Dear Friends and Readers,
After two weeks of dealing with the harsh reality of our farm being prevented to use volunteers and interns in its operation, as well as welcome visitors such as schools and other organizations, it is becoming clearer that what Gaia Gardens is facing is reminiscent of what our World is facing.
On one hand, we have a deep ecological, climate, political and economic crisis, on the other a system of codes, policies, politics, regulations and mindsets that prevent people from gathering in community, and do what their heart tells them is the right thing to do.
Gaia Gardens is much more than an urban farm. It has been built with community and has provided a place for people to gather, learn, share, make friends, exchange ideas and feel part of something sane in a world gone insane.
Upon order from the City, we’ve had to operate with a skeleton (I’ve been losing much weight!) crew and deal with building violations (shed built without permits by another tenant), in addition to dealing with breakdowns in our well water system (when it rains it pours!).
Besides a few conversations with lawyers, a meeting with City Councilman Peter Yves, and an effort to let people know what’s happening around the farm, we haven’t had much time to deal with anything else beside farm work and farmers markets.
Because the issues are so critical, we need to organize in order to work with politicians and organizations to evolve the City codes so food production, the sale of food on urban farms and using volunteers/interns in urban farm operations, are allowed.
Most Cities around the country have already passed ordinances to support urban agriculture. They’ve all come to see it as a way to build resilient and healthy community.
Dominique and I are working around the clock to keep this beautiful farm together and need your help.
We need to draft the text for both a paper and online petition. We are looking for experienced people in these matters.
They will be used for our argument to the City Council.
All we’ve done in the past 16 months of tending this garden is set the stage for a much larger body of work. The timing of the Violation Notice from the City couldn’t be more perfect. It is literally a death sentence on a farm that has been built with the sweat and support from a large community, has inspired many people and neighbors, delighted many children, and fed countless pollinators and migrating birds.
Gaia Gardens is a community project. Its current stand off with the City is a community project.
Please let us know if you have, or know people who have the skills, resources and connections to help not only Gaia Gardens survive, but create the conditions for future urban farm projects to flourish in Santa Fe.
With deep gratitude, and faith that we are all engaged in a deep process of transforming and healing our World.