A Sunday morning gathering of progressive thinkers who explore, through presentations, issues that influence our daily lives and the lives of future generations. We hope these gatherings, through understanding and knowledge of the world around us, will ignite change for the common good and provide a sense of community. FREE and OPEN to the public.
Gaia Gardens is an educational nonprofit certified organic farm dedicated to demonstrating and teaching urban farming, incorporating biodynamic and permaculture practices. As an urban neighborhood farm, it defines the unique qualities of a culturally and socially diverse initiative that promotes health and wholeness.
With Gaia Gardens as a backdrop for a healthy lifestyle, children and their families learn the importance of choosing wisely what they eat.
Through Gaia Gardens' comprehensive educational initiatives, they experience first hand how to cultivate the soil, grow vegetables, tend to chickens, harvest what they have grown and celebrate the joy of consuming what they have helped create.
Gaia Gardens currently sustains itself by selling produce, plant starts, earth worms, compost tea and seeds at the Santa Fe Farmers Market, by running a small CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) and supplying several local restaurants. Gaia Gardens' goal is to become a key educational center and showcase for year-round urban agriculture in Santa Fe, as well as a place of practice for sustainable community.
Gaia Gardens is a non-profit project fiscally-sponsored by the New Mexico Community Foundation.
A Journey presentation about the upcoming Banking On New Mexico Symposium, Saturday, September 27, at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center, with a dramatic reading the prior evening at El Museo Cultural Center. Hear about the benefits a public bank could bring to Santa Fe and other communities around New Mexico and our opportunity to serve as an inspiration to others part of the U.S. The pain in communities without enough money to provide their residents with the capital for public projects, small business creation and expansion and other needs is a familiar story. Less familiar is the concept of public banking, which can create and grow capital without depending on the U.S. government or our state legislature.
We have the power locally to change things and create a more democratic economy. Learn about it on September 14, and learn more at our Symposium on September 27.
Elaine Sullivan, a retired educator, is on the Executive Committee of WeArePeopleHere! and is an excited Co-Chair of the upcoming Banking on New Mexico Symposium.
Compost is key to growing healthy gardens and reducing waste in Santa Fe. “Composting is one of the best things we can do for the environment,” says Sam McCarthy, known around town as “the compost man.” “Food scraps make up at least 30 percent of the waste stream in most places. You can eliminate most of that by composting.”
"Backyard composting? Too hard? Too smelly? Too dry in New Mexico? If one or more of these characterizes your experience with home composting, yet you understand the tremendous benefits to our environment that this simple activity can have, behold the amazing redworm. Compared with other methods, composting with redworms requires the least labor, the least water, and in most cases, the least time to complete. The best part (so good it should be illegal) is that worm compost—castings—is simply the most fabulous compost in the known universe. The local soil has pretty good mineral content but lacks nitrogen and carbon found in greener locales. Compost solves the problem."
Pollo Real Ranch is the premier organic pastured poultry operation in the world. It lies in Socorro, New Mexico, between two desert mountain ranges in the green Rio Grande Valley, and encompasses 34 acres of irrigated land divided into several sections. On these plots, clusters of yurts or small moveable pens filled with small flocks of chickens can be seen resting on fresh pasture. Also on the farm are a small processing facility and two refrigerated delivery trucks. This modest appearance and relatively small scale belies the significance of what takes place here.
Tom Delehanty, who owns Pollo Real with his wife Tracey, has been raising pastured poultry for 20 years and doing it organically for the past 10 years. The farm's success, he says, is the product of hard work, resourcefulness and determination. "We had torrential rain, employee problems, no feed, water problems, distribution problems, shelter design problems, cash-flow problems, all of it. We could have given up but I just said, I am going to order more chicks and I am going to keep on growing these chickens until I figure this thing out. I will do this."
Yurts in the field. Moved over the field on a daily basis, the chickens within the yurts have several advantages that keep them healthy. They benefit from the good nutrition of the pasture and the organic feed they are supplied. They also flourish in the relatively uncrowded conditions of the yurt as well as in the open air and sunshine.
The central focus of the Pollo Real operation is the yurt, or moveable pen, holding small groups of chickens. As the yurts are moved over the pasture, the chickens work the soil with their feet and fertilize it with their manure. This creates a soil-based system in which the chickens create good soil that produces good pasture that nourishes high quality poultry.
In Delehanty's opinion, the soil is where the true wealth of a farm lies and where the farmer's attention should be focused.
During the winter the yurts are moved daily over annual pastures of winter wheat, oats, triticale and rye. In the summer, the mixture shifts to white clover, millet, milo and chicory. The combination of forages is good for the birds and good for the soil.