February 2014

Increasing Resilience in a Changing Climate


Esha Chiocchio



Long periods of drought, unprecedented storm events, warmer average temperatures, rising seas, unpredictable weather patterns—we are already seeing the impacts of a changing climate. Whether we like it or not, we are entering a period of warming on a global scale that is shifting weather patterns everywhere.


Here in the Southwestern United States, these changes are being expressed through reduced snowpack, shifting precipitation patterns, decreased water supplies and increased temperatures. As a result, we have already experienced catastrophic wildfires, flooding and reduced agricultural yields—trends we expect to continue.


Fortunately, there is something we can do about it. Seeing these patterns More >

‘Thinking Like a Watershed’ Panels Come to the Kimo

  Attaining a Balanced Relationship Between People and Arid Lands

  Jack Loeffler    

We need to seriously whip into action instead of just inching our way toward a cultural perspective that’s appropriate for what’s happening around this world of ours. Thanks to the Kimo Theater and the New Mexico Humanities Council, we’re getting a major boost in the right direction. On Feb. 13, the first of five monthly panel discussions will take place under the heading Thinking Like a Watershed. Each will feature three widely recognized humanities scholars who possess both general and specific knowledge and expertise in their fields. Their diverse More >

A Visit to the Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks


A Proposed National Monument



Marian Naranjo


In October, 2013 I was privileged to join a delegation of norteños to spend time in the Organ Mountains–Desert Peaks in the southern part of our state. I traveled from my home at Santa Clara Pueblo in northern New Mexico to visit the Organ, Sierra de las Uvas, Robledo and Potrillo mountains, a traditional ecological landscape in Doña Ana County. I had never been to that region before, but I knew from stories passed down that the Native people who used to make a home there in those wilderness areas carried a wealth of traditions and knowledge More >

BOOK REVIEW / Water Ethics – A Values Approach to Solving the Water Crisis

By David Groenfeldt

Routledge 2013 (paperback) 216 pages


This book introduces the idea that ethics are an intrinsic dimension of any water policy, program or practice, and that understanding what ethics are being acted out in water policies is fundamental to understanding water-resource management. Thus in controversies or conflicts over water-resource allocation and use, an examination of ethics can help clarify the positions of conflicting parties as preparation for constructive negotiations.


The author, David Groenfeldt, adjunct associate professor, Department of Anthropology at UNM and founder the Water-Culture Institute in Santa Fe, shows the benefits of exposing tacit values and motivations and subjecting these More >

People and Planet—Partners in Wellness


Susan Waterman



Wellness—it’s precious—and don’t we all want it? We commit plenty of time and dollars to be well on multiple levels—physical, mental and emotional. These days, however, living in a technology-driven society, it’s easy to disconnect from nature and forget that our own health is a reflection of the health of our little piece of the planet. Nature doesn’t send texts saying “HELP ME” when it’s not looking so good out there.


In the big picture, personal wellness and the wellness of nature—the well-being of our shared Earth home—are inextricably connected. Ultimately, people and planet exist in a dynamic, reciprocal More >

Drought and Floods


The Impacts of 2011-2012 Fires

and 2013 Floods


Serafina Lombardi


Last year our New Mexico landscape experienced record drought, our earliest wildfires ever, and then record rainfall. All of these weather patterns affected one another and multiplied impacts.

Many of us spent the summer praying for rain, watching crops and pasture suffer with little humidity in the air and acequias running low—if at all. At the zenith of high temperatures and no precipitation, on June 25, 2013, the USDA Drought Monitor reported 44.8 percent of New Mexico was in exceptional drought, with nearly all of the remainder of the state in extreme drought. (The More >

Acequias, Up Close

  Alejandro López   The Acequia de Santa Cruz flows through the land where my family settled in 1943 after my father moved his family back to New Mexico from Redcliff, Colo., where he had sustained a serious mining accident. On this four-acre piece of property, most certainly his pride and joy, my father tried hard to reproduce, as best as he could, the agrarian lifestyle he had grown up with in Las Truchas, a full 1,000 feet higher in elevation. He and my brothers dug lateral acequicitas (secondary ditches) to water the orchard of one hundred trees that he had painstakingly More >

New Mexico’s Soul Food


Quita Ortiz


Our plants and trees have yielded to winter and are in deep hibernation. Food traditions are alive and well in acequia communities throughout New Mexico, and if we’re prepared, some of us had preserved much of our harvest for future consumption in the forms of drying, canning or freezing.


