Sembrando Salud Project Takes Root!
Neighbors and friends in Albuquerque’s South Valley area of Foothill Road, SW, have formed a Sembrando Salud neighborhood garden to feed themselves over the summer. This is one of several neighborhood gardens launched this year in the South Valley. Sembrando Salud is a NEW Center of Southwest Culture project that helps working people grow organic vegetables and raise egg-laying chickens to help augment a healthy daily diet. Sembrando Salud provides technical assistance by identifying and organizing families and neighbors; providing garden plans and drip systems; providing organic seeds; and, providing a 12-roost chicken coop and an initial brood of 10 hens. Sembrando Salud also provides a nutritionist to teach families and neighbors how to prepare healthy food.
Story Riders Rolling Towards Cultural Competence!
This innovative NEW CSC program organizes elementary school kids to enjoy after school bicycle rides to the homes of Mexicano/Chicano elders to learn about cultural values and traditions. The outdoor exercise program includes reading and writing about the lessons learned from the elders. Story Riders will combine culturally-based education and writing tied to specific bicycle rides that provide the educational and cultural experiences that will give these elementary students a deep dive into their culture while building their physical skills via bicycle rides throughout the mid-Rio Grande region. Story Riders will target 5th grade students from elementary schools in predominantly Mexicano and Chicano neighborhoods.
New CSC Staff Members Now Aboard
CSC has added three new staff members to support the Center’s growing success. Omar Torres is the project coordinator for Sembrando Salud. He has been a community organizer for several years and is currently attending the University of New Mexico. He will organize neighborhood gardens across New Mexico to help solve the state’s severe food desert problem. Marco Sandoval is the project coordinator for Story Riders. He has been an active community organizer for several years and is also currently attending the University of New Mexico. Story Riders organizes elementary school kids to enjoy after school bicycle rides to the homes of Mexicano/Chicano elders to learn about cultural values and traditions. The outdoor exercise program includes reading and writing about the lessons learned from the elders. Marco Antonio Nieto is an administrative assistant in CSC’s finance department. He is assisting CSC Finance Director Noemí Dávila.
Marco Antonio Nieto
El Mogote Cooperative Continues to Grow!
Under the leadership of Higinia and Watts Gallegos, El Mogote Cooperative in Cañones, NM, continues to expand its organic farming operations. This year, El Mogote has added two new greenhouses and two new acres of growing area to its production. The cooperative sells the majority of its produce to Ghost Ranch Conference and Retreat Center, located about 30 minutes away across Abiquiu Lake from the coop.
Bueno Para Todos Cooperative in Full Bloom!
Bueno Para Todos Farmers’ Cooperative has planted more than 6 acres of organic vegetables in its initial season in the Villanueva Valley of northern New Mexico. They have also erected two 100’x30’ greenhouses to extend the growing season and installed irrigation piping to convert acequia water into a drip irrigation system. The coop has an initial membership of 11 farmers.