidlightglass.com ecotrendsource.com 27
Every thrifter has a story to tell: a $1,000 Italian designer suit snagged for only $19.99, a $400 espresso machine still in the original box, a wedding present gone wrong that ends up on the shelf for only ten bucks. Even better, secondhand shops often feature interesting, one-of-a-kind finds, like Old West wagons turned into stylish dining room tables or farmhouse windows made into shabbychic mirrors. And there is no better way to shop for clothing, even though the trend is still in its infancy. Surprisingly, even as the economy plummets, new clothing consumption in the U.S. has increased, reaching an all-time high. Due to lower wages and outsourcing labor, clothing has in fact become cheaper, resulting in the “why buy used when you can buy new” mindset prevailing. Most people would rather spend $100 on a new Hollister sweater than entertain the possibility of discovering a similar wearable at a thrift store, consignment shop, or clothing exchange for a fraction of the price. However, recycling clothing is one of the most environmentally sound practices around. It reduces
Cents and Sensibility of Thrifting Reclaiming value in a throw-away world
By Chase Dionysius and Alex Espeset
he downside to living in an era of abundance is that we spend too much time, effort, and money on products that we eventually throw away. Sure, we can—and should—recycle, but the truth is, the vast majority of what we produce still ends up in landfills. We stand at a crossroads: we can either continue to produce, consume, and toss, or we can lessen the impact on our environment and reuse, recycle, and reclaim. Instead of consuming new, non-locally made textiles, furniture, and household goods, we can instead purchase cast-offs found in our own backyards at garage and estate sales and in secondhand stores—much of it better made than items currently found in stores. Thrift and consignment shopping is no longer just for college students and penny-pinchers. Everyone from eco-warriors to savvy fashionistas is catching on to the economic and environmental value of scouting secondhand shops. And more and more businesses are springing up throughout the country—including here in Northern New Mexico—to help turn one person’s junk into another’s treasure.
Above: Furnish a home with one stop at Santa Fe’s newest consignment store located in the huge White Swan Building on Cerrillos Road. Left: Artist Kate Alex Light has her hands full at a yard sale. ecotrendsource.com 29
It’s a real kick to find these iconic John Fluevog boots by a Canadian shoe designer at a local thrift store
the consumption of virgin resources such as cloth and wool and conserves energy used to process textiles. It also diminishes the demand for dyes and fixing agents and results in the decrease of both pollution and landfill space. The day-to-day benefits to the consumer are equally appealing. Up-cycling clothing is an inexpensive thrill and it stimulates the imagination to re-envision one’s individual style. One-ofa-kind pieces abound, and the fashion possibilities are both endless and unique. Where to begin? Taos reveals itself as a mecca for antique, consignment, and resale shoppers. Savvy pickers make regular stops at the New Mexico Auction and Consignment— professional resellers of everything from antique and 30 ecotrendsource.com
Rewind’s owner perks up her rack display while former students from St. Michael’s High play Monopoly®.
for only three dollars each. A morning spent digging through his boxes and bins resulted in artwork, games, glassware, clothing, and even wrapping paper for items bought as presents. Total cost? A mere $60, thanks to this generous collector. Santa Fe is also home to a great flea market, called The Flea. Located at The Downs during the summer, in winter it moves indoors to El Museo Cultural de Santa Fe at the Railyard. This is a weekend must-stop and it features something for everyone. Many thrifters also discover that selling some of their secondhand finds is a great way to make extra cash. No storefront is necessary. All it takes is a little knowledge, a lot of patience, a few camera skills, and a computer to join an online auction site like eBay. For instance, a day at the library with a few books on collectible glassware might help you spot some bargains on your next outing, say, a glass ashtray that turns out to be a Murano piece worth ten times what you paid for it. Or some online research reveals that the strange-looking corduroy button-up hanging in your best friend’s closet is actually a highly-collectible J.C. Penney’s shirt from the early 1960s. Snap a few photos, post it on eBay, and you could net yourself and your buddy nearly $250 in a Buy-It-Now auction in the time it takes to pour a beer and settle in to watch a football game. Keep in mind that there is an element of gambling involved. A ten-dollar purchase won’t always score you a crisp Benjamin Franklin, but with time and research, you should have more booms than busts. And the satisfaction transcends the monetary—by making something old new again, you save it from becoming trash and may even shine a light on some little-known cultural history. Who were those anonymous artisans behind the myriad fluorescentcolored ashtrays of the 1950s, those funky copper earrings from the 1960s, and all that disco-era polyester clothing? Thrifters and dealers help tell their stories. One of the best ways to mitigate your risk is to specialize. It doesn’t matter in what, because there seems to be a market for just about everything, so choose something that interests you. Just make sure you become well acquainted with what’s hot—and not—in your chosen area, whether vintage Ray Bans, Depression Era glassware, or designer blue jeans. And then get out there and scout!
contemporary furnishings to vintage jewelry and lovingly lived-in cowboy boots. The place even offers a 100 percent green rug-cleaning service. On the road to the Taos Ski Valley, the village of Arroyo Seco has become Northern New Mexico’s epicenter for antiques, up-cycled clothing, and natural farmbased foods. In Santa Fe, Congeries Consignment, located in the White Swan Building on Cerrillos Road, features a wealth of amazing furniture, art, and designer clothing. The owners have a great eye and attitude and believe in passing along value to their clients—in other words, they prefer to sell their items rather than price them like museum pieces. From there, journey on to a new resale shop on Baca called Rewind, a casual little place with great deals on vintage and modern clothing at prices that are hard to beat, and then on to Hospice Center Thrift Store, which regularly boasts bargains such as $200 designer boots for $50. Double Take on Guadalupe is likewise packed with great deals on clothing, furniture, and artwork. It also pays to wake up early on the weekends and check the local paper or Craigslist for estate, garage, and moving sales. A recent sale in Nambe north of Santa Fe was packed with treasure, including a rack of designer clothing like a Hugo Boss tuxedo for only three dollars. The owner, who lived and collected in Nambe for 21 years, was now simplifying his possessions, which included over 40 vintage Hawaiian shirts
An estate sale in Nambe nets Hawaiian treasure for the buyer’s friend. ecotrendsource.com 31
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Second Street Is Abuzz with Entrepreneurial Spirit
ucked in between Cerrillos Road and St. Michael’s Drive—in what was once the heart of Santa Fe’s building industry—is now a mixed-use neighborhood and business center informally known as Second Street. A longtime hub of eco-entrepreneurs, artists, writers, designers, and “cultural creatives,” Second Street encompasses an eclectic blend of food, healing, movement, art, communication, building and construction, small business, and residential space to create a vibrant locals’ scene and an offbeat attraction for intrepid tourists who want to dig into an alternative community. The area was not always considered desirable. When Willem Malten moved into a run-down building just west of the railroad tracks to open Cloud Cliff Bakery in 1988, his customers balked. “‘Willem,’ they said to me, ‘Location, location, location. You’ll never make it here.’” Despite the criticism, Malten worked relentlessly to create a hub for healthy food and activism. In 1990, Wayne and Susan Nichols of Santa Fe and Jonathan Rose of New York City, leaders in sustainable devel-
“Second Street is on the brink of developing back into a booming local hotspot where art, culture, sustainability and communal events can thrive But more city support is needed.” John Morris New Mexico Stone 34 ecotrendsource.com
opment, purchased a five-acre property that became Second Street Studios—one of the first live/work loft-type projects in the country. Although by today’s standards the buildings aren’t “green,” internationally recognized urban planner and architect Peter Calthorpe designed them with affordability and sustainable dual-use space in mind, a New Urbanist approach back before “being green” even had language. Soon, Second Street began to attract a new and visionary crowd. Second Street Brewery opened to provide a local watering hole, and New Mexico Stone, there since the beginning, firmly established itself as the only local stone company that fabricates, cuts, and installs stonework. Now that Second Street was abuzz with entrepreneurial spirit, residents and business owners came together to unite the community. The famed Second Street Experience, where the street was closed on either end and filled with artist booths, food carts, and festivities, brought much-needed publicity. The event was also the first in town to feature a recycled fashion show and contemporary circus performers. Malten smiles as he remembers the shift in perception.
