Please Help Preserve This Historic Farm Land and Community Supported Agriculture
- To provide fresh, healthy produce in a manner that preserves and enhances local farmland.
- To build community through shared work, play, education and food.
- To be an evolving model of sustainable agriculture that connects humans, wildlife and the environment.
- A legacy of land stewardship in the South Valley for the next generation of Erda farmers and families.
- Innovating a model of collective preservation of farmland, for production and education.
- The continued work of traditional and restorative agriculture through Biodyanamics and Permaculture practices.
- The continued development of our Learning Center to create more opportunities for experiential learning.
- Additional infrastructure (solar panels, rainwater catchment and a certified kitchen) to reduce our resource-use, and increase our production for the community.
Over the last 17 years, Erda Gardens and Learning Center has built an organization based in ancient, sustainable, and heart centric methods. Now we need your help to bring Erda Gardens and Learning Center into new and ultimately more resilient territory. Together we can create and preserve a system that more accurately reflects our ecological community. One that is founded and thriving on the principles of connection, cooperation, interdependence, spiritual health and the well-being of all our community members—from the towering cotton wood to the tiniest butterfly.
Erda has always been on the forefront of localized, grassroots-driven and community-serving agriculture. While many farms are funded by wealthy individuals, we plan to lead the way once more, with a movement based in community contribution. We envision this as the first of many land purchases in our movement’s future and hope to serve as a model for the success of sustainable agriculture in the Rio Grande Valley. With your donation, this can become a reality!
Our education programs, such as Farm Camp, have been fast to succeed, and more impressively, quick to be imitated. This proves that there is both desire and need for South Valley and broader-Albuquerque youth opportunities to connect hands-on with their world—practically, spiritually, and cooperatively. With a home-base, we will be able to pursue more educational programs for children and adults, including seed-saving, bee-keeping, water-catchment, Biodynamics and Permaculture workshops, and more. Of course, as we’re already deeply networked with other in-town organizations, such as the Agri-Cultura Network and Bernalillo County Open Space, we will continue to serve a dependable and vital role in organizing and hosting collaborative events. Many exciting programs, events and developments will become possible with the purchase of the Blake property.
With land comes great responsibility and the opportunity to invest in infrastructure which as tenants has been beyond us. Offices for farm administration, indoor classroom space and a certified kitchen are just a few of our shared dreams. We also hope to bring experts in carpentry, solar paneling, water table- and river-way-reconstruction to our community. People—like you and us—will come to our Learning Center and take their new skills elsewhere, to meet their localized needs. In this way, the Blake property will be the nexus of a revolutionary approach to life in the South Valley, and beyond.
It’s important to understand that we do not have a philosophy of growth-at-any-cost. We are not oriented towards bigger-is-always-better. Rather, we want to deepen the quality and strength of our relationship between land and community. We hope to continue to feed our CSA member families with both food and knowledge in all the ways that we know: with delicious, biodynamically-grown produce; with spiritually satisfying community-building; and with ancient, revitalized, and sustainable models of living we can pass to our children, and theirs. We see this land purchase as an investment by the community, for the community. Please use the form at the right (or below, if you’re reading on a mobile device) to join us, as we dream and build together.
Erda Gardens and Learning Center was founded in 1996 by Marie Nord, a Franciscan nun and peace activist. It was Albuquerque’s first Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program. With Biodyanamic and Permaculture practices, Marie envisioned a garden that would empower her community and heal the Earth.
After seven years of farming in the South Valley we have the opportunity to buy our main garden, which we affectionately call Blake. (It sits at the corner of Blake and La Vega.) This vibrant patch of earth has hosted countless potlucks, workshops and festivals, and comes with important historic and cultural roots, dating to 1630. It boasts a listing on the National Park Service’s Camino Real Historic Registry.
We cultivate five borrowed plots annually, and a 50-year-old apple and pear orchard. By collectively purchasing land we can preserve it in a trust for future generations. By purchasing Blake, Erda would at last have a home, which we can use as much today as our children can, tomorrow.