Our communities still rely on the traditional foods and dishes of northern New Mexico to fill their plates. From calabacitas to tamales, we covet them all. Elena Arellano is no exception, and when it comes to food, her skills are well known and highly regarded in and around her community of Embudo. More >

LOCAL HEROES: A Tribute to Dr. Tomás Atencio and La Resolona

  Alejandro López   Upon visiting close friend and colleague, Dr. Tomás Atencio, who currently is battling a neurological disease similar to Alzheimer’s, I am moved to pay tribute to one of New Mexico’s most outstanding Chicano cultural figures of this and the last century. Long the champion of resolana, or dialogue in the plazas, villages and other New Mexican spaces, Atencio has now transitioned into a state in which his abilities to speak and move are almost nonexistent.   Dr. Atencio’s insistence on engendering genuine communication and dialogue between groups and individuals in society is his most profound legacy. In More >

FRESH AIRE 2013: A Year of Growing in Taos

  AIRE: Agriculture Implementation Research and Education   Miguel Santistevan   AIRE has a mission “to gather the people and plant the fields.” We have been an official nonprofit educational organization since December, 2010. AIRE was formalized with multi-year funding from the Kindle Project, now part of the Common Counsel Foundation. Our work strives to accomplish multiple goals that relate to youth involvement in agriculture, crop adaptation and propagation, food security awareness and actualization, and research and development in sustainable agriculture methods.   Our base of operations is Sol Feliz Farm, irrigated from the Acequia Madre del Sur del Río de Don Fernando de More >

GAIA GARDENS / Urban Farming

The School of the Future?


Poki Piottin



Wendell Berry, the legendary farmer and poet, states: “Our children no longer learn how to read the great book of Nature from their own direct experience, or how to interact creatively with the seasonal transformations of the planet. They seldom learn where their water comes from or where it goes. We no longer coordinate our human celebration with the great liturgy of the heavens.”


When my mother took me to my first kindergarten class, I screamed and kicked; I had no desire to go to school. Already I sensed I would be confined and indoctrinated for many More >

EVERYDAY GREEN / The Santa Fe Community Food Co-op


More Options for More People



Susan Guyette



With the cost of food rising 4 to 7 percent a year, affordable food is rapidly disappearing from the commercial marketplace. A new food co-op under development aims to fill this gap. A group of dedicated people has been meeting for many months. Their guiding principle is that the availability of high-quality, nutritious, reasonably priced food will only come from the cumulative actions of individuals who expand the market for local food production. The Santa Fe Community Co-op intends to grow its own organic food, using energy and water-efficient technologies and to buy from local More >

Pay it Forward! Being Human in Healthcare: A Systemic Approach to Positive Change through Emotional Intelligence


Camille Adair


The generation of super-elders who experienced World War II saw physicians as demigods and almost never questioned the medical establishment. Boundaries of role and power were clear. Their stoicism, independence and deference to authority are rapidly being replaced by the aging baby boomers who transform all systems and constructs in their path. And, for many people, the silent prayer is, “Please let this include healthcare, aging and the way we die.”


Healthcare is increasingly a business that answers to high-cost treatments, insurance and pharmaceutical companies, not the care of people. Healthcare professionals and organizations are faced with daily dilemmas More >

Sustainable Healing


Amanda Hessel


Ever feel like you have been trying to heal the same symptom or condition in your body for years? Perhaps it comes and goes, but you know you aren’t 100 percent healed. Maybe you have even seen all types of practitioners and healers but feel like you haven’t reached the state of health you want in your body. These feelings are more common than you may think. Chronic disease is on the rise and is affecting us earlier in life. Despite advancing medical technologies and our efforts to change and be healthier, we often do not experience the amount More >

