Posted on November 27, 2013
Every time we eat, a farmer is present at our table.
If we are lucky, we know the individual who milked the cow, harvested the potatoes, picked the green beans and raised the turkey. In most cases, there are many hands that harvest, carry, process, pack and deliver the goods we eat. We may know the person stocking shelves or say a genuine hello to the one who rings up the purchase… but that’s as close as we’ll get.
As the holiday season starts its frenzied pro-consumer decent, please take pause and remember that each meal is dependent on many faces we may never see. We can keep giving thanks to all those who helped put food on our table.
Giving thanks to our Core Group
Now that our growing season has come to a close and the garden sites are unusually quiet, we begin planning for the season to come. A huge THANK YOU to the Core Group for all their time and energy. The Core Group helps shape and guide Erda’s direction.
Several new positions are opening in next year’s group. If you are interested in joining, please contact us now!
Next Erda Events
December 1, 2013, 11:00 am
The Garden Room, at The Source (1111 Carlisle SE)
Come with your child for a warm and gentle advent experience. Following a story, children light their apple candles an walkthrough and evergreen spiral. Brought to you by the local anthroposophical group. $5 per family. Please pre-register with Sally.
December 7, 2013, times depending
Erda HQ (Blake and La Vega)
Tickets are still available for our adults-only evening of crooning Jazz, 20s style and bootleg goodness, in a building used once for a real Speakeasy. Tickets start at $50 to party; $150 to have dinner with local Swing luminaries Le Chat Lunatique. Get tickets and more information here.
Posted on November 6, 2013
Greetings Erda Friends!
The 2013 CSA Harvest Season has finally come to an end, and once again we would like to acknowledge and thank everyone who has supported Erda this year. Your time, labor, financial support, potluck meals and community spirit all helped make 2013 a great year on the farm. Though this season’s CSA is over, there are still many exciting events in the next few months.
Backyard Farming Workshop
This Saturday, November 9, from 9:00–12:30, at the Gutierrez-Hubble House. This month’s topic is a Conservation Farming Forum. Full event details (including directions) here.
Volunteer and Member Appreciation Evening
The evening of Sunday, November 17, we would like to invite you to our our farm managers’ house, to say thank you. If you’ve been a member or volunteered this year, please RSVP to erdagardens [at] gmail [dot] com, and we will send directions and relevant information. This is our opportunity to thank all of you for your support, so please come if you can!
Speakeasy Fundraiser Party
We are really excited to announce our Speakeasy Fundraiser Party on Saturday night December 7 at the historic Territorial House, located on Erda’s Blake Rd property. This house was once a Prohibition-era speakeasy, so in our efforts to buy the farm, we are hosting an extravagant party unlike Erda has ever seen before. We’ll have music from local luminaries Le Chat Lunatique and Joan Cere with Dan Dowling along with food, revelry, and period costumes. We’re almost done setting up ticketing for this event, and will send an email shortly.
Tell Us What’s Up!
Was there something this season you just loved, and want to make sure you see again? Something we could do better? Too much of one food, not enough of another? Our 2013 Survey takes only about 5 minutes to complete, and helps form a whole year of activity. If you haven’t spoken your mind yet, please do so here. And thank you!
Stay warm and we look forward to seeing you soon!
Posted on October 17, 2013
Our blue corn harvest is drying in the green house.
Each kernel keeps the memory of the strangest season yet. Remembering the dry spring and hard summer rains will make it a little more resilient for next year. Some of our purple garlic sits in the ground, already sending up tiny tendrils of green. We have more in the shed waiting for our heavy hands to bury them deep with a promise of summer resurrection. Early frosts take the tomatoes just as they begin producing, and we become a little more resilient too, planning for next year before this one is even truly over.
This season, we feel strained when we speak of abundance. Even saying the word cabbage cracks my voice a little. As encouragement, the earth offers us sweet potatoes the size of babies, we feel far from failure. And a donation of honey from an orchard that did not produce fruit this year brightens our outlook, or makes it a little sweeter. This spring’s nonexistent beets show their faces this fall to remind us we cannot give up on them completely. And our large, proud purple garlic was the hit of this weekend’s Local Foods Festival (we had to turn away many offers). Such is the life of the farmer in an age of flux. “It builds intestinal fortitude,” a rancher friend remarks, and I roll my eyes, but laugh. The corn has been here longer than me, it knows how to grow.
Join us for Garlic Planting and Fall Garden Clean Up!
Those of you looking to fortify your diets, or starters for your next crop, we will be giving away any extra garlic at the end of these parties. (This is of course not a guarantee there will be extras.)
