Archive for January, 2012

If I Had $16 Million, Here’s How I Would Spend It in New Mexico to Help Change the World


Charles Bensinger


Incredibly, on Dec. 3, 2011 nearly 200 people braved treacherously icy roads and blizzard conditions to view a provocative new documentary entitled Thrive. What was it about this video that motivated so many men and women to drive from Santa Fe on a cold, stormy night to Eldorado’s La Tienda Performance Space? Perhaps it was the question that the producer asks as the documentary opens: “If humans are such a creative, ingenious species, why are millions of people relegated to desperate lives of unrelenting suffering and hardship?”


The documentary proceeds to explain how our financial, economic and political systems have More >

Faren Dancer’s… Unicopia Green

  Welcome to the Mythical Year… 2012


With all the massive hype aside, the buildup to this particular New Year, with all the uncertainty, loss of faith in our locked-down political system, economic woes, and the sobering, unedited news on the state of our climate, persons could get caught up in these proposed, “end of times.” From the infamous ramblings of the Mayan Calendar to the pessimistic premonitions of Nostradamus, the landscape has been riddled with dire perspectives that heighten the already unsettling sensations of change. It is often change itself that causes many to dip into a feeling of insecurity, and More >

Tres Hermanas: Educating Women to Unite Communities


Andrez Juarez

Tres Hermanas Co-op was started as a response to the state of our community of Chimayo, New Mexico. For too long Chimayo has been at the top of every bad list and the bottom of every good list. My family saw our community being ravaged by drugs and domestic violence. Politically, the people have never really had a leader that spoke for them or listened to their concerns. Economically, Chimayo has never had any industry to help lift it out of poverty. It is for this reason that, in 2011 several women got together and formed Tres Hermanas Co-op.

Our More >

Joining the Global Economy Using Ancient Systems

The Cooperative Development Center of New Mexico


Seth Roffman

In early spring, members of the High Peaks Deep Roots Agricultural Cooperative in Truchas, New Mexico, will gather to plant organic vegetables as a team for the second season in a row.

Incorporated last year as a farmer’s cooperative, High Peaks Deep Roots consists of seven farmers and their families who hope to revitalize their community and help themselves economically. In its first year, the co-op was able to find and develop a farm site, create and implement a farm plan and join four farmers’ markets in northern New Mexico. They also were able More >

The New Mexico Acequia Association’s Annual Congreso de las Acequias


Quita Ortiz

Every fall, the New Mexico Acequia Association, holds its annual meeting, the Congreso de las Acequias. In 2011 it took place in November at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center. Approximately 150 dedicated acequieros from throughout the state gathered to share stories about history, community and ongoing struggles. In past years the Congreso focused on the movement’s work to defend and protect water and to strengthen local agriculture. In 2010 the Congreso celebrated 20 years of uniting acequia communities and defending acequia water rights. These issues remain relevant to NMAA and will continue to be a core part of the organization’s efforts; More >

Freedom to Farm: Supporters March to Protest Genetic Engineering of New Mexico’s Chile


Isaura Andaluz


The chilly weather on Dec. 3rd was overcome by the energy of people marching along the streets of Albuquerque. Bundled up and sporting signs, they marched to call attention to the need to protect NM’s heritage chile from genetic engineering. The event was organized by Occupy Albuquerque, Save NM Seeds and others opposed to what they see as an international conglomerate’s efforts to own and control our world’s food supply. The march started at the downtown Alvarado Transportation Center, traveled down Central, around Civic Plaza, and ended at Roosevelt Park. The marchers were cheered on by a stream of cars, More >

New Mexico Traditional Chile Summit

January 7 – Oñate Center, Alcalde, NM


Clarissa Duran


Northern New Mexico is known for its fresh green chile, red chile ristras and chile powder. Chile is not only a staple in most homes; it is a vital part of New Mexican life. Chile is served in Pueblo homes during public feast days. It is served during the Holy Week observed by most of the communities surrounding Española.


GMO chile threatens the future existence of Traditional Chile. Many of us know the story of Monsanto vs. farmer Percy Schmeiser. GMO chile promises that there may be many similar cases to come. But more More >

Seed Saving to Ensure Local Food Security


L. Acuña Sandoval


Seed saving became even more important to me recently as a farmer when I came close to losing a particular corn variety in my seed stock. ‘Hopi Pink’ is an excellent flour corn that is extremely rare. I haf collected it at a seed exchange a few years back. I grew this variety only in an isolated part of my field in 2010 along with rare winter squash (‘Lakota’) and sunflowers (‘Tarahumara’). I harvested three bushels after sowing about a quarter pound of seed, then just put it aside and forgot about it. I started looking for the More >

del are llano / From the Arid Land

La Milpa: A Sustainable Model


Juan Estévan Arellano


When looking for a model of sustainability, I prefer too look at what is around us that has worked. Then I try to understand it and see if it can be improved. It’s kind of like fixing an old automobile instead of simply doing what may appear to be the easy alternative – buying a new one.

