Nate Downey, a treasure of our community and CEO of Santa Fe Based Lettuce Etc. joins the Santa Fe Area Home Builders Association Radio Hour to discuss cutting-edge innovation happening in the field of sustainable and REALLY yummy agriculture right here in Santa Fe.
It is fun to say, fun to do, and fun for our planet! Say it together, “AQUAPONICS!” We also dabble on subjects like: a Gary Hart alternate reality, the Thane of Montezuma, Robert Craig and his lasting legacy and influence on the us “youths”, plus – from the waters of the Nile to Santa Fe – it’s door delivery of healthy greens and smoked Tilapia!
About Lettuce Etc.
After studying controlled-environment agriculture (CEA) at the Santa Fe Community College (SFCC) under renowned aquaponics expert R. Charlie Shultz, Nate Downey, a local permaculture-landscape designer/contractor, started Lettuce Etc in 2018. As the author of the award winning-book Harvest the Rain and a monthly column about permaculture in the Santa Fe New Mexican, he’d thought he was taking the class to add a tool to his permaculture toolbox, but the classes changed his life.
With the hope of quickly finding the ideal parcel for an urban aquaponics farm, in December of 2020 Nate finally found one—a gradual south-facing slope within 12 miles of 50,000 homes. But city zoning can be rough on a farm. As per our code, commercial greenhouses need permission from their neighbors in almost every circumstance.
Seven months later permission was granted, and in autumn Nate hired Joe Pate, the founder of Regen Aquaculture and now the mastermind behind Lettuce Etc’s unique and regenerative aquaponics system. Joe moved here to design, build, and manage one of the most efficient and productive farms known to humanity and help make Lettuce Etc’s farm-to-home delivery model work in a community with a first-rate CEA program (at SFCC), where he now also teaches.
We applied for a building permit in October 2022. For the latest about our progress, please follow us on social media, click on our News page, or fill out the newsletter sing-up boxes below.