Category Archives: News
We have another busy year planned, with numerous workshops and tour opportunities, an expanded community garden to help grow your appreciation for local food, soil-building projects on the main field, and our Maze event in October. We would also like to welcome Sean Ludden as Farm Manager. New this year to RGCF, he will be organizing many of our community events and outreach, field planning and above all working towards making this truly a farm for our community.
About RGCF’s New Farm Manager
Sean Ludden is both Farm Manager at Rio Grande Community Farms, and owner, farmer for Nepantla Farms, which he operates, along with his wife in his scant spare time. From managing diverse organic farming acreages in the North Valley for 5 years, and growing medicinal herbs at home, Sean has many years of experience in the art of farming in aridlands. His philosophy on organic farming, heirloom seed preservation, and traditional farming methods have been featured in interviews with The Huffington Post, Santa Fe New Mexican, and New Mexico Magazine. Sean tirelessly promotes the use of traditional seeds and techniques in contemporary agriculture and helped to found Bosque Seed Collective last year to help local farmers renew the art of seed stewardship in the Middle Rio Grande Valley.
For our winter fundraiser, we are auctioning a beautiful watercolor scene of the Los Poblanos Fields Open Space painted by local, nationally recognized artist Todd Tibbals. This unique art piece can be yours if you are the highest bidder. One of our donors has started the bidding at $1000.00! The auction will close at midnight on February 15, so get your bid in right away in the form below!
Now about the artist–Todd Tibbals was born in Columbus, Ohio, graduated from Miami University in Ohio and was tabbed for one of the first Peace Corps groups in 1962. Todd has combined four years of Peace Corps work in Peru and Ecuador, a Masters Degree in Latin American History and formal training at the Corcoran School of Art to emerge as a preeminent visual interpreter of the Latin American and Southwestern realities. For Todd, New Mexico, where he has painted and taught since 1970, represents a cultural halfway house between his Midwestern roots and his Latin American experiences. Todd has garnered many awards while exhibiting his watercolors, acrylics and drawings throughout the United States, Mexico and Italy. We are fortunate to have such an accomplished artist as a neighbor and supporter of Rio Grande Community Farm!
Greetings to Our Neighbors and Supporters,
We are sending this special letter on #GivingTuesday to update you on our progress throughout 2014, some of our plans for 2015, and ask you for your financial support of Rio Grande Community Farm (RGCF). Our dream is a community gem in Albuquerque’s Los Poblanos Open Space (LPOS) and we need your help. We have watched seasons change for 18 years as overseers of numerous LPOS fields, including the annual Maize Maze community event.
It is change that we embrace as RGCF builds into the civic steward of connection that is core to our mission. In partnership with the Albuquerque Open Space Division (OSD), we work hard to provide an agricultural and natural conservancy for the community to enjoy. In this mission we support the localization of food supply and education through our farming activities, managing a community garden, providing experience opportunities, and maintaining wildlife habitat for the continuous migration of birds and other animals.
RGCF survived a very lean 2013 and beginning of 2014. Through your support and the dedication of a small group of passionate individuals, we endured. Friends, RGCF is now ready to thrive. The bounty is a strong community amongst LPOS fields.
There is so much credit deserved to so many entities and people who have helped revive RGCF to its current state. Our OSD partners wore the hats of historians and hydrologists in order to secure a consistent irrigation supply for our produce, maze field, and wildlife crops. Their work also secured a full irrigation supply for LPOS in 2015. We promise to use this water wisely.
A few years ago, RGCF secured a grant from the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to help purchase our hoop house in the field adjacent to Montano Road. In 2014, we produced vegetables for sale at La Montanita Coop stores, including a beautiful crop of okra and greens. In the sense of this community effort, most of the work done in the hoop house was provided by secondary grant entities and our very own volunteers. Thank you!
In 2014, RGCF built its dedicated board to a full complement of members and officers. This board is strong with highly skilled experiences and several community members living close to the fields. This board is quick as demonstrated by the very successful 5k run in October in which a new member organized from board nomination to race in a matter of weeks. From another board member, our 2014 Maze event was very successful and the very reason why RGCF is ready to thrive.
In 2014, RGCF contracted a Development Director focused solely on fundraising and grant writing. Funds secured from those activities have helped RGCF contract an interim farm manager to build the foundation of a community farm for the community to enjoy.
While we have made great progress in 2014, we look forward to 2015 and a continued effort to create our dream of an Albuquerque gem in LPOS. The opportunities are there to succeed as long as RGCF can sustain its development as a community resource. We continue to search for sustainable funding to contract a fulltime farm manager that can grow our fields through long-term hands-on experience. With your help, we know we can get there.
In 2015, we also will focus on our community garden program to be that place of serenity and sustenance that so many people seek. We are working on grants in order to provide row scholarships and educational training for everyone at every level of gardening experience.
RGCF is also working on a full educational program to not only provide the community with opportunities to learn, but provide the community with skilled beginning farmers that can be the next generation of local producers.