Every New Mexican I am sure has heard the word “milpa” if they have ever visited a Native American or Indo-Hispano farm in northern New Mexico. Growing up in the Embudo Valley, when I heard the word “milpa,” it immediately More >



Sasha LaPointe and Bonita Rickers


Piles of shredded paper and Christmas lights line the isle of the auditorium, leading up to the stage’s elaborate installation of discarded paper lanterns, crumpled newspaper piles and paper flowers. Behind the neatly arranged trash decor, aglow with coiled strands of tiny lights, is the post-apocalyptic wasteland of “The Road Warrior,” projecting a glowing scene of flaming cars, feathers and face paint. Outside the sound of newspaper skirts crinkling over the rustle of trash bags can be heard as the models line up at the door. David Bowie’s “Rebel, Rebel” comes over the sound system and More >

Pueblo Youth Leading Sustainability Efforts Invited to the White House


Anthony Fleg

Service work often rewards with intangible benefits, such as meeting great people, and satisfaction in knowing that you are working for a better world. However, Emmet Yepa, a Walatowa (Jemez) Pueblo youth leader, received a very tangible reward for his service recently when he was invited to meet President Obama at the White House.

Emmet was one of eleven American Indian youth nationwide to be selected by the White House as a “Champion of Change.” Emmet was honored for his leadership work to create a recycling program in his Pueblo. New Mexico was also represented by Tiffany Calabaza from Kewa More >

Emmy Award-Winning TV Host Partners with Habitat for Humanity


TV personality and home renovation expert Steve Thomas helped promote Habitat for Humanity’s “ReStore” resale outlets with a personal appearance in Santa Fe last month. Habitat’s ReStores, such as the ones in Santa Fe and Albuquerque, allow perfectly good items that are removed from houses under renovation to find uses in other construction projects, rather than being dumped into landfills. “By leveraging all the home improvement items available in these stores, people are saving money and are also building in a way that is environmentally friendly,” Thomas said.


“Habitat has got a worldwide model for sustainable housing development that addresses the More >

A Response to the PRC’s Decision on PNM’s Renewable Energy Plan


Allan Oliver

The New Mexico Public Regulation Commission has issued a decision on PNM’s renewable energy plan that will have a significant impact on renewable energy (RE) in NM. The NM Green Chamber of Commerce (NMGCC) was disappointed with the PRC’s overall decision, which we believe is a step backward for solar energy and job creation. During this recession, the RE industry is one of the few sectors that has grown in NM, creating new, higher paying jobs, expanding payrolls and bringing new revenue to the state.


Among other things, the PRC’s decision will:


1. Extend for six months but reduce production-based incentives More >


Grants Available for NM Centennial Gardens

The New Mexico Centennial has issued a call for proposals for the Centennial Gardens Program. Grants will be available to support school and community garden projects in 2012 at levels of $2,500, $5,000 and $10,000. Applicants must be a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization or nonprofit K-12 school that is developing or currently maintaining a garden project that will help communities engage with fresh fruits and vegetables. Garden projects may be at any stage of development: planning, construction or operation. Priority will be given to both limited-resource communities and to projects that demonstrate strong collaborations and More >

Surfing the Crowd Funding Wave: Is it Right for Your Effort?


Drew Tulchin Seeking new sources of capital in this down economy? There is an avenue that may offer an additional option for your business, initiative or non-profit cause. Crowd funding is an online sales platform used to raise money from numerous people in small amounts. Business, individuals or nonprofit organizations can establish a campaign with their story and a target amount for funds raised.

The aggregate or total of ‘the crowd’ giving or investing small amounts can add up to a meaningful total. Amounts are small, as low as $10, and many of these sites work with donations. DONATIONS? For a More >



Susan Guyette


If your thoughts are turning toward how to feed a planet adequately on less food—or even how to feed yourself and your family on a shrinking budget—increasing intake of whole grains, seeds and legumes is likely the answer. Maintaining good health is the bonus.

There are many ethical reasons for eating more grains. If all the grain currently fed to livestock in the United States were consumed directly by people, the number of people who could be fed would be nearly 800 million (national population is currently nearly 300 million). The seven billion livestock animals in the U.S. consume five More >

What’s Going On? January 2012-Albuquerque



Jan. 4, 11:30 am-1 pm

USGBC-NM Luncheon

MCM Elegante Hotel, 2020 Menaul

Effective Messaging in Today’s Green Market” Building and selling green in tough economic times. Balancing your messages’ economic gain and ecological benefits. Presentation by Carolyn Parrs of Mind Over Markets. $25 members, $30 non-members, $18 Emerging Green Builders. 505.227.0474,


Jan. 13, 8 am-5 pm; Jan. 18, 25, Feb. 1, 8, 5-8 pm

LEED Green Associate Exam Prep Class

MCA Conference Room, 4901 Chappell

20 hours of coursework and study sessions that satisfy eligibility requirements to sit for the GA exam. Presented by Associated General Contractors. $625 for AGC and MCA members, $825 non-members. Workforce More >

What’s Going On? January 2012-Santa Fe, Española and Here & There



Jan. 4-Feb. 8, 12:30-1:45 pm

Alexander Technique Class

Genoveva Chavez Center, 3221 Rodeo Rd.

The Alexander Technique is a natural method of movement re-education. Marta Curbelo

teaches the ability to improve physical postural habits. Series cost: $30. Pre-registration at the Chavez Center required. 505.955.4009,


Jan. 4, 6 pm

Forks Over Knives Screening

Natural Grocers, 3328 Cerrillos Rd.

Documentary examines the possibility of controlling and even reversing degenerative diseases by making healthy plant-based food choices. Discussion and snacks will follow.


Jan. 7, 1 pm

Thrive” Screening

Performance Exchange, Eldorado

See page 5 in this issue of GFT. Free screening.


Jan. 14, 9 am-4 pm

Unicopia Alliance Conference

Community leaders; city, county and More >