Flagstone Moss Rock Beach Pebbles Boulders Custom Fabrication
Photographs by Robert Reck
850 W. San Mateo Santa Fe, NM 87505 505-820-ROCK (7625) Everybody Must Get Stone www.newmexicostone.net
Second Street Businesses
Second Street “After Cloud Cliff was established, the same people came back and said, ‘Willem—location, location, location. The location is perfect, how did you know?’” Michelle Mosser of Grace Communications explains that Second Street has expanded from its original designation to encompass those neighboring areas—Lena Street and the Lena Street Lofts, Hopewell-Mann neighborhoods, 5th Street, and the St. Michael’s corridor—that share a similar entrepreneurial spirit. Many of its residents and business owners are also excited about the RE:MIKE campaign intended to rethink and revitalize midtown Santa Fe, of which Second Street is a part. The goal is to grow an affordable contemporary, sustainable, and mixed-use art and design district. “If RE:MIKE starts getting traction, our interconnected neighborhoods will all benefit,” Mosser says. “The recession has knocked the cohesion out of many local creatives. Those of us still standing have become more collaborative. In many ways, the recent economic times have made us ‘walk our talk’ even more, by living and working the community values we share.” John Morris of New Mexico Stone agrees. “Second Street is on the brink of developing back into a booming local hotspot where art, culture, sustainability, and communal events can thrive. But more city support is needed.” Perhaps the RE:MIKE efforts will fulfill those needs. Stop by Second Street and stay awhile: sip some topnotch artisan beer at Second Street Brewery, grab a slice at the young and hip Backroad Pizza, or select some stonework from master mason Morris. Take a class at YogaSource or Studio Nia or set up an appointment at Inspire Chiropractic. Fix your bike or build a new one at Chainbreaker Collective. Get your couch reupholstered at Clusiau Designs. Try on an environmentally sustainable outfit at Sense. Enjoy some music at Gig after dinner at the delectable Chocolate Maven. Or take guitar lessons at Candyman Strings & Things. Whatever sparks your visit, from food to healing to art to genuine curiosity, linger off the beaten path and see what Second Street has to offer. 36 ecotrendsource.com
Second Street Businesses
Second Street Businesses
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Second Street Businesses
Arroyo Seco The Jewel of Taos County O
nce an area crisscrossed by nomadic tribes and later settled in 1804 by brothers Cristóbal and José Gregorio Martínez, Arroyo Seco is now a thriving village popular with tourists and locals alike. Known as the “Jewel of Taos County,” Arroyo Seco sits at the base of Taos Mountain, midway between Taos and Taos Ski Valley. Up the hill, the waterfalls of El Salto Mountain feed Arroyo Seco Creek, which runs through the quaint downtown. Soaring cottonwoods shade the village, and generous fruit trees provide for the making of local delicacies such as apple cider and apricot jam. The many delightful facets of Arroyo Seco are obvious. Tucked behind the door of each locally owned business is something unique and heartfelt. Food options range from homemade ice cream to lamb ragout to authentic New Mexican cuisine. Numerous artisans sell one-of-a-kind jewelry, pottery, weavings, paintings, and photographs. A charming blend of old and new, Arroyo Seco is home to the Church of the Most Holy Trinity, completed in 1834. Across the street, the community center—originally a Works Progress Administration (WPA) elementary school—also houses art studios. Right in the heart of the village, ClaireWorks sculpture garden and tile wall mural enlightens the imagination. If you want to make more than a day of it, book a cozy room at the Abominable SnowMansion Hostel. Arroyo Seco is also home to two not-for-profit conservation organizations, the Taos Land Trust and Rivers and Birds. Whether you’re on your way to ski or just looking for some relaxing time in the mountains, Arroyo Seco is a real gem.
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antiquariusimports.com 575-776-8381 480 State Road 150 (Taos Ski Valley Rd.) Arroyo Seco
By Kimber Lopez | Photos by Kate Russell
Meet Jesse Gries—founder of Green
The Dark Horse Is Green Jesse Gries emerges as the 2012 Parade of Homes Frontrunner to capture the Grand Hacienda Award
Plenty of outdoor gardening, entertaining, and living amenities arose from conscious planning on how to use a miniscule 800 square feet of outdoor lot space. Gries’ home won the Best Use of Resources Award.
Opposite: The hydroponic green wall was the shoe-in for winning the Best Indoor Air Quality Award. When planning the original design, Gries’ wife Karla noted the existing skylight and said, “Let’s build a green wall.” Located near the bathroom, Jesse was able to divert plumbing to provide the necessary water for a pleasing indoor green space.
Star Builders and winner of the 2012 Grand Hacienda Award. At this year’s Parade of Homes tour, Gries was the little guy in a land of giants. This innovator and relentless idealist brings a new and desired approach to building, combined with a powerful spirit to back it up. When someone so unexpected wins such an acclaimed award, it sets a precedent for architectural and building changes within Northern New Mexico. Walking through the front door of Gries’ home for the Parade of Homes tour, I am immediately captured by his enthusiasm. The first attraction is the hydroponic green wall that automatically recirculates water and maintains and monitors pH, temperature, and nutrients. It’s not often you see tropical plants in the high desert, and this homemade feature is even more impressive because it requires such little upkeep. The next attraction is the basement cooling system and full Heat Recovery Ventilator (HRV). The HRV recirculates fresh air from outside throughout the house and removes stale internal air. Heating and cooling costs are expected to be a microscopic $70/ year due to this innovative system comprised of a tankless boiler that senses the exterior air temperature and a super-insulated exterior shell. These features helped Gries achieve one of the most prestigious certifications for U.S. government green ecotrendsource.com 43
The water catchment system is made from sculptured steel cubes crafted by Gries and filled with cisterns from Craigslist. The cherry tree in the foreground was an original feature of the lot, and the Grieses “fought tooth and nail” to keep it alive and thriving.
building programs. His home is the first in New Mexico to be certified for the Energy Challenge Home program, issued by the U.S. Department of Energy. The energy efficiency of the house also secured an Emerald rating by the Santa Fe Green Building Council. Gries’ home is a rarity in that its energy efficiency is secured without using solar or geothermal features—effective and sustainable technologies that were not within the budget for this project. Homeowners can note that there are indeed low-cost options to sustainability and efficiency. Continuing the tour, Gries shares his obsession with minimizing waste and salvaging materials: “I see scrap as inspirational. That sabino beam was brought here from Mexico; this bench used to be a walnut tree on Palace Avenue that was salvaged after the blight; and we received these file cabinets free off of Craigslist.” Looking around, it seems as if everything in this household comes with a story. The external minimalist style contains a
"I see scrap as inspirational." It seems as if everything in this household comes with a story.
The house also won Best Kitchen in its price range, wth a 15-year-old Viking stove, tile chosen from close-out, and handcrafted walnut cabinets by Gries’ father.
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Steel windowsill handcrafted by Gries, a sabino wood beam as a central feature, and grey plaster as an accent offer an elemental design focus combined with purposeful planting on the outside to bring the green inside.
complex depth that creates a special connection between builder, owner, and home. The house is livable and comfortable—packaged together with a modern flair to create a simple yet edgy abode. Wide-eyed and contemplative visitors stroll from room to room, investigating the creative innovations Gries has pieced together. He is a pioneering go-getter, and his appetite knows no limits. His early summer job experience, helping his father as a cabinetmaker and contractor on the East Coast, planted the seed for Gries’ career. He then found his own niche in high school by becoming skilled at steel fabrication, which ignited his desire to master all aspects of building and design. Whether it’s laying the foundation, installation, steel assembly, mechanics, or building furniture; Gries incorporates all aspects of hands-on construction from the ground up. Gries’ style is dictated by the lot itself, which began as a basketball court and gazebo. He
reacts to the space he is given to work with and lets his imagination flow, pulling ideas from all directions. He sees the big picture by envisioning a livable, spacious, and bright floor plan. He then figures out how to incorporate green technologies, reclamation, and ecological principles. Redwood reclaimed from the gazebo was used as base plates for the foundation of the house, and two layers of concrete from the basketball court were taken to be recycled at the Lafarge plant. Final details are then incorporated to create luxurious accents and comfort through his steel manufacturing and experimental fabrication. Gries’ creative flexibility produces a thriving building style that encompasses a broad spectrum of insight and design. His unique approach is one that values restoration and attention to detail, and can be emulated by others, whether freshly constructing a new home or refurbishing an existing one. Jesse Gries is one man pushing our community to see the value in innovative, green-built, energy-efficient, and affordable homes.
The floating kiva is a new take on an old style; Gries hand-fabricated the hearth and door out of steel. The Kiva is dual-fuel, it can be gas or wood. The transom window above was another bid to bring the outdoors in and to fill the living room with light. Gries also won the Best Crafstmanship award for the house.
Santa Fe Time Bank Where the Common Currency Is Community
By gershon Siegel
Such is our “freedom”: that we
Cahn lay in a hospi-
citizens have long indulged our
tal bed recovering from
maverick-like behaviors to such
a heart attack, horrified
an extent that we have become a
at how dependent he’d
population of loners. Many of us
become on paid caregivers, an
now find ourselves isolated from
epiphany hit him: The market-
any real community that offers
place demands that the health care industry treat patients as mere commodities. Focusing on social justice issues is nothing new to Cahn. He became
any real help the way real neighborhoods once did. Cahn recognized the need for a creative way to reweave community. This recogni-
co-founder of the Antioch School of Law, dedicated
tion led him to conceive of what he called a “time
to producing public service attorneys, after witness-
bank.” A rather simple concept of trading time for
ing first-hand that Great Society era funds—once
services rendered, time banks differ from a barter sys-
allocated for social services to eliminate poverty and
tem because time cannot be taxed (at least not yet).
racial injustice—were drying up.
Time bank members accept that the other members
It is not just that America lacks the political will
have services of value to offer and that everyone’s
to help its underserved citizenry. Whatever social
time is of equal value. When members give their
infrastructure we once had to enable that help has
offered services, they earn units of time, or “time dol-
been eroded by a government now more concerned
lars,” which are recorded by the time bank. Rather
with padding its military budget and the corpora-
than by gold or silver, time dollars are backed by the
tions that feed on it than serving its own population.
services members offer.
