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Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute: Erosion Control and Land Health Workshop

October 8 @ 9:00 am - October 9 @ 1:00 pm

Permaculture and Erosion Control in New Mexico

Join us for 1.5 days of learning out on the land in beautiful Cuba, NM. We’ll do a land walk to observe the ecosystem and look for signs of erosion, learn about the history of Flowering Tree and their vision for land restoration (led by Roxanne Swentzell, Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute), a history of the land (Porter Swentzell, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center) and build erosion control structures while learning about their benefits for land and soil health (led by Aaron Kauffman, SW Urban Hydrology).

This workshop is also a part of the 2022 REGENERATE conference. You can register here or though the REGENERATE website.


If camping Friday night, please arrive between 5PM and 9PM
Saturday October 8
8:00 – 9:00AM Breakfast (atole) and coffee catered by Roxanne
9:00 – 9:30AM

Welcome and introduction to the land (Roxanne Swentzell, Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute and Leah Potter-Weight, Quivira Coalition)

Participant introductions 

9:30 – 12:00 Erosion Control: monitoring for erosion, building low-tech structures to reduce erosion and build soil health. This is a hands-on work party – however you are welcome to still join even if you can’t do the work. (Aaron Kauffman, SW Urban Hydrology)
12:00 – 1:00PM Lunch (elk stew with tortillas) catered by Roxanne!
1:00 – 2:30PM Continue erosion work (Aaron Kauffman)
2:30 – 3:45PM

History of Flowering Tree and Vision for the Land (Roxanne Swentzell)

30m Q&A

3:45 – 5:00PM History of the land (Porter Swentzell, Crow Canyon Archaeological Center)
5:00 – 5:30PM Break
5:30 – 6:30PM Dinner (hot dogs) catered by Roxanne!
6:30PM onward Relax and enjoy each others company!
Sunday October 9
8:00 – 9:00AM Breakfast (atole) and coffee catered by Roxanne
9:00 – 11:00AM Walk the land, observe the landscape, reflections and facilitated discussion (Roxanne Swentzell and Leah Potter-Weight)
11:00AM – 12:00PM Compost on the landscape (Eva Stricker, Quivira Coalition)
12:00 – 1:00PM Lunch (beans and tortillas) catered by Roxanne

Roxanne Swentzell grew up sculpting, making pottery, building with adobe, and gardening.  Born in 1962 in Taos NM, into a family of Santa Clara Pueblo Artists (Naranjos), Roxanne grew up with her two sisters in a creative environment.  As a young child, she wasn’t able to communicate due to a speech impediment, but her mother handed her some clay and Roxanne found a new language.  She sculpted human figurines depicting something going on in her life that she wanted others to know.  Meantime her parents were studying solar energy and as a family built themselves a solar adobe house in Santa Fe, NM.  They had a small garden plot and fruit tree along with turkeys and chickens.  Roxanne took it upon herself at an early age to be the caretaker of the gardens and animals.   She also took over (from her mother) making the dishes for the household.  Roxanne was able to attend the Institute of American Indian Arts while finishing her high school credits.

She then went on to study at the Portland Museum Art School in Oregon but after a year she returned home to be closer to her Native Culture and raise her two children.  She built a solar adobe house by hand for her and her children at Santa Clara Pueblo.  During this time, Roxanne was introduced to Permaculture and with the help of her husband (at that time) Joel Glanzberg, and a like-minded friend (Brett Bakker), they started the non-profit, Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute in 1989.  Roxanne’s home site was the place they would experiment with the practices of permaculture and teach.  Soon it became obvious that Roxanne’s ties to the Pueblo culture steered the Institute into cultural preservation and ways to become more self-sufficient.  She has written and had published, “Our Home” an experimental place in sustainable life-ways,  “Droppings” an occasional newsletter for the community,  “Extra-ordinary People”, (NM Magazine Artist Series), a number of “how-to” booklets, and her latest on the diet of her people, “The Pueblo Food Experience” Museum of NM Press.  Roxanne also created The Tower Gallery in Pojoaque, NM where she shows and sells her artwork.  These days, Roxanne homeschools her three oldest grandchildren, tends gardens and animals, makes sculptures, teaches building and gardening skills, and gives talks all around the country on her art, work in the tribe, and permaculture.  You can visit her website at:

Aaron Kauffman, originally from Santa Fe, New Mexico, has over twenty years of experience analyzing and implementing simple and pragmatic solutions to watershed degradation. Aaron has a broad background in land management including reforestation projects as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Dominican Republic, monitoring and evaluation of pre- and post-fire erosion rates in oak savanna and ponderosa pine environments, and stream restoration around the Southwest. Aaron has also developed and taught community workshops and courses, including a Watershed Management class as part of the Sustainable Technologies program at the Santa Fe Community College. More recently, he has dedicated himself to addressing urban watershed issues such as stormwater pollution, urban heat island effect, and channel degradation from flooding.

Aaron completed his undergraduate degree in Ecological Studies at Seattle University and received a Master of Science in Watershed Hydrology and Management from the University of Arizona. He founded Southwest Urban Hydrology LLC in 2012. Aside from waiting in anticipation for the next rainstorm, Aaron dabbles in oil pastels, enjoys backpacking, and takes recreational soccer much too seriously!


October 8 @ 9:00 am
October 9 @ 1:00 pm
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