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A TEDx talk presented at Popejoy Hall in Albuquerque, New Mexico – September 2014
Growing up in the 1960s, my friends and I rode our bikes up and down the streets of Santa Fe, and we felt like the whole city belonged to us. The Plaza in the center of town was where people met to catch up and do some shopping. Little adobe houses dotted the area.
When you think back to your childhood, do you get a clear picture of the place that made you who you are today? What is it like? Has it changed much?
Santa Fe is More >
Chapter One: The Sun God
Sun God lifts his head
My eyes fill with yellow light
One more day to live
Elvis Romero was born at La Casita Clinic in 1955, under the watchful eyes of the Catholic nuns who provided medical care for the working people of Santa Fe. As soon as he entered the world, his mother let out a loud laugh despite her weariness and immediately jettisoned all of the proper Catholic names that she’d considered and christened him “Elvis” after she caught sight of his abundant mane of wavy, black hair.
His earliest memory fundamentally influenced the way he perceived More >
Santa Fe’s Southwest River Corridor: From Pueblo Lands, El Camino Real, Cristóbal Nieto Land Grant, El Pino, Court of Private Land Claims to Ecoversity and La Cieneguita del Camino Real
Hilario E. Romero
Early Agua Fría and the First Pueblos
When the Indian Pueblos of Agua Fría were settled by Native Americans, possibly as early as 3,000 BC, “the area was an agricultural mecca,” according to Cheri Sheick of Southwest Archaeological Consultants. They chose this location because of its cold water springs, little ciénegas and the longer growing season at that elevation. They grew the trinity of squash, corn and beans and supplemented it with wild edible plants like quilitl (quelite or wild spinach), and used the river nearby for irrigation. They also fished in the upper river—later to be known More >
Montserrat Vallès Albesa
New Mexico has attracted people from all over the United States and the world, people with an awareness and sensibility for healthy lifestyles, the environment and our state’s unique character. These are people who want to live in a society where human values are important and where progress is defined as beneficial for the community-at-large, not the kind of progress associated with the conquest of nature that leads to societal problems and benefits only a few individuals.
Recently, many people in Santa Fe have become concerned with a proposed high-density project called El Río, which would consist of 450 More >
Nambé is one of the most beautiful places in northern New Mexico, especially when the seasons are changing. The transition from winter to spring is one of my favorites. While most everything else lies dormant under the cold, moist soil, the wild orchard grass and the irises, eager to get an early start, break through the remnants of last year’s fertility. The snow-packed Sangres tower over the village, reminding us of the source of the 17 acequias that divert the Río Nambé, providing water to over 1,700 acres of land in the valley. One of those acequias, La Acequia More >
Northern New Mexico Seed Exchange
Last month the 10th annual Pueblos y Semillas Gathering and Seed Exchange took place in Peñasco. The event was hosted by the New Mexico Food & Seed Sovereignty Alliance, which is comprised of the New Mexico Acequia Association, Traditional Native American Farmers’ Association, Honor Our Pueblo Existence and Tewa Women United.
Agricultural Lands Tax Hikes Challenged
State tax law is critical to keeping agricultural lands in production and to protecting the traditional fabric and culture of communities with long ties to the land.
About 460 Santa Fe County residents and at least several thousand people around More >
If you haven’t visited the new shops at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market, this would be a good time. The remodeled retail space, which includes Café Fresh, the new espresso bar, has really hit its stride.
Café Fresh uses locally roasted, organic coffee beans from Aroma Coffee and organic dairy and dairy alternatives such as soy or almond milk. The café also offers local honey, organic Bhakti chai, spicy and organic hot ginger tea. Chimayó red chile powder is used to make Mexican Mochas. Organic flavorings are available for coffee drinks.
Particularly notable at Café Fresh is the delicious green drink. The More >
On April 10, roundtable discussions were held during the 2015 Taos County Farming & Ranching Fair. The event’s theme: “Opportunity for Renewal.” The stated goals: To reaffirm, continue and strengthen wise land-use traditions and practices; build partnerships, and explore innovative farming and ranching strategies. Topics included agricultural land tax valuation, successful field replanting, water conservation, livestock management, weed and pest control, and making money in agriculture.
A seed exchange and garden blessing marked the beginning of the growing season in Taos and brought together the collaborative efforts of musician Robert Mirabal’s Tiwa Farms and Micah Roseberry’s Farmhouse Café and Bakery. Mirabal brought his native seed collection to share and, after plowing the Farmhouse garden, played an “Iron Horse” concert with Robby Romero. Proceeds from the concert and a farm-to-table dinner benefitted the café’s organic school lunch program, Tiwa Farms and an outdoor garden for the Taos Pueblo Head Start program.
Tiwa Farms is helping get more Taos Pueblo fields back into production, supporting farmers’ efforts More >
Full disclosure: I am no soil expert. I fancy myself more of an expert on water quality, having grown up with a water well-drilling father who was, in fact, a soil tester and certified geologist. I was the kid who did science projects on water-quality testing and kept a pH test kit in my school bag, mostly because I liked watching the litmus paper turn colors in the water fountain.