Courtesy of Time Bank Santa Fe
Time Banking Santa Fe Style Santa Fe, forward-looking city that it is, has never lacked in the pursuit of an alternative economy, but several attempts 50 ecotrendsource.com
went down the list of 19 items such as “Find someone who owns their own business” (not so easy that night) or “Find someone who uses alternative medicine modalities (easy in that crowd) or “Find someone who was born in Santa Fe” (just one) or “Find someone who has been to the Super Bowl” (nobody at all). The Get Acquainted Game worked well with two participants tied at 17-found-someones, and both were credited with two time dollars. And in just 20 minutes or so, the entire room of participants had managed to talk, at least briefly, with nearly everyone else in the room. After the game, we broke up around tables and shared the kinds of services we were up for giving and the kinds of services we were seeking. Susan offered small dog boarding and was looking for land-
Perhaps, as a nation of deal-makers and hustlers, the idea of everyone's time being of equal value can be a hard sell. ended up fading due to insufficient support. However, in its short history Santa Fe Time Bank (SFTB) seems to be gaining real traction. Started just three years ago by a small group of women calling themselves “The Kitchen Cabinet,” SFTB now boasts over 400 members and over 500 time bank dollars exchanged this past August alone. Last spring, SFTB moved into new offices at 1219 Luisa Street, Suite #1 and is open Tuesdays from 5 to 7 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. or by appointment. To become a member, an individual is advised to attend one of the SFTB’s monthly recruiting potlucks to meet other interested individuals as well as active members of the SFTB community. Active members are encouraged to attend these potlucks and other SFTB events with the enticement of gaining time bank dollars. Once acquainted with some of the current members and time banking principles, visitors are then encouraged to apply for membership online at santafetimebank.org. Although background checks are not currently performed by SFTB, becoming an active member upon applying is not a forgone conclusion. Several references are required and checked before an applicant is considered active. The activation process may take a week or two. Once the active status is granted, the new member is instructed in the use of CommunityWeaver 2.0 software on the SFTB website where the new member can both post what service(s) they offer and what service(s) they are looking to obtain. Since the whole notion of the time bank depends upon moving the energy around, receiving a service becomes as important as providing one. A Potluck with Purpose When the 30 or so people showed up at the Natural Grocers meeting room on Cerrillos Road for last August’s introductory potluck, each of us was handed a piece of paper titled “Get Acquainted Game” and instructed that “The one who finds the most “someones” is the winner of two time dollars.” With that immediate incentive dangled in front of us, each of us
The Nuts and Bolts of a Time Bank Tracing a complete cycle of a time dollar might look something like this: Mary is offering haircutting as the service that “backs” her time dollars. Max offers landscaping, Philip housekeeping, Jan guitar lessons, Pat Spanish lessons, Jean massage. So Mary needs a massage and makes an appointment with Jean. Mary now has a debit for the massage she’s receiving from Jean. Jean now has a credit that she spends with Pat for a Spanish lesson, who redeems his credit with Jan for a guitar lessons, who redeems her credit with Philip for an hour of housekeeping, who redeems his credit for Max’s landscaping services, who, you guessed it, gets his hair cut by Mary. Each time bank member gets to choose the service they wish to offer, and not all members make available what they do for their day job. A professional bodyworker, for example, may offer babysitting as his or her service. One can also limit how many time dollars one is willing to have credited at any one time to his or her account. A person who makes her living as a piano teacher and also offers that same service to the time bank can decide how many piano lessons she is willing to “bank.” Perhaps, as a nation of deal-makers and hustlers, the idea of everyone’s time being of equal value can be a hard sell, especially to those heavily invested in the currency-based marketplace. However, as more and more money continues to be sucked into the stratosphere of the super-wealthy, more and more of us are less and less invested in the money system. Perhaps the right moment for the time bank is now. Today’s crisis of our monetary system is not the first one to incubate the idea of a time bank. The most wellknown precedent happened in 1832 when the Welsh labor reformer, Robert Owen, founded the National Equitable Labour Exchange in London, England. Several branches were spawned as well, but the Exchange only lasted a couple of years. Cahn’s time bank, however, founded in the late 1980s, now has nearly a thousand independent and affiliated time banks worldwide with over 250 in the U.S. alone and about the same number in the U.K.
Gaia Gardens accepts Time Dollars at their stall at the Santa Fe Farmers Market.
scaping services. Judy’s indoor house painting service was a reason she was on the lookout for a massage. Haj, who did graphic design and web work, wanted landscaping. Abel, with his environmental restoration abilities, sought carpentry work. Ellen offered accounting and tax return service and required help with unspecified projects around her house. Once everyone around our table had an opportunity or two to state their offer(s) and want(s), participants were asked to move on to another group and begin the process once again. As everyone shared what they were offering and what they wished to receive, it became obvious that the room was filled with people who had productive skills ready to be used. Although many of those in attendance that Monday night were strangers, by the time we left most felt connected to a potential community. Time Banking Begins with People Adrianne McCurrach, a young mother of two boys and one of SFTB’s co-founders, has seen its tiny beginnings blossom into a real organization. Now SFTB’s director, McCurrach continues to serve on the Kitchen Cabinet (the board of directors for the Santa Fe Time Bank) and is an active exchanging member. Explaining what brought her to involvement with time banking, she recounts, “In 2009 I took a permaculture design certification course, and that is where I discovered the time bank model. The course was over ecotrendsource.com 51
six months and each month had a weekend with a different theme. When we got to the Community/Economics weekend, we explored alternative economies and the time bank model. What captured my heart and has sustained my dedication to the movement are the possibilities for healing that I can both imagine and feel through my own exchanges.” McCurrach’s search for healing around her relationship with money is rooted in her family of origin, where there was always the feeling that there wasn’t “enough.” She speaks of her junior high school ah-hah! moment when she realized that “not having money would never prevent me from happiness.” The realization gave her a new-found sense of freedom and she found herself pursuing a degree in Social Action Through Art. Eventually she became Skye Franklin (age 13), son of time bank member Tania Chavez, receives saxophone lessons successful in filmmaking, working on commer- from Roxanne Tapia, also a time bank member. Chavez has been a member since June 2012 cials for cars, gas companies, and giant retailers and works in the time bank office and training new members. like Target and Walmart. Orientations and the Introductory Potlucks for “folks who However, as she became more successful, want to learn about time banking and meet some of the she began to feel alienated from community, realizing she experienced members.” She also works with others to coach no longer felt good about what she was doing. It was at new members in the philosophy and process of time bankthis point, she explains, that “I turned to permaculture ing and answer questions about joining and exchanging and found time banking.” It was in the time bank where and then training Member Mentors to do the same for the she glimpsed a “mechanism that created opportunities for purpose of “expanding a member care team.” people to value each other for all of the gifts that we have to Kuhlen’s story of the pivotal role the time bank commuoffer.” Equally important, McCurrach also believes that the nity has played in her own life is particularly dramatic. A time bank gives people an opportunity to value themselves. long-time resident of Santa Fe since the mid-1970s, her chilMcCurrach sees the time bank as an investment in the dren grown, she moved to Maine to be closer to her sister’s future.“The current money system isn’t working,” she family while pursuing healing from an automobile accident. explains, “and our cultural landscape is suffering because Confined to a limited social security disability income while of it. Many people are operating out of fear and scarcity. recovering from a traumatic brain injury, Margaret found Imagine what it will be like to have kids growing up alongherself living in a shelter for homeless women upon first side a time bank and market economy: a more whole system arriving, without friends, family, or employment. that recognizes both the value of money and the things that Margaret recalls of that period, “Someone at the shelter only money can buy, as well as the value of contributing told me about the Maine Time Dollar Network and encourto our community currency. People are valued beyond the aged me to join. I was delighted to meet the warm friendly amount of money they can make in a market economy.” folks that drew me into their community and assured me that I had much to offer at a time when my confidence Participate, Prosper, and Pay It Forward was at an extreme low. I stuffed envelopes for the Concert Margaret Kuhlen is another stalwart of SFTB. She curAssociation’s bulk mailing to earn time dollars and wrapped rently manages the SFTB office, organizes New Member
Christmas packages for the time bank annual fund-raiser and felt useful. When I was able to purchase two tickets to a Christmas packages for the time bank annual fund-raiser chamber music concert for time dollars I was pleased to be and felt useful. When I was able to purchase two tickets to a able to dress up and take a new friend out to a special event, chamber music concert for time dollars I was pleased to be celebrate the holidays, and begin to feel like a full contribable to dress up and take a new friend out to a special event, uting member of this new home community—no longer a celebrate the holidays, and begin to feel like a full contribhomeless, disabled, poor person. uting member of this new home community—no longer a “When I came home to Santa Fe nine years later,” Kuhlen homeless, disabled, poor person. continues, “I participated in many discussion groups in town “When I came home to Santa Fe nine years later,” Kuhlen with folks planning for a more sustainable Santa Fe. Several of continues, “I participated in many discussion groups in town these meetings focused on the benefits of alternative currency, with folks planning for a more sustainable Santa Fe. Several of and each time I recommended the time bank model, which I’d these meetings focused on the benefits of alternative currency, come to know and deeply appreciate in Maine. and each time I recommended the time bank model, which I’d “I was delighted to learn one day of a time bank actually come to know and deeply appreciate in Maine. starting up in town. I contacted them to join the group and “I was delighted to learn one day of a time bank actually began to participate in developing this project. I was ‘new’ starting up in town. I contacted them to join the group and in town and starting over to create a life in Santa Fe after began to participate in developing this project. I was ‘new’ a long absence. The time bank community was once more in town and starting over to create a life in Santa Fe after the foundation of my renewed life in new circumstances a long absence. The time bank community was once more the foundation of my renewed life in new circumstances
and gave me many opportunities to pass on what was given to me.” and gave me many opportunities to pass on what was given to me.” Joining the SFTB Community Kuhlen believes that the most common reason why a person Joining the SFTB Community might become involved with SFTB is “for community” and Kuhlen believes that the most common reason why a person “to enhance the opportunities to meet life’s many needs might become involved with SFTB is “for community” and (some large, some small) within a group that feels increas“to enhance the opportunities to meet life’s many needs ingly like a neighborhood, where everyone has something of (some large, some small) within a group that feels increasvalue to offer and all are enriched in the process.” The misingly like a neighborhood, where everyone has something of sion of the SFTB reads, “To strengthen our community by value to offer and all are enriched in the process.” The mismatching unmet needs with untapped resources and honor sion of the SFTB reads, “To strengthen our community by individual contributions by using Time Dollar Exchange.” matching unmet needs with untapped resources and honor Beyond finding a good deal, it seems that in joining a time individual contributions by using Time Dollar Exchange.” bank a member can also find a real community that offers Beyond finding a good deal, it seems that in joining a time real help the way real neighbors can and do. bank a member can also find a real community that offers real help the way real neighbors can and do. ReSouRCeS Santa Fe Time Bank, santafetimebank.org, or 505-216-6590 Resources Time Bank Network, timebanks.org Santa Fe Time Bank, santafetimebank.org, or 505-216-6590 Time Bank Network, timebanks.org
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ecotrendsource.com 53 ecotrendsource.com 53
Las Vegas, New Mexico, Takes a Stand Against
g n Fracki 54 ecotrendsource.
