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