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January 2024 Newsletter

By January 1, 2024January 3rd, 2024News

January Newsletter Contents

New Year’s Resolution: Get Involved in Your Community Farm! 

  • Welcome to the 2024 Growing Season!
  • You’re Invited! Join the Board or a Board Committee
  • Make an Impact! Indigenous Scholarship Advisor
  • Explore Options! Indigenous Scholarships
  • Reserve Your Row! The Community Garden
  • Apply Today! The MicroFarm Program
  • Join Us in the New Year! Become a Cherished Member
  • Learn Skills or Show off! Volunteer On The Farm
  • Take A Class! Winter Offerings
  • Join Forces! Partner with The Farm
  • Cultivate Solutions! Grow Your Community Farm

Welcome to the 2024 Growing Season!

It’s no secret there are tremendous challenges to food security today. In addition to climate change  bringing extreme heat, drought, floods, wildfires, and new pests, there are systemic issues with the agricultural industry itself. Every step you take to engage with Rio Grande Community Farm helps to close the local food gap.

Of course age doesn’t matter! Until it does. The average age of a farmer in the US is 57-and-a-half years old, casting doubt on the future of food itself. We also agree that money doesn’t buy happiness! But recent rental prices for an eighth-acre of urban land in our Village of Los Ranchos is at least $2,400 per year. If you can purchase water rights for that parcel, it could add up to another $4,000 per year. Obtaining water rights in New Mexico at all is a hard question mark with 65,000 New Mexicans claiming water rights who may become defendants in lawsuits brought by the state. The State Engineer’s Office estimates that it will take 15 years to address everyone’s claims. If you are a woman or a Person Of Color, your systemic barriers have been even greater, such as facing discrimination when seeking farmer loans from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Rio Grande Community Farm has been increasing food security since 1997 by breaking down barriers to access and engagement in sustainable urban agriculture. We offer classes in regenerative farming to would-be growers of all ages, genders, backgrounds, and economic situations – cultivating a passion for land stewardship and wildlife conservation along the way. We offer affordable pesticide-free urban farmland in our two-acre Community Garden and from 1/8- to two-acre plots through our MicroFarm program for market production.

What an exciting year we have planned – from new classes in seed saving and climate adaptation to Indigenous scholarships and experiments with fungal-dominant compost, aquaculture, and agrovoltaics!  Our Stakeholder Survey is complete and we will soon be sharing the takeaways on what you want! This is the ideal year for you to take the next step in your relationship with your Community Farm: reserve that Community Garden row, join the Board of Directors or a committee, volunteer, or take that membership or partnership plunge!

In cooperation,

Robyn Wagoner, Executive Director | (505) 308.4987


Join The Board of Directors or a Board Committee

If you have a passion for providing underserved and diverse communities with equitable access to urban farmland and education in sustainable agriculture, and a commitment to wildlife conservation and social justice, consider joining us as a volunteer Director or Committee Member!


  • Treasurer
  • Secretary
  • Director-at-Large
  • Committee Members-at-Large (helping with communications, fundraising, engagement, sustainability, programming, and more!)

Position Overview:
Collaboration, communication, policy development, fundraising, committee work, and on the ground support for events, classes, and volunteers are some of the required activities.

Experience in non-profit governance is preferred but we will train a promising candidate. Please also live in the Albuquerque area and have at least two hours per week available for board business. Additionally, you will need regular access to email, and competence with digital communication technology.

Women, LGBTQIA+, BIPOC, immigrant, and disabled community members are encouraged to apply.

How to Apply:
Interested individuals are invited to email with your resume or bio, two references, and a statement of interest based on the following questions:

  • To which position are you applying?
  • What is your relationship to agriculture in New Mexico?
  • Do you have experience with non-profits or being on a Board of Directors?
  • What do you want to bring to Rio Grande Community Farm?
  • What about Rio Grande Community Farm inspires you to want to join the Board of Directors (or a Committee of the Board)?


Indigenous Scholarship Advisory Council


We are currently seeking three passionate and dedicated Indigenous Scholarship Advisors to help develop and implement our Indigenous Urban Grower Scholarships program. The Indigenous Scholarship Advisor position offers a unique opportunity to make a meaningful impact on the lives of urban Indigenous individuals pursuing opportunities in sustainable agriculture.

Position Overview:

This position plays a crucial role in identifying, supporting, and guiding Indigenous individuals from various tribes who have a keen interest in sustainable farming and face financial barriers to pursuing their agricultural goals. This is a volunteer position with a flexible time commitment, estimated at five hours per month.

  1. Act as a liaison between Rio Grande Community Farm and the Indigenous communities in urban Albuquerque to enhance the reach and impact of the scholarship program
  2.  Support the awardee in negotiations with the organization whenever requested and assist them in navigating organization resources.
  3.  Assist in development of program, award criteria, outreach materials.
  4.  Review scholarship applications and ensure they meet the eligibility criteria and collaborate with the selection committee to identify promising candidates.


  • Indigenous background from any tribe.
  • Passion for promoting equity, particularly in the field of agriculture.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a diverse and inclusive environment.
  • Previous experience in scholarships, advising, agriculture, non-profits, or community outreach is helpful.

How to Apply:

Interested individuals are invited to email their resume or bio, two references, and a brief cover letter outlining their interest and qualifications to by February 1st, 2024. Please include “Indigenous Scholarship Advisor” in the subject line.


Indigenous Urban Grower Scholarships

Scholarship award period runs Feb 15 to Dec. 31, 2024. Applications are due by 11:59 p.m. MDT February 1st, 2024. Award notifications will be sent Feb 15th, 2024.