Don Hamilton (2)
By Lee Einer
hen residents found out that “big oil” companies were scouting locations to engage in fracking in both San Miguel and Mora counties, they knew they had to stop it. But residents-turned-activists found themselves stuck behind the proverbial eight-ball when they were told that they couldn’t ban hydraulic fracturing under the existing legal system. Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” as it is commonly known, is the process used by oil companies to extract shale oil, natural gas, and coalbed gas from deep underground. Most Americans likely assume that communities can ban practices that are harmful to their residences or their environment. It would seem like a given in a democratic society. So when local anti-fracking activists Miguel Pacheco and Kathleen Dudley were told by environmental law firms that they simply could not say no to fracking in the form of an outright ban on the practice in Las Vegas, NM, they Kathleen Dudley and Miguel Pacheco knew they had to change that answer. “We were indoctrinated into the system that regulation was all that communities could do,” says Dudley, tainable communities by assisting people to assert their director of Drilling Mora County, a grassroots organization right to local self-government and the rights of nature.” dedicated to protecting the natural resources of Northern Thomas Linzey, Esq., is cofounder, executive director, and New Mexico. “I just kept looking at that and began to see chief legal counsel for the CELDF. Linzey explained the that we had no power and that was really uncomfortable.” conventional regulatory approach as follows: Dudley and Pacheco refused to accept “no” for an answer Although a lot of people see the regulatory approach as reguand began looking for other options. lations put into place to protect health, safety, and welfare, They found an option in the form of a Community the history of the regulatory system is that regulations have Rights Ordinance (CRO). CROs effectively give “power to been used by those in power, most recently corporate interthe people” who are affected by such unfriendly practices as ests, to actually legalize certain harms that couldn’t occur fracking. without the permit being in place. If you want to dump With much groundwork, and with the sponsorformaldehyde from a textile bleaching plant into a stream ship of city councilor Andrew Feldman, a CRO banor river and there was no regulatory process issuing you a ning fracking was passed by a 3-to-1 vote of the Las permit to do so, and you did it anyway, you could be liable Vegas City Council in April 2012, making Las Vegas the to riparian landowners and folks downstream who use the first city in the western U.S. to enact such legislation. waterway for payment of damages done to their property or CROs are the brainchild of the Community Environmental to their interests. Legal Defense Fund (CELDF), an organization that, accord“If you have a permit to do so, in other words, if there’s a ing to their mission statement, focuses on “building susecotrendsource.com 55
• a declaration of the rights of ecosystems and, • a section that repudiates those legal doctrines which empower corporations to routinely override the will of communities; most notably, corporate personhood.
How Fracking Effects You and Your Family Toxic Water
regulatory program in place that allows you to put six parts per million of formaldehyde into the waterways, the permit in many ways serves as a shield to liability. In fact, it’s given a name under the law: it’s called the permit shield defense, which means you can’t be held liable for things that were done under state permitting authority. So the regulatory system, in our eyes, legalizes certain harms that occur.” Effectively, the regulatory approach permits damage to the environment, although it attempts to regulate the extent of that damage. For some, that is simply not enough. Unfortunately, the existing U.S. legal framework blocks communities from banning certain corporate activities, no matter how objectionable or injurious, leaving only the option of regulation. In response to the problems inherent in the regulatory approach, Linzey and the CELDF came up with a bold strategy. They designed ordinances that include: • a community bill of rights • a ban on those practices which the community finds to be objectionable or injurious 56 ecotrendsource.com
Fracking fluids are a toxic cocktail of chemicals such as benzene, toluene, ethylene glycol, and methanol. While underground, they can dissolve naturally occurring hazardous substances such as arsenic, heavy metals, and radioactive minerals, which are then carried back up to the surface, and can contaminate groundwater and aquifers. From a single drilling pad, which can carry 10 or more shafts and where each shaft can be drilled up to 16 times, up to 1.1 billion gallons of water can be transformed into toxic waste. Perhaps the most disturbing images of fracking are those showing flames coming out of kitchen faucets. The flammable water is due to methane. It is a safety risk because methane is highly combustible and could potentially ignite, causing a home explosion. Methane in your water pipes indicates leakage from fracked geological structures into the groundwater. And with the presence of methane at the tap, you can be fairly certain that far more toxic chemicals such as benzene and toluene are present as well. Bottled water is typically tap water bottled and shipped far from its home aquifer. Bottled water may come from an area that is being fracked and may therefore be unclean.
Information and Action Resources Petition to Ban Fracking in New Mexico signon.org/sign/end-fracking-in-new-mexico. fb23?source=s.icn.fb&r_by=1722103
Increase in Illness
CELDF celdf.org Drilling Santa Fe drillingsantafe.blogspot.com On Bolivia's "Law of Mother Earth" guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/apr/10/ bolivia-enshrines-natural-worlds-rights
Las Vegas activist Miguel Angel (left), director of Casa de Cultura, takes city councilor Vince Howell (center) and and Las Vegas mayor Alfonso Ortiz, Jr. (right) to task over their obstruction of Las Vegas Community Rights.
The doctrine of corporate personhood recognizes corporations, which are property, as persons, and confers on corporations the protections to which people are entitled. Because corporate personhood is an interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, repudiation of this doctrine challenges the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. legal approach to ecosystems, ironically, is the inverse of corporate personhood—it views ecosystems strictly as property, even though they are communities of living entities. The result is that litigation in environmental cases focuses on the losses to those who own or benefit from ecosystems, rather than addressing injury to the ecosystems themselves. Linzey draws the analogy between the legal state of ecosystems under U.S. law and the legal status of a slave in the 1840s— there was no crime of murder against a slave because a slave was not a person, but simply property in the eyes of the law. Consequently, the crime was against the slave owner, and damages were measured by the financial loss incurred by the slave owner due to the loss of his slave.
Once the fracking fluid is injected into the earth, half of it returns to the surface and requires disposal. It is often left either in open pits where the toxic compounds evaporate into the atmosphere or in containment vessels that outgas and pollute our air. Documented cases from a hospital system in the Texas Barnett Shale deposit area, which is being fracked, reported that the incidence of asthma among children ages 6 to 9 is three times as high in Barnett than among children anywhere else in Texas.
A study is currently underway to connect those dots at: ecowatch.org, search "fracking." There have been proven and widespread instances across the United States of fracking fluids contaminating groundwater and aquifers, resulting in human illness. The case of West Divide Creek in Colorado is a prime example, where drilling has begun on eight natural gas wells less than 600 yards from three schools and a childcare center. This was after proven health effects from previous fracking in the area included neurological problems, birth defects, and cancer. Among the symptoms from exposure are bloody noses, asthma, diarrhea, dizziness, migraines, nerve pain, neurological disorders, and skin rashes. West Divide Creek's water is contaminated not only for people but also for animals, who lay dead by the creekside from poisoning. All the while, the gas and oil industry claim no such incidents have occurred.
