Blake-North-in-April

April is the season of rapid growth.

Seedlings burst forth in the greenhouse, blossoms alight with bees busily collecting pollen, and baby goats bounce around us like long-legged rabbits. Springtime is always a bustling time at the farm and we welcome the new growth. Along with an influx of new faces come old friends, returning for another season. Continue Reading

Laura-&-Cecilia

April has arrived, and nearly succeeded in pushing back the March winds.

A few more weeks of trumpeting noses and it’ll be time to dust off those lawn chairs. Which, admittedly, will probably make many of us sneeze again.

March was very productive March in Erdalandia. Last month a stalwart crew planted innumerable new starts and built a new hoop house at Blake, cleared out piles of junk, prepped beds at every site, mowed and created berms around a dozen trees at Barcelona, and much, much more. If you joined us for either of the Sunday Work Parties, or during the week, thank you! Continue Reading

soupersupper-feat

First, some thank yous:

Thanks to all who joined us for our Soup-er Supper last Sunday!

Thanks, CNM Chronicle, for the great write up on Tuesday!

Thanks, McCune Foundation, for continuing to fund our work at Erda Gardens!

There’s so much to do!

March is packed with opportunities to get down to the farm, enjoy the spring sunshine and learn how to start your own backyard garden, here are a few of the upcoming events, check out our Events Calendar for more! Continue Reading

Soup-er-Supper

Soup-er Supper FlyerSoup-er Supper

This Sunday! March 2, 6:00–8:00pm
ABQ Mennonite Church, 1300 Girard NE
$15-20 suggested donation
$5 for kids under 10
No one turned away due to lack of funds

This annual event is a great way to support local farmers and learn how you can support and share in the harvest. This is a great time to renew your CSA Membership or become a first-time member, as anyone who pays in full for the 2014 growing season gets a $50 dollar discount on the total cost of a share. That’s six months of fresh, pesticide-free, biodynamic fruits and vegetables for $550! The menu is still growing, but here are the homemade soups and sides you can count on:

  • Carrot Curry Soup
  • Cuban Black Bean Soup
  • Pinto Bean Soup
  • Green Chile Stew
  • Beef Stew
  • Artisan Breads Continue Reading
orchardapples

Spring is in the ground. Woo! Change!

A few months back, at a biodynamic spray, friend of the farm Michael Reed reminded us that everything around us has already begun its spring preparations. Plants know instantly by the length of light that it is safe, and important, to anticipate a new growth season. Several of us took this insight with us, into our bones, a capsule yesterday and tomorrow, to hold us over today.

We approach February gingerly. This winter we’ve been teased with perfect hammock-drooping afternoons. As we hear talk of our driest winter on record, we begin to plan for a new kind of summer, a new kind of rainfall. We remind ourselves that we humans are a profoundly adaptable bunch. With our eyes open, we can do so much.

Some of you may have heard whispers of a potential water crisis, spurred by a new development on the West Side. This is real, it is serious, and it affects all of Albuquerque. We’re partnering with La Orilla Farm to launch a public awareness and action campaign. We’ll be sending more information soon, including how you can make your voice heard.

Now for some great news!

Erda was selected to receive the “bag credit” at La Montanita Co-op for the month of February. So when you go shopping at La Montañita Co-op this month, bring your own bags and don’t forget to donate the credit to Erda Gardens and Learning Center!

It’s almost time for our 2014 Soup-er Supper Fundraiser and Membership Drive.
Albuquerque Mennonite Church
Sunday, March 2nd
5:00 – 7:00 pm
1300 Girard Blvd. NE

Live music, delicious dinner and plenty of family fun to be had this year. This annual event is a great way to support local farmers and learn how you can support and share in the harvest. A great time to renew your CSA membership or become a first-time member, as anyone who pays if full for the 2014 growing season gets a $50 dollar discount on the total cost of a share. Full menu and musical guests to be announced. $15-20 suggested donation, $5 for kids under 10. No one turned away due to lack of funds.

The Backyard Farming Workshop Series, in partnership with Bernalillo County Open Space and the Hubbell House Alliance starts back up again this Saturday, Feb. 8. These workshops are FREE and open to the public. However, this year we are limiting the number of participants, so please pre-register.

February 8th: Fruit Tree Care and Pruning
Learn proper techniques for pruning, which fruit trees thrive best in your landscape, when to plant and proper planting guidelines. New Mexico State University’s tree expert, Joran Viers, will lead the presentation and hands-on demonstration.

February 22nd: Edible Bushes and Shrubs
Shrubs are an important part of one’s landscaping, offering a number of benefits including beauty, wildlife forage, and space delineation. Come and learn about which native shrubs are good to incorporate into your backyard as well as winter care and pruning techniques led by Wes Brittenham from Plants of the Southwest.

See all events coming up in the next few months on our events calendar.

ErdaCore

Every time we eat, a farmer is present at our table.

If we are lucky, we know the individual who milked the cow, harvested the potatoes, picked the green beans and raised the turkey. In most cases, there are many hands that harvest, carry, process, pack and deliver the goods we eat. We may know the person stocking shelves or say a genuine hello to the one who rings up the purchase… but that’s as close as we’ll get.