Our promise to you and all of our partners is a continued dedication to the RGCF mission with the goal of serving the Albuquerque community. We will never rest in this mission. It is our passion fueled by those who enjoy the wonderful LPOS field—be them locals or just flying through the area.
Please take a moment to make a donation for any amount, remembering that donations are tax-deductible. Donate Now
As a special gift to donors who give over $200, we will send you a beautiful, exclusive print from an original watercolor being painted by Todd Tibbals, nationally recognized watercolorist, RGCF neighbor and supporter. Watch for a picture of this beautiful piece on our website or Facebook.
Thank you for your support,
Marcia Ludden, President
& 2014 RGCF Board
Moonlight Maze Returns
The Moonlight Maze is back by popular demand for one night only. Come join us on October 8th at 7-10PM to explore the maze by the light of the moon and help support RGCF. Tickets must be ordered in advance. Once purchased your name will be added to the will call list. No receipt needed. Just show up and tell us your name. $10 for all ages. Order Tickets Online!
Please Note: Due to our partnership for Quarantine Collapse, we had to reschedule the date that was published in the Albuquerque Water Bill to Oct. 8th. Luckily this is the actual full moon.
RGCF Needs Your Help at the Annual Maize Maze
We are in need of several volunteers during the maze which will be open weekends in October. We officially open to the public on Oct. 3rd @ 3pm. Volunteer shifts are as follows:
Saturdays: 10:30-2:30pm & 2-6pm
Sundays: 10:30-2:30pm & 2-6pm
Volunteers will help with supervision and support for maze attendees to complete a (mostly) self-guided adobe-making activity which is a part of a land art project to build a giant Sierpinski triangle fractal out of adobes. We also need help keeping the pumpkin painting tables organized and supplied.
Volunteers will be showered with gratitude and will also be awarded tickets to the Maze (to come back with a friend!) and pie pumpkins.
If any of this sounds interesting to you, please reply to email@example.com with your availability.
PS – Our partner organization, Blackout Theatre Company, is looking for ZOMBIES for their performance of Quarantine after dark. Please email: Barney@blackouttheatre.com for more information on volunteering in their production. They will also need nighttime assistance to keep the parking lot in order.
Rio Grande Community Farm is excited to announce our partnership with the Blackout Theatre Company who will be performing Quarantine Collapse in the maze at dusk for the month of October. Tickets are on sale now for $20 (13 and up). Order Now
Civilization is collapsing. The undead still roam the streets of New Mexico and the cities aren’t safe. A quarantine camp has been set up at Rio Grande Community Farm, it is the living’s last refuge in Albuquerque…
Quarantine: Collapse is an interactive haunted house unlike any other, a performance that puts the audience in the story . Be ready to navigate a farm and maze infested with undead!
Learn more at Quarantine Collapse
2nd Annual Fractal Night at the Museum
August 23, 2014 @ 7pm
This is the second annual partnership between the Fractal Foundation, Rio Grande Community Farm, and NM Museum of Natural History & Science to bring you an unforgettable evening of fractals!
Enjoy access to every museum exhibit, fractal activities, refreshments, and more while you support fractal education in our community. Your contribution helps with the creation of a Fractal Maize Maze at the Rio Grande Community Farm in September, an event that is uniquely “Albuquerque!”
Tickets: Adults: $20 Kids: $10 – Order Tickets
The second annual 5K at the Farm is to happen on October, 11th 2014 during the Balloon Fiesta weekend. Come run with the balloons flying overhead and the crisp autumn air flowing through the fields. Participants in the run experience the annual Maize Maze in a unique way, as the course is run through parts of the Maze field and runners navigate their way through the labyrinth along a marked route.
Runners will receive t-shirts, giveaways and awards for top placement.
Registration and more information here.
The Rio Grande Community Farm is now accepting new members to join its 2-acre community garden. After a challenging 2013 season marked by water curtailments, the community garden will bounce back in 2014 with the addition of newly acquired water rights that ensure sufficient irrigation on the property.
Membership at the community garden includes access to a variety of seeds, hand tools and other gardening materials, irrigation water, and use of your own 80’ long, 2’ wide plot of land. Workshops and a demonstration garden are also offered on site to members as well as the general public.
Groups such as school classes, church groups, and other non-profit organizations are also welcome and encouraged to sign up for a plot. Rio Grande Community Farm invites interested organizations to become garden members and utilize the space for gardening and much more.
The community garden sits in the northwest corner of the Los Poblanos Fields Open Space in the North Valley. Many different vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees are grown at the garden, including a variety of perennials at the Alvarado School Garden’s pollinator habitat area.
On Saturday and Sunday this weekend, the garden will have its 2014 kick-off with orientation for members, an open house for visitors and potential gardeners, and a workday for volunteers. All are welcome between the hours of 10 a.m. and 1 p.m.
For more information on community garden membership, or to sign up for a row, visit www.riograndefarm.org/programs/community-garden.