Earthquakes Fracking involves combining 2 to 7 million gallons of water with sand and 5,000 to 6,700 gallons of chemicals, and injecting it into a groundshaft at pressures often exceeding 10,000 pounds per square inch. A United States Geological Survey team has linked fracking and the disposal of fracking fluids into injection wells with a rash of earthquakes. In a 1990 report with the USGS, the EPA found that injection of fluid into deep wells triggered earthquakes in Colorado, Texas, New York, New Mexico, Nebraska, and Ohio, and possibly Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Mississippi. The EPA is expected to issue guidance to help state regulators assess earthquake risks. And these quakes are close to home. A 5.3 magnitude earthquake on Aug. 23, 2011, near Trinidad, CO, in the gas-producing Raton Basin is suspected to have been caused by injection wells.
Fracking Illustrated N e w s & v i e w s F r o M T h e s u s T Ai N Ab l e s o u T h w e s T New MexiCo’s FiFTh lArgesT CirCulATioN NewspAper
Hydraulic Fracking Injecting Fluides/Sand Mixture
the ordinance, then issued an executive order vetoing it, despite the fact that the mayor has no power of veto under state law or the Las Vegas City Charter. Municipal resistance is only the beginning. “The strategy,” Linzey says, “is not simply to pass ordinances at the municipal level, but to turn the apparatus of municipal government upwards against the legal structures which elevate the rights of corporations over communities, and, by building a groundswell of such ordinances, to force change at the state and eventually the federal levels. There are currently over 140 municipalities with CROs against corporate offenses ranging from fracking to factory farming.”
SHOWCASING BIOREGIONAL SUSTAINABILITY Community • Culture Environment • Economy
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Recognition of the rights of ecosystems shifts the focus from a property-based focus to making the ecosystem itself whole and restoring it to its pre-damage state. While countries such as Ecuador and Bolivia have embraced a legal model of ecosystem rights, the U.S. lags behind. Because CROs challenge corporate personhood and the current legal status of ecosystems, they are controversial, and meet with resistance in some circles. Such has been the case in Las Vegas where, following the passage of the ordinance, mayor Alfonso Ortiz, Jr., who embraced the ordinance publicly and enthusiastically prior to his re-election, has since been working hard to obstruct it. He first refused to sign or publish
www .g reeN F ire T iMes . CoM
Photo Anna C. Hansen
A well is bored deep into the earth passing through clay, shale, sandstone, and water aquifers. Charges are set and detonated near the pockets of natural gas, creating access to the fossil fuel and a web of fissures (fractures) throughout the bedrock as far as three football fields. The path of the fractures is uncontrolled, often opening up various aquifers to contamination. Fracking fluid (water, sand, and chemicals) is then pumped in at higher pressure than the gas, creating more fractures, forcing the gas to rise up to the surface where it is captured, refined, and sold.
Courtesy of Lisa Bracken/projectforskaen.com
Hydraulic Fracking Perforating Well Bore
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Rife Technology A personal look at an alternative treatment to treat tough health issues. by moriah williams
irst developed by Dr. Royal Raymond Rife in the 1930s, rife machines produce resonant electromagnetic frequencies that apparently suppress symptoms of illness and possibly even clear infection. Rife created a microscope which identified new pathogens, including one found in malignant tumors, and purportedly found that specific vibratory frequencies destroyed this bacteria. According to his research, when he treated 16 late-stage cancer patients, all recovered. In theory, other pathogens can potentially be destroyed or inhibited by targeting frequencies. One theory is that rife frequencies mimic the immune system, which uses electricity to attack micro-organisms with vibrations they cannot tolerate, similar to an opera singer shattering a wine glass. Currently rife technology is used to treat the symptoms of Lyme Disease, among other illnesses. Santa Fe-based Lyme researcher and Doctor of Oriental Medicine Peggy Creelman writes that the frequencies “may or may not shatter pathogens, but they certainly correct energetic weakness caused by Lyme infections. Symptom relief usually ensues.” Rife’s original machine, microscope, and research have been lost, and modern-day machines only approximate his ideas. His work, initially acclaimed, was subsequently ignored or suppressed. This and other issues make it difficult to understand his technology, and yet many practitioners and patients are experiencing benefit from the machines. A rife machine requires an initial cash investment, but is low-cost relative to other Lyme treatments (or treatments for other diseases)—depending on the model, a unit costs between $1,000 and $5,000. They are also environmentally responsible. A machine can last for years, be shared among 60 ecotrendsource.com
multiple people, only requires about $5 per month of electricity to operate, and can reduce or eliminate the need for antibiotics and herbs that ultimately wash through our bodies and pollute waterways, and to which humans are becoming resistant from prolonged use. An additional cost is for a professional who can program the rife machine with the appropriate frequencies; of course costs for that vary depending upon location, practitioner, and the specific disease being treated, which affects the frequencies with which the machine must be programmed. The Author's Personal Journey with Rife Technology Before I started using a rife machine, I had been actively treated for Lyme Disease for seven years, with varied success. My initial treatment consisted of exercise and rest, restricted and specific diet, herbs and other supplements, acupuncture and other bodywork, meditation, homeopathics, and cold laser therapy, all of which were helpful, and many of which I still use—although I have discontinued the majority of supplements, another factor which makes rife technology an affordable choice for me. Luckily, in the fall of 2010, Dr. Peggy Creelman, who was treating me at the time, started working with rife machines. Two days after I got a rife machine, something in me knew the situation had changed. In fact, rife treatment started me on the most important project of my life. I have been a writer since before I could read—I dictated stories to my mother—and wrote fiction when I was younger. Then Lyme took such a bite out of my stamina and my ability to focus on writing that for my whole adult life, I’ve only written poetry. After starting rife treatment, I was suddenly able ecotrendsource.com 61
Creelman assesses and adjusts the current frequencies in the author’s personal rife machine program.
have a history of autoimmune to deal with the physical and The machines are easily built, reactivity to treatments that mental demands of writing easily shared, can be used are intended to help. Rife is no fiction. In the last year and a exception, although overall, half I have written 800 pages repeatedly, and are versatile enough these reactions have lessened of intensely researched work. to potentially treat several diseases. as I’ve used the rife machine. Almost immediately after I So part of the dance involves began working with the rife machine I also started reading again, polishing off books ten paying close attention to my body, and having the patience times faster than I did during all of the past decade in which I to troubleshoot with a practitioner who takes my experience was sick. The number of my symptoms that have disappeared seriously to find a workable program. or abated would be too long to list here. Through rife treatment I have also experienced relief from symptoms of other The Future of Rife Technology At this point all rife treatment is subjective, which is why I pathogens, such as strep and various bacteria. I have not experienced rife technology as a magic bullet, feel so urgent that rife technology, as a treatment for Lyme, however. Not yet, anyway. To be fair, mine has been a par- requires a great deal of objective research. One way to estabticularly difficult case. Like many people with Lyme Disease, I lish the technology’s effectiveness is to study simpler dis62 ecotrendsource.com
eases such as malaria, where research indicates a promising response to rife technology. In the absence of effective Lyme treatment, there are serious workforce and health care delivery problems from the unmanageable numbers of people who are seriously ill from this and other epidemics. I do believe in the potential of the machine. I have seen it work wonders with simpler diseases—two days of running a few minutes of one frequency can knock out a flu that I would otherwise need acupuncture, a bottle of herbs, and a week in bed to clear—and it is one of the few approaches that seems versatile enough to treat Lyme without being outsmarted by the disease. At this point I see no other way I could function or have any quality of life without the rife machine. And when symptoms disappear that I have been battling for years, the machine is a real blessing. Another promise of the machine is its apparent ability to not only clear pathogens but also to strengthen acupuncture points, which can possibly help correct underlying systemic weaknesses. These weaknesses contribute to vulnerability to Lyme and other diseases. As Creelman explores this holistic direction, I have noticed a palpable relief from lifelong health issues, and an increase in my core strength. Creelman’s research has already contributed much to the field, but many other minds are needed to explore this uncharted territory. This approach could improve quality of life for potentially hundreds of thousands of people. Currently rife technology does not meet FDA standards for approval, due to the lack of objective evidence to support it. If one solely examined the limited research on rife machines, dismissing the potential of this technology is understandable. However, anyone who researches the sheer numbers and quality of testimonials about rife machines, it is hard for me to imagine coming to a conclusion other than that rife machines warrant further investigation. As one lay author put it who had interviewed countless people with late-stage Lyme, “By and large, what I found was that a Lyme sufferer had one out of two possible stories: Either, ‘I’m well because of the machines,’ or ‘I’m still suffering.’” Rife machines must be used at the patient’s own discretion, and much is still not understood about the machine. No corporation with enough funding to get FDA approval
of the machines has invested in the necessary research (FDA trials can cost $10 million or more). Western medicine is focused on drug research and production rather than alternative modalities. According to Marcia Angell, former Editor in Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, “The most startling fact about 2002 is that the combined profits for the ten drug companies in the Fortune 500 ($35.9 billion) were more than the profits for all the other 490 businesses put together ($33.7 billion).” This model is hardly sustainable as we move into the future. Rife technology, on the other hand, is hard to patent and profit from because the machines are easily built, easily shared, can be used repeatedly, and are versatile enough to potentially treat several diseases. A machine design can be patented, but electricity cannot, so it is impossible to create a monopoly and mark up the price 1,000 percent. I find it unlikely that it will find its way into mainstream medicine any time soon. The lack of FDA approval means medical doctors are not allowed to tell their patients abo ut rife machines as a treatment option—even though, of the 39 percent of Lyme Literate Medical Doctors (LLMDs) who know about rife technology, 77 percent think it is effective in treating Lyme. Furthermore, rife technology is viable, even lacking FDA approval. Any non-pharmaceutical supplement in the U.S., such as herbs, vitamins, and minerals, bears the label, “This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.” Millions of alternative health care participants understand the risks of any treatment not approved by the FDA, as well as the potential benefits of those treatments. I believe doctors and alternative practitioners should conduct serious research to build knowledge about this field, and make that research public, which would place more power in the hands of patients who were better able to make informed choices about their care. Perhaps the biggest hope presented by rife machines is this: if they are part of a revolution in effective treatment, then they might contribute to a medical culture that cannot be profit-driven, because it is based on affordable, resource-wise, shared solutions. ecotrendsource.com 63
green money nomic driver. Gallup, NM, was a muchtalked-about example. The Gallup Trails IMBA chapter became a source of unity in Gallup through the restoration or building of 26 miles of trails and the proposal of 250 miles of additional trails. Gallup is now on the map as one of the top mountain biking destinations in the country. Taos, NM, is another case study that shows how mountain bikers are creating positive change in their communities. IMBA representatives helped facilitate respectful dialogue between political groups and advocated for a bill that would expand the existing Columbine Hondo Wilderness Study Area, while
A Destination Different: Mountain Biking as an Economic Force Santa Fe, Taos, and Gallup expand communities through the sport of mountain biking Getting to the World Summit: Have bike, will travel.
