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RGCF featured in coverage by USDA and America’s Heartland

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This summer and fall, Rio Grande Community Farm has had its work highlighted across the country, from a review of the 2012 Maize Maze in Local Flavor (photos here), to video spotlights by America’s Heartland and the USDA.

In partnership with the USDA, RGCF has installed and maintained a sub-surface drip irrigation system, improving water efficiency as a model of low-impact irrigation for farms across the country. See the video below for more information on our irrigation methods.

America’s Heartland highlights other aspects of our vision of sustainability, including urban accessibility and our farmer training program. Follow their programs online for more coverage of national agriculture news and trends.

We here at Rio Grande Community Farm believe strongly in the principles and values of public and sustainable farming, and want to thank our partners for documenting our approach to today’s issues. A large component of our mission is to show how through community programs and advanced agricultural practices, all scales of agriculture– from self-production and small-scale farming, all the way up to conventional and large-scale production– can thrive in our increasingly challenging economic and environmental circumstances.

Haunting at the Maze this weekend

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For the final weekend of the 2012 Maize Maze, part of the maze will be converted into a Haunted Maze, in a partnership with the Public Academy for Performing Arts and local area filmmakers. The Haunted Maze leads participants along a walk-through story, with amphibian-themed characters and storyline. For folks interested in the regular maze, half of the corn maze will be open for self-guided visitors.

The Haunted Maze will be open for its grand finale on Halloween night, from 7 to 10 p.m. Security personnel will be on-site to ensure the safety of the event.

The farm is open for an extended hour all weekend, going from 3-10 p.m. Friday, and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Groups are still welcome to schedule daytime visits on weekdays, including Halloween. For more information or to set up a group visit, visit www.riograndefarm.org/events/maize-maze.

Pumpkins now available at the Maze

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This weekend brings more excitement to the farm, with the arrival of pumpkins for sale at the Maze and a visit from the Las Arañas Spinners and Weavers Guild, on Saturday, October 13th from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Back in season are our pumpkins – both Jack-o-Lanterns and pie pumpkins – and they’re here for the whole Maze season. Pumpkins are available at the Maze tent, as well as at the brand new Pumpkin Patch, located behind the parking lot. The Pumpkin Patch is part of a package deal which adds excitement to the “pumpkin patch” experience, with three levels of difficulty — Easy Peasy, Rough ‘n Tumble, and Enter If You Dare — making picking your pumpkin an even more fun family activity.

Pumpkin Prowl

School kids enjoying the Patch after a Maze visit

In addition to the Spinning Guild, the farm will have sheep, angora goat and mini horses visiting on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Also the Maze will have a Hay Bale City with jumping areas, a crawling tunnel, and farm animals. In partnership with the BioPark, there are interactive educational games, such as a River Dig Box and “guess the animal” demonstrations focused on amphibians and their role in our environment.

Ticket prices for the maze & pumpkin package run $12 for adults, and $10 for kids. Pumpkins will be available for sale during Maze hours, selling for $3 (pie pumpkins) and $5 (Jack-o-Lanterns). Pumpkins will be available at both the Maze and the Pumpkin Patch for customers’ convenience. Pumpkins can also be purchased as part of the maze/farm tour for groups.

Learn More about the Maize Maze.

Maize Maze brings back Moonlit Maze

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On October 27th and 28th, visitors from 7 to 10 pm are invited to walk the maze under the full moon. Small flashlights will be available for purchase at the tent.

In addition to the maze, the farm features family-friendly activities and games all season, including a Hay Bale City with jumping areas, a crawling tunnel, and farm animals. In partnership with the BioPark, there are interactive educational games, such as a River Dig Box and “guess the animal” demonstrations focused on amphibians and their role in our environment.

Learn More about the Maize Maze.

School field trips to the Maize Maze

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The Rio Grande Community Farm’s (RGCF) 15th Annual Maize Mazeis now accepting reservations for school field trips and other groups of 15 or more, through the month of October.   In keeping with our mission to provide educational outreach to the community, RGCF offers reduced maze admission as well as standards based farm tours for groups with a reservation, Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

In recent years, RGCF has partnered with different organizations in designing the maze. This year’s maze is shaped like a frog, as part of a partnership with the ABQ BioPark, which features several amphibian-themed educational games at the farm. This theme matches the BioPark’s exhibit on the importance of amphibians in our ecosystem.

In 2011, over 2,000 people came to the Maze as part of an educational visit, including over 30 schools in the Albuquerque Public Schools (APS) system, active living groups, and day care centers. This fall, reservations are filling quickly, so groups are encouraged to schedule their visits soon. Payment methods include cash, credit cards, checks, and in the case of APS schools, purchase orders.

