Our Team
Everything Gardens,
or has an effect on its environment.

Melissa McDonald

Melissa McDonald, owner of Santa Fe PermacultureMelissa is a licensed Landscape Architect. She is a member of the American Society of Landscape Architects, a certified permaculture designer, and certified master gardener. She has designed many residential and institutional landscapes since 1991. Melissa worked closely with the legislature and state officials to pass New Mexico’s greywater-recycling law and has worked on the development of educational materials about greywater for the public. For the last ten years, she also has served as the Vice Chair of the City of Santa Fe’s Water Conservation Committee. Melissa is a designer, an educator, and an advocate. She believes that when people have the tools to see their landscapes, their homes, their lives connected and interwoven into the global community, powerful designs — with more sustainable solutions — are developed. Melissa seeks to encourage, inspire, and learn from each of her projects.


Nate Downey

Nate Downey, owner of Santa Fe PermacultureA graduate of St. John’s College in Santa Fe, Nate started Santa Fe Permaculture in 1992. He began teaching design certification courses with the Permaculture Drylands Institute in 1995. Over the years he has taught many permaculture and water-oriented workshops through various institutions including UNM, the Santa Fe Community College, SEED Institute, and EcoVersity. Nate has been an active member of the International Erosion Control Association, Chairman of the Board of the Permaculture Credit Union and is currently a member of the board of Camino de Paz Montessori Farm School. He is a licensed irrigator and drainage control specialist. Nate's monthly column, “Permaculture in Practice” is published regularly in the Santa Fe New Mexican’s “Real Estate Guide.” His book, Harvest the Rain, will be published next year.


Charlene Reader

Charlene Reader, of Santa Fe PermacultureCharlene has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Nova Scotia College of Art and Design. Her many years in Canada encompassed living on two permaculture-oriented farms which included market gardening, raising goats, woolen sock manufacturing and a soap production company. Her small business administration and management skills contribute to the smooth operation of our company.


Kelly Gard

Kelly Gard, of Santa Fe PermacultureKelly joined SF Permaculture in 2011 after receiving his B.A. in Environmental Planning & Design from the University of New Mexico. A native New Mexican, he has always had an interest in sustainable agriculture, rural life, history, landscape design, and where those concentrations converge. After working in a variety of fields, ranging from landscape maintenance to drafting and machining, Kelly settled into the design field he had long looked for. To expand on his skills and knowledge in sustainable design, he is currently enrolled at The University of New Mexico’s Master of Landscape Architecture program and plans on becoming a licensed Landscape Architect. Kelly lives in Rio Rancho with his wife, and whenever he is not working or studying he is an avid cyclist, gardener, or tinkerer with whatever new project catches his imagination.