By Valerie Blomberg | PHOTOS BY tim fowler
here is a growing international movement among many mountain bikers to take it up notch as a community with a mission: to conserve wild places and to create sustainable public access to those places. The International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) held its biennial 64 ecotrendsource.com
World Summit in Santa Fe, NM, this past October. Bob Ward, Manager of REI, says that Santa Fe was nominated to host the summit by an IMBA trail crew that came to build trails soon after the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society (the local IMBA chapter) was founded in 2010. Santa Fe became the location of choice when IMBA received
unrivaled support from the City and the local chapter, Ward says. The World Summit attracted not only mountain bikers, but people invested in adventure tourism as an economic strategy. Breakout sessions featured success stories from communities where mountain biking has become an eco-
rafting, biking. But it still is not wellknown for outdoor recreation. The people who live here know, but others don’t.” Mountain biking has the potential to help build stronger communities in Northern New Mexico because of the low impact it has on the environment and its accessibility to people of all ages. “The health benefits of mountain biking are huge. My experience is also spiritual, of oneness with nature,” says Ward. As a sport which is closely tied to the land, mountain biking encourages people to live environmentally aware and active lives. Trails connect people to their landscape, not just from point A to point B. “Mountain biking is work,” says Ward. “To have that play, you’ve got to work. I’ve seen it more in the mountain biking mentality than any other [sport]; [mountain bikers] give back so much to the trails.” Mountain biking tourism has the potential to be a sustainable economic alternative for communities all over Northern New Mexico. Local support for the World Summit indicates that a growing number of people in Santa Fe view outdoor recreation as a new “pillar” of tourism in Northern New Mexico. “I feel like I’m on vacation every day,” says Ward. “I’m an outdoor junkie. Everything I want to do is in my back yard.” The vision to promote Santa Fe as an outdoor recreation hub comes hand-in-hand with The IMBA represents in Santa Fe. efforts to improve bike routes
making a nearby nature area accessible to the public. The current boundary of the Columbine Hondo WSA was determined somewhat arbitrarily by section lines on a map. The new boundary, if the Columbine-Hondo Wilderness Act is passed, will be one of the first based not on section lines, which divide land into one-square-mile sections, but on the topography of the land and ease of public access. “The plan would be a big improvement on the status quo by a long shot,” says Tim Fowler, president of the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society. “Santa Fe has a wealth of possibility [for outdoor recreation],” says Fowler, “a ridiculous amount, [such as] skiing,
To Drive or Not To Drive Public Transportation in the City Different By Dawn Sperber
Group rides along some of Santa Fe’s most gorgeous trails were a staple activity of the Summit.
within the city. The Metropolitan Planning Office, through collaboration with local bicycle advocacy groups such as the Fat Tire Society, updated their Bicycle Master Plan in April 2012. Fowler says that one of the goals of the Santa Fe Fat Tire Society is to help build a trail system that is flexibly accessible—connecting urban paved areas with dirt trails and 66 ecotrendsource.com
creating access to the mountains— for experienced and inexperienced cyclists alike, as well as other sports enthusiasts or people who just want to take a walk in nature. According to Fowler, “Getting around Santa Fe, for an experienced cyclist, is not difficult. The more we make Santa Fe friendly to alternative forms of transportation, the more accessible it will be for everyone who comes here.”
Resources Santa Fe Fat Tire Society: santafefattiresociety.org Santa Fe Bicycle Master Plan: santafempo.org/bicycle-master-plan Gallup Trails: galluptrails2010.com International Mountain Biking Association: imba.com
anta Fe offers a variety of public transportation systems, including free and inexpensive shuttles, buses, trains, walking and biking paths, and shared lanes. Yet the majority of people in Santa Fe don’t use them. Some free shuttles run with only a single passenger aboard because many people don’t realize the shuttles even exist and are available for use. The city’s public transportation systems are ready for us, but until we see them as a gift, we can’t receive them. Making use of public transportation systems involves changing our habits, even in little ways to begin with, such as taking the bus for certain errands, or incorporating walking or biking into our days. However, by and large, public transportation is under-used or ignored. Most people are simply in the daily habit of driving, so that’s what they do. The New Mexico Environment Department estimates that motor vehicles account for about 17 percent of greenhouse gases produced in New Mexico. “People are too comfortable with their cars,” says Jim Nagle of North Central Regional Transit District. “There’s a general resistance to public transpor-
The New Mexico Railrunner makes commuting easy.
tation. But if you reduce so many trips per week or month or year, it benefits everyone.” As the sole passengers on an NCTRD shuttle from Santa Fe to Eldorado, John Whitbeck, member of the Transit Advisory Board, and I pass sunlit hills and busy traffic while listening to our driver Nicky’s classical music. “People in Santa Fe County voted to increase gross receipts tax for public transit, which brought in an additional $2 million, and yet we’re not even taking advantage of our investment,” says Whitbeck, speaking as a taxpayer. So even though Santa Feans gave the gift of public transportation to ourselves, we are still, as a whole, not receiving it. Among the reasons more people don’t
make use of the gift of public transportation, Whitbeck lists fear of the unknown, not acting in accordance with sustainable ideals, and the misconception that it is only a provision for lowincome individuals and families—while in reality, public transportation is a great way to participate in the broader community and be ecologically minded. The benefits and gifts of using public transit: • Being mindful in the use of resources to save money and reduce environmental damage. • Being aware of people who live or work nearby, and how our connections and conversations can make our lives richer. ecotrendsource.com 67
Being healthy and in balance. Obesity affects roughly one quarter of adults and nearly one fifth of youths ages 10 to 17 in New Mexico. Adding daily exercise of walking and biking, increases strength and makes you feel good, too. Being present. While using alterna-
tive transportation people can look around, notice how the seasons are progressing, and connect with the natural world. Reducing anxiety from being in traffic and navigating through busy streets to find parking. Saving money in fuel costs and cre-
ating a positive impact on your wallet. Fuel Savings Calculator: public transportation.org/tools/fuelsavings/Pages/default.aspx
publictransportation. org/tools/carbonsavings/Pages default.aspx
4 Great Public Transportation Options
Shuttle North Central Regional Transit District 866-206-0754 or ncrtd.org Fare: Free Serves: Santa Fe, Taos, Rio Arriba, Los Alamos Counties, Ohkay Owingeh, Pojoaque, Santa Clara, Tesuque, and San Ildelfonso Pueblos New Mexico Department of Transportation Park and Ride 505-424-1110 or dot.state.nm.us/content/nmdot/ en/ParkandRide.html Fare: $2-3 one-way; monthly passes available Serves: Santa Fe, Las Vegas, Espaola, Los Alamos, Moriarty, Albuquerque, Las Cruces, White Sands Missile Range, and NM 599
Santa Fe Trails 866-551-RIDE (7433) or santafenm.gov/index.aspx?NID=1244 Fare: $1/trip; $2 day pass; $20 monthly. Reduced or free rates for seniors, disabled and children Serves: Santa Fe City and County
Train Rail Runner 866-795-RAIL (7245) or nmrailrunner.com/schedule.asp Fares: $2 to $11. Reduced fares for seniors, students, and people with disabilities. Discounts for tickets purchased online. Serves: Santa Fe to Belen with stops at NM 599, Kewa Pueblo, Sandoval County, Sandia Pueblo, Albuquerque, Isleta Pueblo, and Los Lunas Connections: Ride airport shuttles, ABQ RIDE, and Santa Fe Trails free with valid Rail Runner pass
Bicycling/Walking Santa Fe Metropolitan Planning Organization 505-955-6625 or santafempo.org/documents /bikeways-map/ A network of multi-use paths, bike lanes, and
shared-lane bikeways throughout Santa Fe
Vision Equals Radical Innovation at a Resort in Taos By Lyn Bleiler