Medicine of the People: Massage and Self-Acupressure


Dr. Japa K. Khalsa


The healing arts encompass many traditions, including massage, acupuncture, chiropractic and shamanic healing. In New Mexico, there is the shamanic healing tradition of curanderismo, indigenous folk medicine that encompasses healing of the body, mind and spirit. New Mexico law provides a safe harbor that legally protects the curandero/a’s right to practice. In some states, traditional healers can be shut down for practicing medicine without a license. New Mexico’s support of traditional and alternative medicine is a step towards multicultural sustainability. At the core of all of these healing traditions is a reliance on the body’s innate ability to More >

Health Benefits of Food as Medicine in Traditional Chinese Medicine for Animals


Audrey Shannon


The health benefits of Chinese medicine food therapy for animals are long-lasting and vitally important to recovering from illness. Many senior and ill animals noticeably respond to an addition of a whole-food diet. Such a diet, based on Chinese medicine therapy, can be the foundation for any health regimen. Just as acupuncture and herbal therapy are used in diagnosis and treatment to correct particular organ system and chi (energy) imbalances, food therapy can be used as well. Food is the cornerstone of an animal’s health in any medical system. Similar to other Eastern systems of health and healing, Chinese More >

Op-Ed: New Mexico Has a Democracy Problem


Harry Montoya


As one of the Santa Fe County Commissioners who voted in 2008 to adopt an ordinance regulating oil and gas extraction within the county, I’ve followed similar efforts of other communities across the country. Last year, following in the footsteps of about two dozen towns and cities (including Pittsburgh, Pa.), the Mora County Commissioners proceeded to adopt a local law banning oil and gas drilling as a violation of the civil rights of Mora residents, which included their right to water. Understanding that our current system of law views the “rights” of extraction corporations as more important than those More >

Newsbites – February 2014


Locally Sourced Food Top Restaurant Menu Trend of 2014

Each year the National Restaurant Association (NRA), the leading business association for the industry, surveys 1,300 professional chefs who are members of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) to come up with its What’s Hot culinary forecast of menu trends.


Top 10 food trends for 2014:

Locally sourced meats and seafood

Locally grown produce

Environmental sustainability

Healthful kids’ meals

Gluten-free cuisine

Hyper-local sourcing (e.g., restaurant gardens)

Children’s nutrition

Non-wheat noodles/pasta (e.g. quinoa, rice, buckwheat)

Sustainable seafood

Farm/estate branded items

Today’s consumers are more interested than ever in what they eat and where their food comes from, and that is reflected in our menu trends More >

What’s Going On? – Albuquerque – February 2014


Jan. 31-Feb. 2, 9 am-5 pm

Clean Economy Conference

ABQ Embassy Suites, 1000 Woodward Place

Eight experts will discuss Building Resiliency through Sustainable Practices. Keynote speaker: Joel Salatin of Polyface Farms. Plenary sessions on wise water use, regenerative agriculture, zero-waste, organic food production, compost tea, strategies to shrink our carbon footprint, seed saving, creating an agricultural production center, community gardens, urban farming, sustainability tradeshow and more. $125/day. 505.819.3828, iginia@carboneconomyseries.com, www.carboneconomyseries.com


Feb. 1

Off-Grid Solar Electricity Design and Installation

CNM Workforce Training Center, 5600 Eagle Rock Avenue NE

8-hour class (ID: 25589) for PV professionals. Learn core principles of off-grid living, differences between grid-tied and off-grid PV systems, More >

What’s Going On? – Santa Fe – February 2014


Through March 16, 2014

Cowboys Real and Imagined

NM History Museum

This exhibit explores NM’s contribution to the cowboys of both myth and reality from the 1600s to the present day.


Through April 1, 10 am-5 pm

Heartbeat – Music of the Southwest

Museum of Indian Arts and Culture

A celebration of sight, sound and activity for visitors of all ages. Over 100 objects relating to Southwestern Native music and dance are featured. 505.476.1250, http://indianartsandculture.org/


Feb. 2, 2 pm

The Melting World: A Journey Across America’s Vanishing Glaciers

Center for Contemporary Arts

CCA Living Room

Author Christopher White (The Melting World) will tell tales of his journey documenting the loss of Montana’s More >