So how does a localist with an interest in clean water get so passionate about soil? Maybe because, after 10 years of living in New Mexico and watching our More >
How the Midwives of Agriculture Nurture Ecological, Biological and Psychological Health
Melanie Margarita Kirby
When I was first introduced to beekeeping as a Peace Corps volunteer in Paraguay, nearly 20 years ago, I had no idea that the mysterious and lively world of beekeeping would captivate me so. The very essence of bee stewardship invited me to pay attention to the flora and biodiversity all around us. As stewards of our landscapes’ well-being, there are opportunities to observe the majesty of the daily synchronicity of our animal, plant and elemental paisanos. I found the interconnectedness of it all—from fields to flowers to More >
The 2nd annual Santa Fe Green Festival will take place on May 16, 2015, at El Museo Cultural, 555 Camino de la Familia. Businesses and organizations will showcase the latest in green products and services. In conjunction with the farmers’ market, festival-goers can experience green building design and home technologies, renewable energy options, electric vehicles, organic food, water conservation and harvesting, interactive exhibits for kids and much more. For more information, call 505.428.9123 or visit santafegreenchamber.org. The 2016 Green Festival is scheduled for Saturday, May 14, 2016.
Timed to coincide with New Mexico’s fire season, an exhibition at the New Mexico Museum of Art, in Santa Fe, features work by five photographers who explore the dynamic element of fire. Subjects include controlled burns and active wildfires, as well as their aftermath of devastation and renewal. The exhibition opens May 1 at 5:30 p.m., with a free public reception, and runs through July 26. In honor of National Wildfire Preparedness weekend, the museum extends a special welcome to firefighters and their families on May 3. At 2 p.m., Dr. Alexander Evans, Research Director at the Forest Guild, will More >
The annual Sustainable Santa Fe Awards were presented by New Mexico State Sen. Peter Wirth on April 8 at a gala sponsored by the city of Santa Fe’s Sustainable Santa Fe Commission, Santa Fe Green Chamber of Commerce, Earth Care, Green Fire Times, Horizons Sustainable Financial Services and La Fonda Hotel. The awards celebrate community members taking leadership roles in advancing sustainability in the areas of environmental stewardship, economic health and social justice. They recognize model projects that are helping Santa Fe reduce its ecological footprint, mitigate carbon emissions and build resilience in the face of climate change, in accordance More >
Some of the Bills that Passed the 2015 New Mexico Legislature that Were Signed or Vetoed by Governor Susana Martínez
• Senate Bill 112 allows agricultural producers to continue to receive a break on their property taxes during periods of prolonged drought. County assessors will be able to continue classifying land as agricultural, even if it’s not in production, as long as the USDA has declared at least moderate drought in any part of the county. The law requires that basic infrastructure such as irrigation ditches and fences are maintained, even if no crops are being produced or livestock grazed.
• SB 279 extends the sustainable building tax credit through 2027. The credit is worth up to $6,000 against state income-tax More >
Hearing Examiner Rejects PNM’s Replacement Power Proposals
A recommended decision put forth last month by the Hearing Examiner responsible for advising the state Public Regulation Commission on PNM’s replacement power proposal for shutting down two units at the San Juan Generating Station (SJGS) found that the proposal “is not fair, just and reasonable and in the public interest.” Ashley Schannauer cited concerns regarding the reliability of the aging SJGS, the future ownership of the plant after a contract expires in 2022, and uncertainty about where the plant will get its coal and how much it will cost after a supply agreement More >
MAY 6, 5:30-7 pm
Hotel Andaluz, 125 Second St. NW
Network with people interested in doing business locally, clean energy alternatives and creating sustainable opportunities in our communities. Featuring the Think Local Guide release and Dennis Houston on How to Expand Your Business. Presented the first Wednesday of each month by the ABQ and Río Rancho Green Chamber. email@example.com, www.greendrinks.org
NM History Conference
Embassy Suites Hotel, I-25 and Lomas
More than 70 speakers on a wide variety of topics. 5/7, 6:30-9 pm: Opening session and reception at the ABQ Museum of Art and History, 2000 Mtn. Rd. NW; 5/9, 6-8:30 pm: awards banquet More >
May 1, 5-8 pm
Inspire Festival of Learning
Farmers’ Market Pavilion
Youth protégés from across SF will share what they have learned through diverse mentorships. Exhibitions and displays. Free. Presented by the Academy for the Love of Learning and Siete del Norte.
May 2, 9:30 am-4 pm
Folk Art Flea Market
Museum of Int’l. Folk Art
Free. 505.476.1201, www.internationalfolkart.org/folkartflea.html
May 4, 6 pm
Aztlán in the Southwest: Archaeology and History
Hotel Santa Fe
Southwest Seminars lecture by Stephen H. Lekson, University of Colorado professor or anthropology and author of A History of the Ancient Southwest. $12. 505.466.2775, Southwestseminar@aol.com, SouthwestSeminars.org
May 5, 6:30 pm
A Conversation with Robert Redford
A conversation about activism, arts More >
May 2, 1-3 pm
Santa Cruz Farm Tour
830 El Llano Rd., Española, NM
Enjoy a farm tour, local foods and connect with area farmers. Presented by the American Friends Service Committee, NM Acequia Association and Don Bustos. 505.955.9644, lasacequias.org or 505.842.7343, afsc.org/office/albuquerque-nm
MAY 14, 5:30-7 pm
Little Toad Pub, 200 N. Bullard St., Silver City, NM
Monthly meeting of the Southwest NM Green Chamber of Commerce and the NM Solar Energy Association-Silver City Chapter. Held every second Thursday of the month. 575.538.1337, swGreenChamber@gmail.com
International Seed Library Forum
Diversifying Community Access to Healthy Foods. An effort to coalesce efforts by public libraries, nonprofits, universities and More >