Molly Mendenhall aims for healthy soil and crop diversity
By Tina Deines
In her first year as a grower, Molly Mendenhall convinced 10 friends to support her budding occupation by signing up for her newly formed Community Supported Agriculture cooperative. And then “it just kind of spiraled,” she says. “I didn’t think it would become a career.”
Farm incubator in the South Valley accepting newbies
By Robin Babb
Grow the Growers is a farm training and business incubator program unique in that it doesn’t rely on any federal funding, and it offers land and water at very reasonable rates to the interns who complete the first year of the program.
Farmer’s Daughters and Chef Gilbert Aragon create unique dinner series
By Robin Babb
Despite the growing farm-to-table movement in recent decades, most farmers are still facing an uphill battle to be profitable due to rising land costs, increased development and climate change. Ashley and Chantelle Wagner created their company Farmer’s Daughters to get more local produce served in New Mexico restaurants, breweries and food trucks.
New South Valley farm grows veggies and young farmers
By Robin Babb
If you shop at the Downtown Growers’ Market during the season, you’ve probably seen Casey Holland selling huge bunches of kale and carrots with a smile on her face. Now she’s the new head farmer at Chispas Farm.
Experts provide experience and information to transform backyards into a thriving oasis of food, medicine and wildlife habitats. Learn to identify, the medicinal uses of and how to cook weeds of the west.
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On Saturday, February 13 at 1:30pm the public is invited to a free program, "Food, Farms, Friends," explaining the new partnership between three valued community organizations—NM Land Conservancy, the ARCA and Casa San Ysidro—designed to promote sustainable local agriculture.
This year, ARCA will commence farming the nearly two acre Heritage Field at Casa San Ysidro, fulfilling the Museum's intent to preserve New Mexican heritage by allowing the Museum to keep the Heritage Field agriculturally productive and expand Casa San Ysidro's educational programming and community involvement to include local agriculture.
The program is co-hosted by the Corrales Historical Society and will be held in the Old Church located across the street from Casa San Ysidro: The Gutierrez/Minge House (973 Old Church, Corrales) From 1pm-4pm. Free open house tours and blacksmithing demonstrations at the historic Casa San Ysidro. The public is invited to learn more about these three organizations and explore the history of agriculture in the Rio Abajo area of New Mexico.
We've all heard the gloomy scenarios of global warming: extreme weather, drought, famine, breakdown of society, destruction of civilization. Here in New Mexico it feels like we’ve made the switch from esoteric to actual, from computer model to daily life. My perch in Placitas feels like a front-row seat to the apocalypse. Smoke is in the air. Neighbors are fighting over water. Some of my outdoor flower pots have melted in the heat. Wild animals are getting thirsty, hungry and bold. It turns out, this might just be the new normal for the American Southwest.
Southwest farms bite the dust as “megadrought” becomes the new normal
By Ari LeVaux
In a dirt parking lot near Many Farms, Ariz., a Navajo farmer sold me a mutton burrito. He hasn't used his tractor in two years, he told me, and he’s cooking instead of farming because "there isn't any water." He pointed east at the Chuska mountain range, which straddles the New Mexico border. In a normal year, water coming off the mountains reaches his fields, he said.
Alibi reporter Carolyn Carlson drove out to Gallup at the end of December to speak with claimants for a $760 million settlement. The payout is the result of a class action lawsuit—Keepseagle v. Vilsack— brought by Native American farmers who were denied USDA loans by a prejudiced Department of Agriculture.
The court battle was 13 years long.
After it was over, lawyers went to different parts of the country to find people who qualified for part of the settlement. About 300 people from New Mexico filed claims.
This isn’t the first time the Agriculture Department’s been in hot water for discrimination:
• In October 2011, African-American farmers settled their case against the Agriculture Department for $1.2 billion.
• In March 2011, women and Hispanic farmers settled their lawsuit for $1.3 billion.