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Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute: Erosion Control and Land Health Workshop

October 8, 2022 @ 9:00 am - October 9, 2022 @ 1:00 pm

Erosion Control, Land Health and Indigenous History 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, look for signs of degradation and land health, and learn the small and big things we can do to support the land. You’ll hear from:

  • Porter Swentzell from Santa Clara Pueblo (historian, professor, Tribal councilman)
  • Roxanne Swentzell from Santa Clara Pueblo  (president of Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute, artist)
  • Aaron Kauffman (founder of Southwest Urban Hydrology)
  • CJ Ames (Coalition to Enhance Working Lands Manager at the Quivira Coalition)

You will get to hear from each specific perspective on caring for the land. See their bios and the agenda below! Other topics include a history of the land, the Indigenous people of the land, and historical land stewardship/ uses; we’ll do work on the land building erosion control structures while learning about their benefits for land and soil health; and explore the role of compost in Southwest soils: its relationship to water, plant health, and the Healthy Soil Principles.

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

🏕 Camping is available on Friday and Saturday nights.

🛻 There is space to park below headquarters, and we will shuttle you into headquarters, which is the camping, kitchen and main workshop area. More information will be sent about this preceding the workshop.

🚶🏽‍♀️The workshop includes walking around rough terrain and shared work moving rocks for erosion control structures. You are NOT required to participate in these activities if you join us. The land is beautiful and you may prefer to relax near headquarters. Just know the terrain is rough surrounding headquarters and the outhouse. Please reach out with any further questions about accessibility of the space and activities. Thank you!

Please contact Leah Potter-Weight with any questions at


If camping Friday night, please arrive between 5PM and 9PM

Saturday October 8
8:00 – 9:00AM: Breakfast (atole) and coffee catered by Roxanne; Sign-in; Introductions
9:00 – 9:15AM: Welcome and introduction to the land (Roxanne Swentzell and Leah Potter-Weight, Quivira Coalition); Participant introductions
9:15 – 10:30AM: Indigenous History of the Land and Historical Land Stewardship (Porter Swentzell)
10:30AM – 12:00PM: 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)
12:00 – 1:00PM: Lunch (elk stew with tortillas) catered by Roxanne!
1:00 – 3:30PM: Continue erosion work (Aaron Kauffman)
3:30 – 5:00PM: History of Flowering Tree and Vision for the Land (Roxanne Swentzell); 30m Q&A
5:00 – 5:30PM: Break
5:30 – 6:30PM: Dinner (hot dogs) catered by Roxanne!
6:30PM onward: Relax and enjoy each other’s 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, Porter & Leah)
11:00AM – 12:00PM: Compost and soil health (CJ Ames, 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!

Porter Swentzell is an enrolled member of Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico. He grew up participating in the traditional life of his community and is passionate about Indigenous language, place-based education, traditional arts and cultural vitality. Porter lives in his community with his wife and three kids. He currently serves as Tribal Secretary for Santa Clara Pueblo, a Regent for Northern New Mexico College, and on several non-profit boards. Previously, Porter was an Associate Professor of Indigenous Liberal Studies at the Institute of American Indian Arts where he also served as a Department Chair and Associate Dean. He holds a PhD in Justice Studies from Arizona State University, an MA in Interdisciplinary Studies from Western New Mexico University, a BA in Integrated Studies from Northern New Mexico College, and recently finished his MBA from WNMU.

CJ Ames comes to Quivira after 8 years of vegetable farming and dairying in the Pacific Northwest. They’ve worked as an apprentice, started their own small farm, and managed the startup of a nonprofit community farm and its transition to no-till. From the beginning of their farm career, CJ has been involved in supporting the education of other beginning farmers while learning alongside them. Their favorite place to work is where soil ecology meets human systems. After years of farming in the rainforest, they’re very excited to learn and adapt to agriculture in New Mexico’s arid climate. Though farm chores are high up on their list of favorite things to do, they also love making pottery, hiking, backpacking, and skate skiing with their sweet pup Kora.


October 8, 2022 @ 9:00 am
October 9, 2022 @ 1:00 pm
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