pon entering through El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa’s massive front doors, one immediately experiences a sense of calm and tranquility due in part to subtle but effective ecologically-minded design features. The front desk, nichos and arched doorways are trimmed with Sapelli mahogany, chosen for its sustainability properties, and walkways are constructed of gunnash— a recycled coal-fired plant ash that emits fewer greenhouse gases than concrete. Similar sustainable touches can be found throughout the resort, but it is thanks to The Living Machine System® and Biolariums that visitors enjoy a truly rare luxury—a year-round lush oasis smack dab in the middle of arid Northern New Mexico. The Living Machine System® is the brainchild of Tom Worrell, founder and chairman of Worrell Water Systems, who built El Monte Sagrado as a “working laboratory” to showcase an ecologically engineered environment. Worrell developed the mini-ecosystems using plants and microorganisms to rapidly process and reclaim wastewater. As a result, all black and greywater from guest rooms and common areas is recycled and used for landscape irrigation—a rich commodity in Taos’ dry climate. The system employs equalization and anoxic tanks to start the degradation of organic matter and converts the resulting oxygen into nitrogen gas, as well as, a covered aerobic reactor where these
gases are cleansed and converted into bacterial cell mass. Hydroponic reactors house a diverse ecology of micro and macroscopic organisms that transform this bacterial cell mass into carbon dioxide, while vertical flow wetlands are intermittently filled and drained thereby filtering and retaining the remaining biomass where it decomposes. Finally, any remaining microscopic organisms are rendered harmless by ultraviolet disinfection. All of this innovative water reclamation and energy resourcefulness takes
place incognito. Two greenhouse-like “biolariums” (a word coined by Worrell) provide protection for plants and microbial organisms used in the process while providing guests with seamless natural experience. El Monte Sagrado’s Aqua Center, with its saltwater plunge pool, wading pool, and hot tub, is contained in a biolarium featuring wooden walkways leading through a rain forestlike grove complete with a waterfall and exotic plants from Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brazil. Meanwhile, foliage and water features provide a tranquil atmosphere at El Monte’s Living Spa while camouflaging key water reclamation systems. The fish ponds and waterfalls found throughout the outdoor landscape are pivotal to the overall process as well. In 2006, Tom Worrell moved on to pursue other water treatment opportunities and continues building and staying within his ideals of creating greener environments for people to enjoy and share. Worrell says, “Being responsible towards the world around you doesn't mean you have to give up the better things in life. At a recent project in Florida, I took an abandoned building and parking lot and created an urban oasis, a place where humans and animals can truly thrive. That's what responsibility is—making sure every venture improves upon your surroundings, rather than taking away from them.” ecotrendsource.com 69
Intentional Communities: An adaptive paradigm
By Carole Langrall Photos by Kerry Sherck
argaret Mead was onto something when she said, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” She was referring to “intentional communities” when she said this, a term that is on the verge of rock-stardom as many explore a new way to revisit a historical way of living together. Intentional communities may seem like a modern concept, but they have been around for thousands of years. There are many names for them such as tribes, communes, co-housing, collectives, kibbutzim, ecovillages, co-ops, alternative communities, even squatter houses. Each of these are communities created by a group of people with an interest in living together together, some to abate their loneliness, others to share the family experience in a supportive, nurturing environment. Today’s intentional community has evolved to reflect the mission and needs of its residents, but the ultimate goal stays constant: to come together as a group, find a suitable piece of land, pull everyone’s resources together, build homes, and coexist in a peaceful, community environment. If it sounds like something out of Sir Thomas More’s novel, Utopia, it should. All of these communities started with a vision of ideal living.
Before you consider making the leap, it’s important to figure out what type of community best represents the needs of you and your family. Most intentional communities are sustainable in some aspect, be it human, social, economic, or environmental. Within the last decade, their popularity has soared for those looking to buy or rent “in community” that is now capable of combining all four elements, making the living experience very well-rounded. Santa Fe is home to several intentional communities, each one providing a
unique living experience to likeminded residents. Some are family-oriented, where others are focused on retiring seniors entering the next chapter of their lives. Some are green, some are not so green, some are reasonablypriced while others are expensive, but each shares the same lexicon: they are communities that exist to coexist. The Commons on the Alameda is one of Santa Fe’s more successful communities. Established in 1998, with 28 units on 4.5 acres of land, the property has a rural feel to it, but is technically within
Lynn Gary, an original Tres Placitas resident, fills a newly built fountain in one of the common areas. ecotrendsource.com 71
munity which means that in all aspects of its design and development, we have sought to engender a spirit of conviviality and neighborliness.” Houses are closely spaced around four separate courtyards with a community garden loaded with fruit trees and well-established vegetable plants. Longtime resident, Sunara Rathbun and her partner, Alec Walling, say living in a place where their children can play outside and where there is typically another parent or neighbor around is a great feeling. “The community is very family-friendly,” they add. Like most intentional communities, the Commons has by-laws. Each household must donate eight hours monthly to working on behalf of the community, or six hours if they rent. There is a homeowner’s board where residents Susan Pratt, an eight-year resident of Tres Placitas co-housing community, picks cosmos from the shared garden. are appointed to committees such as child care, executive, the city limits. About 30 percent of the grounds, and conflict resolution. There original residents still reside there, and is even a “vibes watcher” to make if you ask them what they like about sure everyone is okay after heated topthe Commons, they’ll go on and on in ics arise. According to Ken Hughes, the very best of ways. Simply put, the who has lived there since its inception, neighbors don’t always see eye to residents at the Commons are happy. The mission statement on their eye. But at the recent annual commuwebsite says it well: “The Commons nity feast, Hughes said, “The gratitude on the Alameda is a cohousing com- around the table was palpable. People 72 ecotrendsource.com
forgive and move on. “ In terms of environmental friendliness, the Commons was developed before many sustainable building practices were popular. Many residents have added solar panels and other energysaving features. Yet, when watching a group of children playing next to an overgrown butterfly bush, one can’t help but sense the Commons is more about extended family and community and less about making sure everything is perfectly green. Where the Commons could be the poster child for human sustainability, another intentional community just down the street, Tres Placitas del Rio, could do the same for agricultural sustainability. Tres Placitas is a development with 11 homes, and has many similarities to the Commons; it’s just as
RESOURCES The Fellowship for Intentional Community ic.org The Commons on the Alameda santafecohousing.org Tres Placitas del Rio tresplacitas.blogspot.com Rainbow Vision Santa Fe rainbowvisionsantafe.com
family-friendly, sits next to the Santa Fe River, and gives you a faraway feel while still being part of the city. And their community garden is worthy of an award. With vegetables, fruits, herbs, and even goats and chickens, the garden provides enough milk, eggs, and produce for each household which belongs to those respective coops, reducing dependence on grocers and transportation. Built by former residents Moria and Steve Peters, the garden has taken on a life of its own. When the Peterses left, the goat co-op continued. Some residents continue to tend to the chickens and the garden; however, not everybody is capable or has the time to help out. This is not an uncommon predicament in today’s intentional communities, according to Moria: “People are working harder and harder just to make ends meet and are tired at the end of the day, making it difficult to collaborate on projects.” Which brings up the issue of what happens in an intentional community when people can’t or won’t do their share of work, either due to fatigue, illness, or age? According to Tres Placitas’ homeowner association president, Chris Jonas, “in theory any intentional community should be capable of providing support to all of its residents, young, old, healthy, or sick. But,” he adds, “while Tres Placitas is perfect for raising families, the next step after they grow up and leave remains to be seen.”
