Like many states, New Mexico imports most of its food. But the local food movement is thriving, with increased activity among consumers and entrepreneurs. Proponents say, the closer the food operations, the lower the fuel costs and CO2 emissions and the greater the benefit to the local economy and to food security.
These days, it is not unusual for patrons to expect menus to feature at least some dishes made with locally sourced products. People increasingly want to know where their food comes from and how it was grown. Many restaurants, particularly independents, now source locally, both as a marketing angle and as a way to support regional businesses. Some, like Farm & Table, located in Albuquerque’s North Valley, Los Poblanos Historic Inn & Organic Farm, Nob Hill’s Yanni’s and the salad bistro Vinaigrette each operate their own urban farm. Even national grocers such as Whole Foods now offer local produce and products.
There are now 18 farmers’ markets operating in the Albuquerque area, including one of the newest, at the city’s historic Rail Yards. There are also more small-scale urban growers and larger-scale urban farmers. With a unique distribution system, New Mexico’s largest CSA (community-supported agriculture), Albuquerque-based Skarsgard Farms, services more than 1,600 members weekly, delivering as far north as Santa Fe and as far south as El Paso. The operation extends its growing season in greenhouses and is trying out hydroponic farming.