Greetings, Erda enthusiasts,

As the winter chill releases its grip (we hope), the new Core Group met in early March to discuss the many changes we face. We talked about keeping our farmers fed and working, bringing in help for them in a way that will curb burnout (for everyone), and setting up committees for the Cesar Chavez Day of Service, our annual Soup-er Supper fundraiser dinner. That last one is slated for early April.

CSA memberships will go on sale in the next few weeks. We’re still tweaking our new web-system, ironing kinks, and drilling in on pricing. Rest assured, as you’re reading this now, you’ll be one of the first to know when we launch.

Meanwhile, as a wonderful reminder of Spring’s new beginnings, we also spent some time fawning over the latest additions to the Blake Road family: two beautiful, healthy baby goats. Congratulations and a round of “For she’s a jolly good fellow!”s to our resident goat-herd Laura. (Which nobody can deny.)

Many things are germinating here. Stay tuned for what’s soon to peek over the soil.

The Core Group met Saturday to welcome in many new members and bid several farewells.

We also set some big administrative parameters. We’ll get to the introductions and goodbyes in a moment. This next paragraph is the most important part of this message, so we put it up front:

The Core Group will now meet on the first Sunday of every month (next: March 1, 1:00p, 1305 Blake SW). March’s and April’s meetings have been added to the calendar, and we hope to see you there. (The Core Group consists of paying CSA members, work-trade volunteers, paid staff, and people brought into the Group by one or more of those folks.) One of our first orders of business on March 1 will be to finalize plans for this year’s CSA membership and Soup-er Supper. Stay tuned; we’re launching a whole new website in the next few weeks, to make both registering and paying for the CSA a breeze. Read More

Friends, Burqueñas, urban and countryfolk, it is time.

We will hold a general election for our Board of Directors on February 21, 2015.

Erda needs strong leadership, fresh ideas, and passionate, committed individuals.

If you want to put your hand to the helm and steer the farm in 2015, this is your opportunity to pitch your candidacy. Anyone may serve on our Board as long as they do not benefit, directly or indirectly, from that service. In other words, if you have or want to kindle a business relationship with Erda, you are not eligible for service. (We still love and want to work with you, though!) Read More

Winter showed up last night, jangling her keys outside the windows.

On my ride home by the river, the wind was a clear reminder of our desert. You might think that with of all our heat-trapping concrete our daytime temperatures would keep us swaddled all night. But under a cloudless sky, the desert releases heat with astonishing efficiency. Space wants its heat back, and the heat longs for more, to stretch further. Fall requires we let go of may things. Of every leaf. Read More

Impossibly, it’s September again.

I mean that special, really-September-now kind of September. The middle of September; the point-of-no-return September; when you’ve moved on from looking ahead to September to realizing you can’t get get back to August September. Seems like just last week I was realizing I’d penciled Chile Fiesta into my calendar a day late. The light is getting sly, the air is taking on an ahead-of-schedule chill, and we’re preparing for that long-promised last shipment of rain. Read More

I hope you’re enjoying these last weeks of hot afternoons.

The meteorologists tell us by the middle of next week Burque Fall will arrive. I know by then we’ll be in the second week of September, but all these cool August mornings have brought in the specter of cold earlier than I was prepared for. Some folks are big on Fall: the trees withdraw their chlorophyll, the air crisps and sharpens, our feathered sisters and brothers begin angling toward warmer places. Read More


Longtime friend of Erda Gardens, Estelle Emmett, died last Sunday night, August 10, 2014 in her 90th year near Albuquerque, New Mexico. Her husband of 59 years preceded her into the spiritual world almost exactly one year ago. Estelle was born in Estonia on Feb. 16, 1925.

The funeral service of The Christian Community will be held for Estelle Friday, August 15 in Albuquerque at the Daniel’s Funeral Home, 7601 Wyoming Blvd. N.E. 87109, at 10:00 am. At 9 am there will be a social gathering to honor Estelle with stories and memories of her.

The Act of Consecration for the Dead will be held for Estelle on Saturday, August 11, at the Santa Fe Waldorf School at 10am, in the 8th grade classroom.

Have you been to the farm lately?

I find each month exciting for different reasons, which of course are the same reason: each plant and bug and bird and bacterium loves a certain time of year. They show up when they know it’s time to perform.