As the holiday season starts its frenzied pro-consumer decent, please take pause and remember that each meal is dependent on many faces we may never see. We can keep giving thanks to all those who helped put food on our table.

Giving thanks to our Core Group

Now that our growing season has come to a close and the garden sites are unusually quiet, we begin planning for the season to come. A huge THANK YOU to the Core Group for all their time and energy. The Core Group helps shape and guide Erda’s direction.

Several new positions are opening in next year’s group. If you are interested in joining, please contact us now!

Next Erda Events

Children’s Advent Garden Celebration

December 1, 2013, 11:00 am
The Garden Room, at The Source (1111 Carlisle SE)

Come with your child for a warm and gentle advent experience. Following a story, children light their apple candles an walkthrough and evergreen spiral. Brought to you by the local anthroposophical group. $5 per family. Please pre-register with Sally.

Erda Speakeasy Fundraiser

December 7, 2013, times depending
Erda HQ (Blake and La Vega)

Tickets are still available for our adults-only evening of crooning Jazz, 20s style and bootleg goodness, in a building used once for a real Speakeasy. Tickets start at $50 to party; $150 to have dinner with local Swing luminaries Le Chat Lunatique. Get tickets and more information here.

Welcome to Erda, says the Calabacita

Greetings Erda Friends!

The 2013 CSA Harvest Season has finally come to an end, and once again we would like to acknowledge and thank everyone who has supported Erda this year. Your time, labor, financial support, potluck meals and community spirit all helped make 2013 a great year on the farm. Though this season’s CSA is over, there are still many exciting events in the next few months. 

Backyard Farming Workshop

This Saturday, November 9, from 9:00–12:30, at the Gutierrez-Hubble House. This month’s topic is a Conservation Farming Forum. Full event details (including directions) here

Volunteer and Member Appreciation Evening

The evening of Sunday, November 17, we would like to invite you to our our farm managers’ house, to say thank you. If you’ve been a member or volunteered this year, please RSVP to erdagardens [at] gmail [dot] com, and we will send directions and relevant information. This is our opportunity to thank all of you for your support, so please come if you can!

Speakeasy Fundraiser Party

We are really excited to announce our Speakeasy Fundraiser Party on Saturday night December 7 at the historic Territorial House, located on Erda’s Blake Rd property. This house was once a Prohibition-era speakeasy, so in our efforts to buy the farm, we are hosting an extravagant party unlike Erda has ever seen before. We’ll have music from local luminaries Le Chat Lunatique and Joan Cere with Dan Dowling along with food, revelry, and period costumes. We’re almost done setting up ticketing for this event, and will send an email shortly.

Tell Us What’s Up!

Was there something this season you just loved, and want to make sure you see again? Something we could do better? Too much of one food, not enough of another? Our 2013 Survey takes only about 5 minutes to complete, and helps form a whole year of activity. If you haven’t spoken your mind yet, please do so here. And thank you!

Stay warm and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Blue corn drying in the greenhouse (purple garlic out of the shot) - Erda Gardens and Learning Center

Our blue corn harvest is drying in the green house.

Each kernel keeps the memory of the strangest season yet. Remembering the dry spring and hard summer rains will make it a little more resilient for next year. Some of our purple garlic sits in the ground, already sending up tiny tendrils of green. We have more in the shed waiting for our heavy hands to bury them deep with a promise of summer resurrection. Early frosts take the tomatoes just as they begin producing, and we become a little more resilient too, planning for next year before this one is even truly over.

This season, we feel strained when we speak of abundance. Even saying the word cabbage cracks my voice a little. As encouragement, the earth offers us sweet potatoes the size of babies, we feel far from failure. And a donation of honey from an orchard that did not produce fruit this year brightens our outlook, or makes it a little sweeter. This spring’s nonexistent beets show their faces this fall to remind us we cannot give up on them completely. And our large, proud purple garlic was the hit of this weekend’s Local Foods Festival (we had to turn away many offers). Such is the life of the farmer in an age of flux. “It builds intestinal fortitude,” a rancher friend remarks, and I roll my eyes, but laugh. The corn has been here longer than me, it knows how to grow.

Join us for Garlic Planting and Fall Garden Clean Up!

Those of you looking to fortify your diets, or starters for your next crop, we will be giving away any extra garlic at the end of these parties. (This is of course not a guarantee there will be extras.)

Sunday, October 20th 10:00 am–2:00 pm
3007 El Corto SW 87105

Sunday, October 27th 2:00pm–6:oo pm
1305 Blake SW 87105

All families welcome. Always followed by a vegetarian potluck. Good people, great conversation, and food to match. Please bring a dish to share!

Welcome to Erda, says the Calabacita

Thanks to all who donated time, energy and food to our Harvest Festival and Fundraiser!

We raised almost $2,000 and had a great time with friends and neighbors, dancing to Mezcla Latina, touring the historic property and sharing a lovely afternoon in Albuquerque’s oldest community garden. If you could not make it, but would like to donate to our campaign to buy land, worry not! You can donate any time (and even set up recurring donations) on our website.

