local food sources ...
Taking Challenges and Turning them into Opportunities.
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We are so fortunate to have a thriving local food community with support from many organizations and businesses. Looking for some fresh, nutritious, home grown food or drink? We have some suggestions for you......
Luckily, our grower markets are spread out all over the city and one will be near you ...maybe even close enough to bike or walk. Hours/days also vary so you may be able to shop at more than one a week or pick your favorite time. (Some start a little early for us and we miss out on the best specimens). Try designing your menus around what is "in season" and be rewarded with good health.
New Mexico Farmers Market provides lots of information.
Skarsgard Farms Now cultivating 40 acres in ABQ’s South Valley and able to feed 1,700 families weekly. "So I celebrate (and am thankful for) my family’s 100 years of work in the fields. I think that the old saying that “we stand on the shoulders of giants” has never rung more true for me than it does right now. With that, I feel that we cannot strive towards a bountiful future, without honoring the work of farmers in the past. And my family’s farm story serves as a reminder that, for me, the passion for the local food movement is not a newfangled thing, but truly was “Seeded in 1912.”
Rio Grande Community Farm - Los Poblanos Fields is 138 acres of historic farmland located in Albuquerque's North Valley. The farmland was purchased with the support of the taxpayers of the City of Albuquerque and the volunteer hours of many hard working citizens. Many of their food crops are distributed to local organizations that provide supplemental food services. They also market their crops at local Farmers Markets. The 1-acre Community Garden has individual plots so anyone can grow their own personal garden. They recently completed their new "irrigation box" that efficiently provides water to their garden....See their You-Tube video.
Erda Gardens and learning center is a nonprofit organization, located in the South Valley, dedicated to using the principles of bio-dynamics in a community supported farm. Bio-dynamics is an internationally recognized approach to organic agriculture in which farmers work with the spiritual dimension of the Earth’s environment, enabling ecological interconnections of plants and animals to function at their best. At Erda Gardens, the farmers and consumers support each other with CSAs (shares of the harvest).
Dragon Farm bills itself as the newest and coolest pesticide-free farm and is located at 3426 Blake Rd SW at the South Valley Academy (one block EAST of Coors). Beginning in June, you can buy produce at the farm from 4-6pm every Friday. You can also find their "cool" produce at Robinson Park and Nob Hill Growers Markets.
Beneficial Farms CSA provides affordable weekly shares of healthy and hearty, regionally-grown food to members for the entire year. We are a collaborative CSA with over 40 farms in New Mexico and beyond.
We have several local businesses and organizations that are supporting our growers and we need to support their efforts.
La Montañita Coop is currently selling about 20% local produce and would be interested in selling more. La Montañita Coop has two stores in Albuquerque and has a excellent selection of organic produce and products. Whole Foods Market also has a goal of providing more local produce.
The New Mexico Wine Festival at Bernalillo, the biggest and oldest NM wine festival, is held annually on Labor Day Weekend. It features live entertainment, food, high quality arts & crafts and 20 or more New Mexico wineries. This year the Rail Runner provided a convenient way of traveling to the festival. We have so many wonderful local wineries that a tour with relatives could be the best way to see the Land of Enchantment. If beer is more your style, try one of our state microbreweries.
There are several terrific restaurants that buy directly from local farmers and incorporate "in season" fresh tastes in their menus, including: Seasons (Old Town), Slate Street Cafe , Gold Street Cafe, Zinc Bistro (Downtown), Artichoke Cafe and Scalo Northern Italian Grill (Nob Hill). "Scalo has set up a program where even the compost stays local. His cooks toss every scrap of vegetable trimmings they can into special bins that go right back to the organic farmers he buys his produce from. The farmers then compost the restaurant’s waste, creating a real–world parallel to the concept of recycling local economy dollars. And the community at large reaps another benefit: '[W]e’ve managed to cut in half our solid waste taken by the city,' said Wells."
While not a restaurante, Joe S. Sausage on the corner of Rio Grande/Griegos has exquisite sausages and ravioli made from many local ingredients and therefore in-store selections vary seasonally. And of course my favorite bread(s) from our very own local FANO BREAD CO (available at most local stores). If you are not listed and have locally grown or processed foods, be sure to visit and submit a listing....it's free! It would be great to have a comprehensive list to know what to ask for when we are at our favorite store or restaurant.
Thinking about a unique New Mexico food product? The South Valley Economic Development Center is a 17,000SF facility that incorporates a small business "incubator" and commercial kitchen. South Valley residents are now able to obtain the center's help in starting or expanding their businesses.
ways to make a difference ...
1) Buy local produce as often as possible; ask your favorite restaurants and stores if they have any local produce on the menu or on the shelves.
2) Join a community garden or grow your own garden in your backyard, share with neighbors and encourage others to do so as well. Form a Sustainability Committee at your neighborhood association to promote gardening and sharing.
3) Mulch leaves, table scaps and green wastes to make a rich compost that will enhance your soil.
PLEASE be a part of the solution. mysuggestions@sustainableabq
Resources (click on tabs for more info)
MRCOG Agribusiness Task Force ...
The MRCOG Agribusiness Task Force was formed several years ago to increase awareness of agriculture as a business in the mid-valley and to act as a forum for producers and consumers. The Agribusiness Task Force that wants to help promote the “buy local” trend in the middle valley. If you are an area grower and are interested in rising to the challenge that new markets have to offer, then MRCOG wants to hear from you.
NMOCC Organic Certification ...
Want to begin or renew organic certification of your farm, ranch, or value-added product? The NM Organic Commodity Commission will provide information on how to get certified. Joan Quinn, marketing and education coordinator, said the number of certified organic producers in New Mexico grew three-fold over the past 10 years.
“A decade ago we had only about 50 certified growers in the state,” Quinn said. “Now we have about 150. The applications just keep rolling in.”
To be certified, growers must demonstrate that they grow crops using only natural methods without synthetic pesticides or fertilizers. Organic operations must be inspected and approved by a U.S. Department of Agriculture-accredited agency, such as the NMOCC, Quinn said.
Organic Farming Compliance Handbook - This manual includes materials for use by agricultural professionals interested in what methods, materials, and practices are compatible and consistent with organic standards. Materials were assembled from the most current national, regional, and local sources.
Bernalillo County Extension Service ...
Bernalillo County Extension Service dedicated to bringing agricultural information to Bernalillo County farmers, ranchers and related industries. They will show you how to test your soil and how to interpret a soil test, determine the different types of soils. determine the nutritional (fertilization) requirements of different crops, determine irrigation needs, provide pest management information and pesticide safety, and then how to prepare produce to sell and market.
Sandoval County Extension Service ...
Call Rudy Benevidez at 505-867-2582 or firstname.lastname@example.org Rudy Benvidez is an enthusiast about sustainable agriculture in New Mexico.
Permablitzing the suburbs - A permablitz is basically a permaculture-inspired backyard makeover where people come together to share knowledge and skills about organic food production in urban gardens while building community and having fun.
Sustainable Agriculture - Whether you're a beginning farmer, or an experienced agricultural producer interested in transitioning to more sustainable practices, you may want to start by learning more about the principles of sustainable agriculture and some of the "systems" approaches associated with it.