Rio Grande Community Farm’s is offering two Indigenous Urban Grower Scholarships for 2024: one for our Community Garden and one for our MicroFarm Program. Both are awarded to Native American growers in-need who are living in urban Albuquerque, New Mexico and are seeking farmland for growing in a sustainable and pesticide-free manner in a diverse community environment.

Administration of our Indigenous Scholarships will be guided by a dedicated Indigenous Scholarship Advisory Council to ensure culturally appropriate standards and methods of support for the award recipients as well as to improve the reach and impact of the scholarship program.

These scholarships are made possible by donations from our cherished Members: Diane Marshall. Timothy Schollenberger, Olivia Schollenberger, and Nicole Baty.



The Community Garden

Our two-acre Community Garden serves our city with an abundance of seeds, workshops, mentorship, and community events to give growers opportunities to cultivate their own produce and build a network of friends and collaborators.


  • Annual Fee: $135 / row per season ending Dec. 31, 2024.
  • Suggested Weekly Commitment:  4 – 9 hrs / week
  • Volunteer Contribution: 15 hrs / season


  • 150 sq ft garden row
  • Access to a variety of hand tools
  • Routine irrigation for rows
  • Soil-building components such as manure
  • Free seeds and discounts on plant starts
  • Trellis, tomato cages, and other equipment
  • Hay for mulching

You also receive a Rio Grande Community Farm Membership that includes benefits such as free classes and early-bird discount on festivals.





The MicroFarm Program

For those interested in growing on a market scale, we provide access to farmland plots from one-eighth to two acres and irrigation through our MicroFarm Program.


Each 1/8-acre plot fee is $135 per season ending Dec. 31, 2024.


In addition to the plot of farmland, you receive acequia irrigation, subject to water availability. Well water is available as a secondary water source in case of drought or for establishing young crops on drip lines. You’ll also receive a Rio Grande Community Farm Membership that includes benefits such as  free classes, booth space at our events, and early-bird festival discounts.



Become a Cherished Member

As a non-profit organization, we rely on valued members like you to provide core support for our programs and operations. If you are passionate about providing affordable urban farmland and sustainable farming education for diverse and underserved communities while stewarding Los Poblanos Fields for conserving biodiversity and natural resources, consider becoming a new member or renewing your membership for 2024!

Membership Options

SEED (individual) $25/year
ACEQUIA (individual) $100/year
HEIRLOOM (individual) $500/year
FLOCK (Family of four) $1,000/year

Click the button below for detailed benefits at each level and email for questions.

Join today through our GiveButter site


Volunteer On The Farm

Improve your quality of life and join us on the Farm! We currently have both labor and administrative positions available.


According to science, spending time in nature offers benefits such as increased activity which burns calories and improves sleep, increases exposure to sunlight producing hormone (vitamin) D, boosts creativity, improves focus, increases self-esteem, reduces anxiety, anger, and stress, increases serotonin, and raises energy levels. Breathing in compounds from working in the earth (phytoncides) has even been determined to improve immune function!



Classes & Workshops:



Composting Workshop

(and second Saturdays of every month)
9:00 11:00 am  (weather dependent)Workshop with certified Master Composter, Rich Adeyemi. Which materials are safe to compost? When to turn? What ratios of carbon to nitrogen are best? How to deal with scavengers? All your questions answered!

Email to save your spot:



Introduction to Welding

2:00 4:00 pm

The hands-on welding workshop you’ve been wanting! Your instructor is Bert Gillespie, a retired professional welder who has worked underseas, building sky scrapers, teaching welding at community colleges, and doing specialized work at Sandia Labs. Bert will teach this class each Saturday until everyone has learned what they want to know!





Seed Saving Workshop

11:00 am – 2:00 pm

Effective seed savings begins with long term planning so get started with your instructor Brett Bakker from from New Mexico Dept. of Agriculture, Organic Farm Certification Consultant, and former Seed Collector for Native Seeds/Search.


Join Forces!

Partner With Us

As an outstanding member of Albuquerque’s local business community, you seek opportunities to contribute to public health and environmental sustainability. You value a secure local food system, a robust agricultural economy, and collective conservation of our natural resources.

Rio Grande Community Farm shares your values. We’ve been providing low and no-cost programming to build the local knowledge base on sustainable agriculture and strengthen Albuquerque’s connection to the land since 1997.

Partnering with us can provide visibility for your organization on our website, in our promotional materials, on our social media accounts, or at our events that collectively host 17,000 attendees annually. You receive partner stickers, and employee engagement and team building events. Most importantly, local consumers learn that you are investing in their health and the security of our shared local food system.

Partnering with you allows us to continue offering affordable access to urban farmland and farming education while conserving native biodiversity and natural resources. We rely on donations and collaborations to power our non-profit organization, and with a daily operating cost of $575.00, your contribution directly impacts our success.


Rio Grande Community Farm is proud to have been awarded the Candid Platinum Transparency badge. Click to view our charity profile.


Grow Your Community Farm

Your tax-deductible gift helps to provide:

• Community programs that educate growers of all ages in sustainable agriculture, land stewardship, climate resilience, equipment operation, composting, and farm-to-market strategies

• Access to urban farmland and irrigation for diverse and underserved community members

• Enhancing habitat and forage for native and migrating species

• Iconic local events that celebrate our unique agricultural heritage

• Research in sustainable methods including solar energy, aquaponics, and fungal dominant compost

• Interdisciplinary college internships

• Neighborhood Composting Program that processes 6,600 gallons of food waste annually

• A living wage for our farm workers and educators

Checkout our accomplishments!

Donate Today!

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