Sunday, October 20th 10:00 am–2:00 pm
3007 El Corto SW 87105
Sunday, October 27th 2:00pm–6:oo pm
1305 Blake SW 87105
All families welcome. Always followed by a vegetarian potluck. Good people, great conversation, and food to match. Please bring a dish to share!
Posted on October 7, 2013
Thanks to all who donated time, energy and food to our Harvest Festival and Fundraiser!
We raised almost $2,000 and had a great time with friends and neighbors, dancing to Mezcla Latina, touring the historic property and sharing a lovely afternoon in Albuquerque’s oldest community garden. If you could not make it, but would like to donate to our campaign to buy land, worry not! You can donate any time (and even set up recurring donations) on our website.
Fall is officially here.
We are digging sweet potatoes and picking pumpkins. Because of the late frosts, there is a shortage of of tree fruit in Albuquerque this year. We would like to thank Joanie Cere for donating pears from her trees, near old town, to our CSA. She must have provided a magical micro-climate that preserved them this spring!
And speaking of fruit trees, we are honored to be the recipients of a $10,000 PNM 30th Anniversary grant for our work restoring a historic apple and pear orchard in the South Valley. We will have upcoming work parties this fall and following spring to continue our work replanting and to begin building an edible food forest. Thanks, PNM, for supporting our work of restorative agriculture!
We have ten tickets to give away to ArrBiZZaar 3 this Saturday. The first ten folks who write us with “Permalove” in the subject line will get in free! More details:
Permalove, an original inter-coherence by Robert Hoberg, that will now build the third one-of-a-kind community fair, ArrBiZZaar, replete with wholesome local amenities, from food and crafts, re-gift and de-sourced swaps, poetry, music and medicine, art and costume! ArrBiZZaar is an interchange and “intra-change” well-unfathomed by any comparison to the state festival, itself. It’s a sharing of community adventure, a coloring of reciprocity, an innovation of confabulating, and a chance for the each to contribute and play here-for-to all earthen creatives! Permalove especially “co-ntails,” “pro-cepts” and “genu-incredible” cooperation and conference with nature and one another. It’s a”ReLOvEAtioN” of fun for the whole family! Also, this time it is paired with the free 1st Annual Food+ Fitness Fair by Project Feed the Hood, from noon to 7:00 pm at Ross and Wellesley. Biodiesel ferries available between the events.
2013 Local Food Festival
Lastly, one of our favorite events of the year is just around the corner. Join us Sunday, October 13th from 11:00 am–4:00 pm at the Guterrez-Hubbell House, for chef tastings, live music, kids activities and more! Meet local growers, attend a free workshop or join the sack races.
For those with baking talents there will be a Pie Contest hosted by Edible Santa Fe. Categories are open for both children and adults and the winners will receive a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant and all the glory that comes with being published in the next issue.
Well, that’s all for this week. We hope you enjoy these last warm days of Fall, and look forward to seeing you this weekend, and beyond.
Posted on September 18, 2013
All this rain has us dreaming of cisterns.
Farm friends south of Socorro are flooded in and a river that might be described as “Grande” has been revealed, replacing the mud bank we’ve seen the last few weeks. Last week’s three inches from the sky combined with July’s six and a half line up with predictions that the southwest will begin to receive all its rainfall in concentrated time periods.
We are always asking: how can we best utilize our precious water resource? Infrastructure, such as cisterns, are an example of the future projects we hope to construct and teach at our main Blake location once, with your help, we purchase the property. And speaking of great Erda events in the not-distant future…
Here are some we’re really excited about:
We hope to see folks down at the Farm this Sunday, from 2:00–6:00pm for amazing food, live music by Mezcla Latina, kids crafts, story telling and a petting zoo of mini goats! Tours of the historic property, including the house built in 1630, will happen every hour. This is a fundraiser to buy property and we’re asking for a $25–$50 donation, however no one will be turned away for lack of funds.
The smell of green chile roasting in the cool morning air is always the mark of fall’s arrival. This time of year it is natural to turn inward, plan for next season and future seasons. What better activity than seed-saving to consider the legacy we hope to pass to future generations? Join us Saturday the 21st at the Gutierrez-Hubbell House from 9:00am–12:30pm.
We’ll be at Globalquerque Global Fiesta
on Saturday, handing out free Rainbow Popcorn seeds from 10:30am–4:00pm at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. The Global Fiesta is FREE and the SEEDS: A Collective Voice booth will also feature a group collage made from the three sister seeds of corn, squash and beans.