Fall is officially here.

We are digging sweet potatoes and picking pumpkins. Because of the late frosts, there is a shortage of of tree fruit in Albuquerque this year. We would like to thank Joanie Cere for donating pears from her trees, near old town, to our CSA. She must have provided a magical micro-climate that preserved them this spring!

And speaking of fruit trees, we are honored to be the recipients of a $10,000 PNM 30th Anniversary grant for our work restoring a historic apple and pear orchard in the South Valley. We will have upcoming work parties this fall and following spring to continue our work replanting and to begin building an edible food forest. Thanks, PNM, for supporting our work of restorative agriculture!

Permalove

We have ten tickets to give away to ArrBiZZaar 3 this Saturday. The first ten folks who write us with “Permalove” in the subject line will get in free! More details:

Permalove, an original inter-coherence by Robert Hoberg, that will now build the third one-of-a-kind community fair, ArrBiZZaar, replete with wholesome local amenities, from food and crafts, re-gift and de-sourced swaps, poetry, music and medicine, art and costume! ArrBiZZaar is an interchange and “intra-change” well-unfathomed by any comparison to the state festival, itself. It’s a sharing of community adventure, a coloring of reciprocity, an innovation of confabulating, and a chance for the each to contribute and play here-for-to all earthen creatives! Permalove especially “co-ntails,” “pro-cepts” and “genu-incredible” cooperation and conference with nature and one another. It’s a”ReLOvEAtioN” of fun for the whole family! Also, this time it is paired with the free 1st Annual Food+ Fitness Fair by Project Feed the Hood, from noon to 7:00 pm at Ross and Wellesley. Biodiesel ferries available between the events.

2013 Local Food Festival

Lastly, one of our favorite events of the year is just around the corner. Join us Sunday, October 13th from 11:00 am–4:00 pm at the Guterrez-Hubbell House, for chef tastings, live music, kids activities and more! Meet local growers, attend a free workshop or join the sack races.

For those with baking talents there will be a Pie Contest hosted by Edible Santa Fe. Categories are open for both children and adults and the winners will receive a $50 gift certificate to a local restaurant and all the glory that comes with being published in the next issue.

Well, that’s all for this week. We hope you enjoy these last warm days of Fall, and look forward to seeing you this weekend, and beyond.

Harvest Festival Fundraiser to buy the property at Blake and La Vega - Erda Gardens and Learning Center

All this rain has us dreaming of cisterns.

Farm friends south of Socorro are flooded in and a river that might be described as “Grande” has been revealed, replacing the mud bank we’ve seen the last few weeks. Last week’s three inches from the sky combined with July’s six and a half line up with predictions that the southwest will begin to receive all its rainfall in concentrated time periods.

We are always asking: how can we best utilize our precious water resource? Infrastructure, such as cisterns, are an example of the future projects we hope to construct and teach at our main Blake location once, with your help, we purchase the property. And speaking of great Erda events in the not-distant future…

Here are some we’re really excited about:

Harvest Festival and Fundraiser

We hope to see folks down at the Farm this Sunday, from 2:00–6:00pm for amazing food, live music by Mezcla Latina, kids crafts, story telling and a petting zoo of mini goats! Tours of the historic property, including the house built in 1630, will happen every hour. This is a fundraiser to buy property and we’re asking for a $25–$50 donation, however no one will be turned away for lack of funds.

Seed-Saving Workshop

The smell of green chile roasting in the cool morning air is always the mark of fall’s arrival. This time of year it is natural to turn inward, plan for next season and future seasons. What better activity than seed-saving to consider the legacy we hope to pass to future generations? Join us Saturday the 21st at the Gutierrez-Hubbell House from 9:00am–12:30pm.

We’ll be at Globalquerque Global Fiesta

on Saturday, handing out free Rainbow Popcorn seeds from 10:30am–4:00pm at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. The Global Fiesta is FREE and the SEEDS: A Collective Voice booth will also feature a group collage made from the three sister seeds of corn, squash and beans.

What is the Learning Center?

We offer many opportunities for learning at the farm. Besides hosting volunteers, school and civic groups, as well as our Farm Camp program in the summer, here are a few standouts:

UNM Continuing Education’s “Story of New Mexico”

will land at Erda for a Farm Tour and talk on Urban Agriculture and Acequias Saturday, September 28th, 9:00am–12:00pm. Participants will walk the one mile between our Main Blake location and historic Sanchez Farm and learn about the history and future of agriculture in the South Valley. Cost is $35; pre-registration required.

Hands-on Home Canning Workshop (with Albuquerque Old School)

Participants will leave with the experience of processing and canning the garden’s bounty as well as jars of preserves to enjoy! Sunday, September 29th, 10:00am–2:00pm. Cost is $25 and space is limited; please pre-register with Albuquerque Old School. If that this class fills up, it will repeat on Sunday, October 20th. Check out all the great workshops they have going on this fall like Greywater Recapture, Herbal Medicine and more!

We hope to see you at the farm!