I hope your holiday season was full of peace and you are staying warm in these cold winter days!

It’s time to talk about Farm Camp. As we plan for 2013, we look to YOU to help us shape our programs in a way that best serves the parents and children of our community. If you want to see this important program continue and you have ideas or opinions on the direction it goes, please  attend our planning meeting:

Saturday, January 19, 10:00 am–12:00
La Plazita Institute
831 Isleta Blvd SW 87105

In 2012, our third season, more 50 families participated in farm-based education with us. Perhaps the greatest gift we can give in our media- and tech-saturated world that is the wonder of a spider spinning her web. Or the awe that follows a beet when she exposes her shiny skin to the air after growing quietly under the earth for several unassuming weeks. Through this program, we hope to inspire children by connecting them to nature.

Each year we ask our campers what they love best. We get a lot of answers, and here are some of the most common:

  • learning to milk a goat
  • spending time with chickens
  • bee watching
  • harvesting garlic and cucumbers
  • making pickles
  • canning jam
  • making sun tea,
  • cooking and tasting all the delicious flavors of the garden

With Erda’s expansion and flourishing, I have become increasingly busy with many of the organizational tasks that keep our CSA and Learning Center humming and active with happy members. This year, I was approached by Amelia Roache, a facilitator and educator currently living at Ampersand Sustainable Learning Center. She’s agreed to help make Farm Camp a more community-based effort!

The only requirement for this meeting is passion/enthusiasm to continue Farm Camp. If you’re a parent, guardian, potential participant or junior counselor, we want you there! We can also provide child care if you RSVP with the age(s) of your child(ren) by Thursday, January 17.

Light refreshments will be provided.

Please forward this to a friend, fellow educator or community member if you think they may be interested!


Amelia Roache

Amelia Roache has been immersed in the practice of Nonviolent Communication since 2002, teaching the model, guiding people in their healing and practice. She participated in an NVC International Intensive in 2004 and continued to expand in service of learning and transcendence with a particular interest in offering mediation and training in NVC for individual healing, adults with children, youth, couples, navigation through divorce, for teachers, healthcare providers and participants of intentional communities and sustainable businesses.

She has two certifications in Permaculture Design, continued enthusiasm and exploration of Dynamic Facilitation and the Healing Arts.

She is a mother and professional childcare provider, as well. She facilitates the process of learning and practicing NVC modeling authentic expression, flowing compassion and ease in maintaining focused attention. As a Permaculture Design consultant these communication practices facilitate understanding, clarity of vision, client empowerment and collaboration.


In our third season, we are excited to have more workshops than ever!
Here is the schedule for 2012, please note that each week has a theme and special activities planned, however there will be some tasks that are repeated throughout. For example, each week we will tend, plant and harvest in the garden. What we work on will depend on what the farm needs, for example, one week we plant the tomatoes, the next we may stake and mulch, in July we will harvest them, etc.
We plan to build on knowledge each week, and we will offer a discount for families signing up for all four weeks. Please contact us if you are interested!

Week 1 ~ June 4th – 8th ~ Farm Ecosystem: sun, soil, water and wildlife Learn about how the Farm fits into it’s larger environment and how plants and animals work together to create an ecosystem. Activities include flooding the field, cooking in a solar oven, building a compost pile, creating a nature journal, meeting and milking the goats. Guest speakers on the Acequia system and wild animals of the Rio Grande Valley.
Week 2 ~ June 11th – 15th ~ Farm Friends: worms and bugs and bees ~ Learn about all the Farm’s little helpers, some are easy to see, others are harder to find, this week we will spend time discovering all the flying and crawling life on the Farm. Activities include building worm boxes, planting a pollinator garden for bees and butterflies and making wax candles. A special guest speaker on bees will bring an observation hive for us to examine.
Week 3 ~ July 9th – 13th Farm Bounty: preserving food ~ Learn all the ways you can keep farm fresh food to eat through the winter. This whole week is dedicated to all the different methods of stocking up on your favorite veggies. Activities include making harvest baskets out of recycled material, canning fruit preserves, making pickles and expirimenting with the solar dehydrator. Kids will leave with a harvest basket full of canned and dried goods to share at home.
Week 4 ~ July 16th – 20th Farm Cooking: delicious and nutritious ~ Learn all about food groups, healthy eating and sample the delicious treats the summer has to offer. Everyday we will prepare a dish from foods we harvest. We will use a variety of methods, including solar cooking, sprouting and lacto-fermentation. Activities will include making wild greens pesto, blue corn bread, pasta sauce, pickles, goat cheese and more!
All camps are 9:00am – 3:00pm, Monday through Friday.
Cost per week is $250. Discount for Erda CSA Members. Contact Erda Gardens and Learning Center for more information (505) 610-1538 or