What is the Learning Center?
We offer many opportunities for learning at the farm. Besides hosting volunteers, school and civic groups, as well as our Farm Camp program in the summer, here are a few standouts:
will land at Erda for a Farm Tour and talk on Urban Agriculture and Acequias Saturday, September 28th, 9:00am–12:00pm. Participants will walk the one mile between our Main Blake location and historic Sanchez Farm and learn about the history and future of agriculture in the South Valley. Cost is $35; pre-registration required.
Participants will leave with the experience of processing and canning the garden’s bounty as well as jars of preserves to enjoy! Sunday, September 29th, 10:00am–2:00pm. Cost is $25 and space is limited; please pre-register with Albuquerque Old School. If that this class fills up, it will repeat on Sunday, October 20th. Check out all the great workshops they have going on this fall like Greywater Recapture, Herbal Medicine and more!
We hope to see you at the farm!
Posted on August 28, 2013
September is always symbolic in the garden.
We are closing on the Equinox, or halfway-point between longest day and shortest day. Everything is racing upward and reaching out, getting ready to throw down seed! The daylight starts to dwindle and we see a flurry of activity; not only are the plants organizing themselves—the people are too! As the school buses return to their orbit, the city is full of events and entertainment.
Here’s our corner of the action:
Erda Harvest Festival and Fundraiser to Buy Land
Great Food, Live Music, Farm Tour and Family Fun! All ages, all families welcome.
Sunday, September 22nd | 2:00–6:00 pm | 1305 Blake SW 87105
$25–$50 suggested donation | no one turned away for lack of funds
Food Preservation through Canning and Lacto-Fermentation
Participants will learn about methods, appropriate equipment and troubleshooting. Bring your favorite recipe to taste and share!
Saturday, September 7th | 9:00 am–12:30 pm
Gutierrez-Hubbell House | 6029 Isleta Blvd SW 87105
FREE! | Preregister here
Erda Work Party
Come get your hands dirty, meet like-minded folks, share a great meal all while supporting community based agriculture. Families welcome!
Sunday, September 8th | 9:00 am–12:00 | 12:00 Potluck (bring a dish to share!)
Participants will learn the basics on saving common veggie and herb seeds and See how saving garden favorites can ensure a more adaptable crop for the future in this informative workshop.
Saturday, September 21st | 9:00 am–12:30 pm
Gutierrez-Hubbell House | 6029 Isleta Blvd SW 87105
FREE! | Preregister here
Erda Community Recipe Book
Ever wonder how to cook quelites or why they say purslane is a super food? Want to know how to prepare kale so your kids will ask for seconds? You can find new ways to whip up local meals in our Erda Community Recipe Book! We are currently seeking recipes, art and personal stories—submit your recipes by September 18!
Thank you PNM Foundation for your generous grant towards our Orchard Restoration work in the South Valley! Thank you grant angel, Pearl, for helping the Erda Community achieve our goals together!
Posted on August 6, 2013
It has long been a dream of the Erda community to purchase land that we can serve as a permanent home for our CSA gardens and Learning Center. Through the generosity of the Goldman family, buying Blake may finally be a reality.
Posted on July 22, 2013
The rains have arrived.
And everything looks lively and lovely on the farm. Our rain meter has registered about 4 inches in the last two weeks; some afternoons even feel humid! The water from the sky has extra nutrients and the leaves love it tapping on their surfaces.This is great news; the harvest is getting heavier, and more exciting. And with great news comes great responsibility. With all this wonderful moisture, weeds are germinating at a jaw-dropping rate, and we need all the help we can get on the farm.
Posted on June 11, 2013
Please join Erda community for a Work Party and BBQ at Sanchez Farms featuring grass fed beef and goat from Rainbow Ranch. Bring a side dish or salad to share! Work party the morning of June 23, BBQ and tasting in the afternoon. Event details here.
Editor’s note: This past winter, Amanda and April road-tripped north to the Rainbow Ranch, home-base for Sunny Hill, one of our core group. Though this piece is a bit longer than usual, it’s quite powerful, and we felt that breaking it up would interrupt its resonance.
Posted on May 27, 2013
Another Year of Drought
People used to say if you buy land, make sure it has water rights. But what do “water rights” mean if the ditch is dry by July?
We’ve been told we will have use of the acequia every 21 days, down from 14. Some say we will be cut off entirely in the near future. Last season, a late crop of lettuce and radishes perished before fruition because the ditches were cut off early. With two of our plots acequia-irrigated, we have become very choosy about where we plant what.