The farm is located at 1701 Montaño Road NW, 1.1 miles west of 4th Street. Off of Montaño, turn north onto Tierra Viva, and event parking will be in the gravel lot immediately on the left.

To schedule group visits and for further information, visit RGCF’s group page or call 505-345-4580.

Wildlife Day at Rio Grande Community Farm

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Free event on April 28, 2012

Schedule of Activities

8 am – Bird watching group meets in the Montano parking lot — Join Tish Morris and John Arnold for a guided bird walk

9:30 am – Hayride starts at Montano parking lot — Travels around the farm and stops at Los Poblanos Gazebo for kids activities

10 – 12 – Kids activities at Los Poblanos Gazebo. Access from Montano parking lot.

10 am – Composting workshop at the RGCF Community Garden — Join Tam Saimons to learn the basics of composting (access to garden from Solar Rd. see directions below)

11 am – Geocaching group meets in Montano parking lot — Join Maere McNamara as she guides the group in seeking out hidden treasures. Note: Download a geocaching app on your smart phone or bring a GPS unit. If not, you can still tag along.

11:30 am – Farm tour meets in Montano parking lot — Join Dan Schuster, RGCF Chief Farmer, to learn about sustainable agriculture.

12 – 2 pm – Plant wildflower seeds at the Community Garden (access to garden from Solar Rd. see directions below)

3 more ways to make the most of Wildlife Day

1. Support our wildlife program. Download a Wildlife Donation Form or make a general donation online.

  • Adopt an Acre
  • Adopt an Animal
  • Challenge your family to Run, Walk or Ride for Wildlife

2. Participate in the National Wildlife Federation’s Wildlife Watch Program. Visit their website for more information: http://www.nwf.org/wildlifewatch/

3. Download the Project Noah app and record your wildlife viewings.

Please bring the schedule and directions with you to the event as the activities are scattered throughout Los Poblanos Open Space property.

Directions to Montano Parking Lot: Rio Grande Community Farm is located at Los Poblanos Open Space. The main parking lot is at 1701 Montano Rd. NW, 1 mile west of 4th Street. Turn north onto Tierra Viva and park in the gravel lot on your left. Bird watching, geocaching, and the farm tour will all start here, at the Montano parking lot. See on Map

Kids activities will begin at the Los Poblanos Gazebo which is located northeast of the Montano parking lot. Follow the trail towards the mountains and you’ll see it near a giant cottonwood tree. You can walk to the Community Garden from here in about 15 minutes.

Please note: Composting workshop and seed planting will be held at the Community Garden. You can walk there from the Montano parking lot or Gazebo in about 15 minutes. It is located in the northwest corner of Los Poblanos Open Space. For closer parking see directions below.

Directions to Community Garden (via Solar Rd.):To park near the Community Garden, you’ll want to access the farm from the north. From 4th Street, go west on Solar Rd. past Alvarado Elementary School. Park on the gravel road just west of the the school near the ditch. From Rio Grande Blvd., go east on Chavez Rd. and turn south on Nabor Rd. Just after the road jogs to the left, turn south onto the gravel road just before Alvarado Elementary School. Park along the ditch or fence and walk south across the ditch to the Community Garden. See on Map

What to bring: Water, sunscreen, hats, and snacks. Optional: Bikes, GPS units or geocaching apps, binoculars, dogs on leash, friends and family, and your curiosity about sustainable agriculture and how it improves wildlife habitat here and downstream.

Please note: Do not leave valuables in your car.

Seeking New Board Members

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Rio Grande Community Farm (RGCF) is a non-profit, educational farm in the North Valley. Our mission is to improve the health of our community through sustainable agriculture, education, and fresh food. www.riograndefarm.org

Our programs include demonstration of sustainable agriculture, 2-acre community garden, gardening education, Farm to School, food donations, young farmer training, annual Maize Maze, and urban wildlife habitat enhancement. 

RGCF is seeking board members. The Board of Directors meets on the 2nd Monday of each month from 6-8 pm. In addition to preparing for and attending board meetings, board members are asked to serve on at least one committee. Committee schedules vary depending on focus and time of year.

We are looking for individuals with the following expertise:

  • Banking

  • Law (general, water or natural resource)

  • Farming

  • Small business

  • Accounting

  • Advertising

  • Public relations and marketing

  • Fundraising

  • Event planning

  • Advocacy with elected officials

  • Public speaking

  • Writing skills (website, newsletters, grant proposals, fundraising letters)

 To learn more, contact Stephanie Dobbie at stephanie@riograndefarm.org.

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