With an aging population on the rise, questions like Where do we go from here? are on many empty-nesters’ minds. There has been an increase in intentional communities geared to the 50-and-above crowd, while a decade ago, studies showed that most people over 40 preferred to age in their existing enviMarcia Meckler, a newer Tres Placitas resident, feeds leftovers and scraps of ronment. But many food to some of the Sable Saanen goats. people who desire companionship have begun to rethink It’s a very social atmosphere. There this, often often after the loss of a loved is a maturity that focuses not on age, one. Add an uncertain economy and loss but on life and activity.” With Town of transportation and the choice becomes Hall-style meetings, people can address issues and find out ways to get involved clearer. An adult community on the outskirts with the community. Adds Crauss, of town, Rainbow Vision Santa Fe, “Even those in assisted living feel a part offers independent, transitional, and of the rest. Socialization is encouraged assisted living for purchase or for rent. on all levels.” While no intentional community is Recently reorganized and under new management, Rainbow Vision Santa perfect, it’s nice to have friends next Fe, originally established as an LGBT door. Time will tell what these will community, has now opened its doors offer us after the kids are grown, but to all people 50 or older, regardless of as with anything in life, both residents and communities are learning sexual orientation. Internal operations/events director to adapt. As Jonas says, “Intentional Linda Crauss considers it a social- communities can provide beautiful and ly sustainable community. She says, excruciating opportunities to live. And “Owners and tenants continue to be while intimacy is no utopia, the world incredibly supportive of one another. would be empty without intimacy.” ecotrendsource.com 73
green living For Your Face Step One: Cleanse with almond or coconut oil; oil cleansing is both gentle and nourishing. Step Two: Exfoliate with a yogurt mask— the naturally occurring lactic acid removes dead skin cells. Step Three: Moisturize with an aloe gel as the water base. Step Four: Moisturize with the oil of your choice to seal in the water base Combine steps one and two by making a coconut oil cleanser with a granular (and organic) sugar to both cleanse and exfoliate. If you’re attached to
Skin Care, Naturally A guide to healthy, glowing, and vibrant skin in the high desert
oday’s movie westerns, with their emphasis on gritty reality, give us a good idea of what living in the Old West must have done to people’s skins. Actors appear wrinkled and weathered, victims of the harsh sun and parched landscape. Upma Kaur of White Tara Aesthetics in Santa Fe, NM, a licensed esthetician for 14 years, notes that one of the biggest concerns for our skin is the wind: “Wind affects us, because of the dirt and debris it pushes in. It also wicks moisture away from the skin. Our skin has a natural moisture barrier, but the wind dries, dries, dries.” Then the adage is indeed true—and perhaps truer here in the high desert—that our number one skin care treatment is to “moisturize, moisturize, moisturize.” The Educated Skin Care Shopper Skin care has always been a big market; the modern big-business version has often been in the form of water or oil-based products with chemical additives, synthetic scents, and preservatives. 74 ecotrendsource.com
By Lyric Kali | Photos by Kerry Sherck
Tomas Enos of Milagro Herbs, who has over 22 years experience in the herbal field, states, “So much of skin care and natural beauty products for years has been cloaked in secrecy [to be first] in the quest to find the ingredients to stop the aging process and be beautiful forever. Many of the ingredients have remained in the realm of somewhat ‘secret formulas.’ So it is best to use a skin care product where it is clear what the ingredients are.” Enos continues, “Avoid any product that contains paraben preservatives, synthetic scents, or any other synthetic ingredients.” Kaur adds that consumers should “avoid drying chemicals such as SD Alcohol 40 (wood alcohol) and sodium laurel sulfate.” Great Skin from the Inside Out Kaur also notes that our diet plays a huge factor in the quality of our skin. “What you eat, what you drink matters. We forget that the skin grows from the inside out, so what is happening on your skin externally has a lot to do with what you fertilized it with internally.” One of the most important
dietary needs is water. Moisturize from the inside by drinking at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day. Francesca Forese-Lemus of Living Bliss Herbs has been a practicing herbalist for over 20 years. When she moved to New Mexico two years ago, she started her own line of skin care products because she wanted to care well for her own skin. The skin care litmus test, according to Forese-Lemus is, “If it is healthy to eat, you can put it on your skin.” Foods that are cooling, such as cucumber and yogurt, are beneficial— apply all foods with good sense. Kaur states, “Your skin is your largest detoxification organ, so acne, rosacea, or any inflamed condition is the skin trying to metabolize things out of the body. There are so many things that can cause inflammation, both emotional and physical. If a food creates inflammation or we have an emotional trigger—boom—you can have a breakout. Our body is an intricate machine and we have to look at the whole picture. Internally, aloe is great. Aloe works with the cell structure to hydrate by lubricating and delivering mois-
Rosehips are common raw materials for skin care potions.
ture to the skin. What you do externally is the same internally: you need oil and water inside and outside. Eat greens for amino acids and for cleansing and reduction of inflammation.” From the Kitchen Cupboard Simple, quality face and body skin care starts at home. Kaur recommends cleansing with an oil, followed by exfoliation, and adding moisture with a water-based moisturizer followed by an oil-based moisturizer which provides specific protection for drier climes.
Wild-sourced ingredients s are a staple at Milagro Herbs
sudsing up with soap, choose one that is chemical and additive free. Follow up with steps three and four. Choosing an Oil For Acnaic and Aging Skin: Coconut, jojoba, and almond oil reduce inflammation For Dry Skin: Shea butter and beeswax lock in moisture after cleansing and toning. Need more Vitamins? Try carrot seed oil or wheat germ oil, great sources of Vitamin E and Vitamin K. Enos notes that beautiful skin starts at home. He advises, “Exfoliate daily, or at least three times a week. The surface skin cells get dry and brittle; exfoliating stimulates new skin growth and promotes a youthful glow and appearance. Moisturize day and night and then see an esthetician at least twice a year for a deeper cleanse and to reveal and treat any damage or blemishes.” And finally, Forese-Lemus states, “Figure out what works for you.” Experiment in the kitchen, work with a local esthetician, or find local herbal and organic products to create your personal blend for gorgeous, movie screen worthy skin.
Resources White Tara Aesthetics: 815-355-7131 Herbs: milagroherbs.com Living Bliss Herbs: livingblissherbs.com ecotrendsource.com 75
By Kimber Lopez
Santa Fe is a front-runner in effective water conservation and drought management programs. We can take pride in knowing to shut off the water while brushing our teeth, not watering outdoor plants during the heat of the day, re-using water when applicable, decreasing our annual water diversions, and generally being water-conscious in our day-to-day activities. Although our water usage is far lower than the national average [see water conservation stats on the next page], growing population, climate change, periodic droughts, and economic considerations remind us that water is our most valuable resource to protect. Northern New Mexico municipalities continue to research, learn, educate, and create financial incentives to save water today so we have water tomorrow. Water Conservation Starts At Home Flush Less Water: Toilet flushing accounts for 27 percent of household water use. (American Water Works Association). Participate in the City Residential Toilet Rebate Program and receive a $175 rebate for purchasing a high-efficiency toilet (HET). HETs save 20 percent more water than a low-flow toilet. Wash Without Waste: The clothes washer is the second largest water user in most households. Participate in the City Clothes Washer Rebate Program and receive $150 or $350 rebate on your water bill for purchasing a tier 3 high-efficiency washer. Tier 3 models use less than 15 gallons per load while typical top-loading models use 40 gallons per load. Harvest The Rain: Participate in the City Rainwater Have Rebate Program and receive a $12, $15, or $50 rebate for the purchase of up to four rain barrels. Or install an underground water harvesting system and receive a rebate of $.25 per gallon of the cistern’s capacity. Monitor Plant Needs: Many residents have xeric landscapes and drought-tolerant plants but still water excessively. Cut back on watering, especially after the first freeze. Monitor your plants and water only as needed. Fix The Leaks: The typical home loses 2,000 to 20,000 gallons of water per year due to leaks. Check household appliances, fixtures, and water meters regularly to avoid water loss.
Thank You, Santa Fe It was a year for the record books.
The National Weather Service recently confirmed the 24 months between August 2010 and 2012 were the hottest and driest in New Mexico’s history. But you took the challenge and kept Santa Fe water use down. Average daily use per person was 107 gallons, way below the national average of 150 gallons and among the best in the West. The City of Santa Fe’s Water Utility’s total water production for 2011 was under 10,000 acre-feet. Your efforts will pay off, not just for the future — but for you, right now. Not only will you save money on your water bill but the City has rebates and incentives that reward you for rainwater harvesting systems and high-efficiency toilets and clothes washers. For information on the rebate program, water-saving tips, water-use rules, and all about water conservation in Santa Fe, visit www.santafenm.gov/waterconservation.
Save Water Santa Fe ns Le erv e Educate
Santa Fe Water Conservation Program santafenm.gov/waterconservation
green High Desert H2O living Santa Fe: Keeping our most vital resource in our hearts and minds
City of Santa Fe Water Conservation Office 505.955.4225 76 ecotrendsource.com
The Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce Doing Business Better The New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce is a network of businesses dedicated to building sustainable,prosperous local economies.
At the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce we believe in a triple bottom line that invests in people, protects our air, land and water, and creates long-term profit. We Think Local First, encouraging consumers to do business locally, because strong local businesses mean prosperous local economies. And we’re helping businesses and our communities realize the opportunities as we transition to a clean energy economy. New Mexico ranks high in solar, wind, and geother mal potential — the best in the west — creating more opportunities for jobs and investment in our local economies. The New Mexico Green Chamber of Commerce The Responsible Voice of Business in New Mexico We’re advocates for business, growing small enterprises and working for fair taxation and regulations. We help businesses save through greater efficiencies and cost reductions.
Contact Us: Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce P.O. Box 2796 Santa Fe, NM 87504 Phone: 505.428.9123 Email: email@example.com Visit us at www.nmgreenchamber.com
Join the Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce’s Network of Over 1,100 Businesses through the Santa Fe Chapter. Why? Because we’re the responsible voice of business in Santa Fe and New Mexico, working to help sell your products and services while supporting small businesses and healthy
Echoing the eroticism of the natural world, Laird Hovland casts mystery and promise with the element of earth. Gem Slice, bronze, 9 x 9 x 8 inches
Photo: Kate Russell
A Cultural Experience You Won’t Want to Miss
Architectural Elements Custom Furniture & Upholstery Fine Rugs and Textiles An AmAzing ColleCtion of imports from moroCCo And Around the World 717 Canyon road, santa fe • NM 87501 • 505-986-0340 10 am to 6 pm Daily • On-site Parking • santakilim.com
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111 N Saint Francis Drive, Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501 505.988.3170 DavidNaylorInteriors.com t h e
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A guide to sustainability and green living throughout Northern New Mexico