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Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center
Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center
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PO Box 773, Cerillos, New Mexico, US
505 780-0535
Climate zone:
Semi Arid

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Sustainable Living Residencies

Project: Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center

Posted by Amanda Bramble about 9 years ago

Live off the grid in a passive solar tiny home for a month or more in this beautiful high desert permaculture demonstration site. Learn to live with the rhythms of the earth. Cook in solar ovens and live off rain catchment. We offer the training you need

Ampersand's Sustainable Living Residencies are month-long experiences.IMG_5649

This Strawbale Cottage is the first structure that we built at Ampersand, and we lived in it for four and a half years. Our favorite elements are the earthen walls, the layered wood slab ceiling that reminds us of a beaver dam, and the special sunrise window. This structure was lovingly crafted out of earth from this site, salvaged materials, and straw grown and baled in Colorado. Living in this house informed our sustainability journey, and gave us a sense of abundance that comes with simple elegant design. The many people who have lived in it since have also fallen in love with the space.

We have designed our sustainable systems to make it easy to live consciously with our resources. Our site is a living system in itself; plants growing, water flowing, people working, the sun heating everything we need it to. We find it a great privilege to live within this beautiful land with it’s rich history of ancestral puebloan use. Usually people find renewal in how the essentials of life here feel so abundant. We find that it’s easy to live on 5 gallons of rainwater a day. We smile with every solar cooked meal. The Sustainable Living Residency is an opportunity to live this low impact life and have a great time doing it. This is a place to grow one’s intimacy with the earth and the rain and the sun. This is a place that can give you a life that revolves around the rhythms of the environment. And there’s electricity and wireless internet so that you may carry on the life that you came from.

There is a lot to gain from a taste of this lifestyle, and it requires certain attention from the residents. For example, you will learn to only turn on lights that you are using, and to monitor the level of power in the photovoltaic system while you use your laptop on a long winter night. This place asks of you to pay attention to what you pour down the drain. Salts, solids, and products with sodium are limited in order to keep the plants in the greywater system healthy. In the winter you will notice that it takes a few hours of direct sun for the water to heat up. You will learn that opening and closing the insulated curtains is essential to keeping your space at a comfortable temperature, and you will be impressed with the comfort. If you want to know what it means to live off-the-grid in a conscious way, this is a great opportunity.

At the beginning of the residency we will give you a tour of the site, and show you how all the systems work. We will be available to answer your questions and provide training on using the solar cookers. We will want to hear about your goals for your time at Ampersand and give you the privacy you need. We want to support you in your journey towards sustainability and resilience in your own life, and will be around to discuss options and avenues. We can also discuss volunteer projects for your time with us. There are always ways to contribute to this place with one’s loving care.

The sustainable living residencies are month long experiences. You may choose to stay for more than one month.

$400 per month

contact us at [email protected] or 505 780-0535

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