June gives way to July; our abundance of greens makes way for plums and peaches, apples and apricots. July makes room for August. Tubers and garlic, planted as far back as the fall, grow plump and ready for a second life in our baskets, skillets, soup pots and pie pans. Our three varieties of basil flourish beside the handful of cucumbers that survived the heat, and tomatoes and tomatillos dapple the row with small and hearty colors.

One of the transitions we all engage through a CSA is relearning how to eat. We eat what there is, and when there is. You can’t force a tomato vine in March—or at least, not outdoors, where it’s happiest, and we only want to harvest and share happy tomatoes. So it’s easy, in our little world of supermarket-availability, to get sad. No tomatoes yet? Bummer.

But the silver lining which doesn’t get much press is the marvelous overlap. The liminal times, when the sage recedes and onions emerge. Some of that is good planning from our farmers; some of it is just the way of things. Our plates and bowls are always full, always changing. It really is a subtle magic.

So don’t miss your chance to participate in it.

Work Party on Saturday, August 10

This weekend we’ll be joining our collective powers at our Blake Road location to weed, water, dig, plant, clean and laugh—and, of course, to eat. The party starts at 9:00am, with a potluck at noon. If you’ve never been to an Erda potluck, I don’t think you’ll want to miss the next one.

Mid-Season Member Surveys

Are you a member? If so, please consider filling out our mid-season survey. It takes only a few minutes, and will help us to identify all the things we’re doing right, and ways we can work to make the CSA a better fit for you.

The dog days are near.

As we approach the end of the month known for its relentless heat and brightness, we also mark the middle of our harvest season. Tomatoes and cucumbers are climbing skyward, basil pops like green and purple fireworks, potatoes and garlic are peering plump out of the ground, and the bitter greens go on thumbing their noses at everyone. What marvelous work to spend your day in the garden. Read More

Is it already the middle of July?

How did this happen? The bees, ever industrious and determined, have already completed a great deal of their harvesting. Plums, cherries, apricots, peaches and all their sweet and tart families have been gathering over and under us for weeks now. Tomato vines and corn stalks have already broken into the sunlight.  The days of tat soi leaves and impressively spicy arugula have passed, and we are reclined on a hot couch, in a hot room, in the heart of summer. All our many-legged, winged, rooted and tentacled friends know that tracking the sun is all that matters. I’ll be frank with you: This being only my third year on the farm, I’ve begun to feel like I was reborn in 2012. I’m learning the important things now, from scratch.

Of course, our farmers have been tracking everything and everyone on our varied plots, alongside our beloved work-traders, infusing and drawing life from the ground. This year’s abundant harvest is a testament to the work everyone has done so far—and being a community farm, we need you to help keep it going.

July Volunteer Opportunities

While we’re not hosting a work party this month, we have an ever-growing list of exciting ways to involve yourself in the Erda Life:

Tuesdays and Thursdays, volunteer opportunities abound, from fruit harvesting to drying and processing herbs. Learn how to sort usable garlic from seed garlic from eat it today garlic. Email Elli for details.

Wednesday mornings and Friday evenings, as you may be aware, are harvest times. Join us as a work-trader a couple times a month and take home a full share for each night you work!

Friday mornings at 10:00 Jimmy is leading a Biodynamics class. Learn more about the spiritual thread that runs through all living beings on the farm, in the skies, and beyond, and how we can harvest that energy for great-tasting, bountiful produce.

Friday evenings, join farm staff, volunteers, work-traders and friends for an always-special Farm Family Dinner. We provide some basic protein—rice, beans, lentils—and whatever’s fresh from the field, and encourage you to bring something to eat or drink (beer and wine okay). No one’s turned away for lack of food.

Saturday mornings Elli leads a Meditation & Wellness class, and Community Field Day after. If you normally pick up your share on Saturday mornings, consider staying a while and playing in the dirt. Kids and families welcome.

Each of these events can be found on the Erda Events Calendar.

Special Newsletter Bonus!

Our friend and neighbor Peter Gallo, of Kimchi Farms, has found a quick and easy recipe reference for perilla leaves, which were included with this week’s share. Curious, or hungry for more? Send Peter an email, and he’ll be happy to address your every perilla need.