Thursday, June 27, 2013

What our Neighbors Say

When I think about the conditions I want to see my three- year old daughter grow up in, I think about a shared sense of community, connection to place and land, and the opportunity to work with and inspire others to grow the vitality of the place in which they live.  I firmly believe that Gaia Gardens embodies all of these qualities, and while it is a new member of our community, it represents a beacon of hope and vibrancy in a place that continues to face increasing challenges.    Adam

We are writing to share with you our gratitude for our local urban farm, Gaia Gardens. Gaia Gardens provides us with a place to go to learn gardening techniques, share in local foods, and teach our child about plants, chickens, ducks, and community. We have an 8-month old baby who loves her days at the Gardens where Poki shows her baby ducks and lets her play with plants and dirt. We are also grateful to have the opportunity to be part of a Community-Supported-Agriculture program, right in our neighborhood.   Amber and Rob

My wife Karen and I want to take this opportunity to thank you for your efforts in creating Gaia Gardens.  We are homeowners next door in Los Chamisos and have enjoyed watching the transformation of barren land into a lush garden.  Creating these gardens gives opportunity for many to learn about sustainable organic farming techniques that can be used by anyone.  The gardens are testament to what can be done without the use of harmful pesticides and fertilizers.  As a teacher, I hope to use Gaia Gardens as a "field trip" lesson for my students.  Gaia Gardens is a wonderful neighbor and we look forward to visiting your operation for many years to come. 
Bob & Karen

We are residents of Los Chamisos Association, and live very close to Gaia Gardens. This project has been executed with care and concern for the environment. We have absolutely no objections to the continuation of this project. To see the gardens from the arroyo is a beautiful sight, and only makes people more aware of the possibilities of eating foods that are locally grown. 
Our personal experiences with the gardens have been only good, and we would be very disappointed to have any changes take place for Gaia Gardens.    
Brian and Linda

In the past 18 months, Gaia Gardens has been a great supporter of our community garden organization. We have received a number of valuable donations from Gaia Gardens, including donations of steel drums to regulate the temperature in our hoop house, as well as composting resources and a large number of vegetable and herb plant seedlings. We consider Gaia Gardens to be a great supporter and benefactor for community gardening in Santa Fe. I believe that by providing quality food, educational resources and space for community gatherings and events, Gaia Gardens is a tremendous asset to the City of Santa Fe.  Duskin

I live a few houses away from Gaia Gardens and have found it to be an exciting addition to our neighborhood.  Fresh, local, sustainable food from a known source is becoming increasingly important to our community. Many of us in the neighborhood have attended events at the garden and have volunteered our time in support.  Gaia gardens is doing more than just grow healthy food, the farm has welcomed the community to participate in planting, growing and eating the food.  It has become a center for teaching children about healthy food, how to grow it, and the importance of a healthy environment.  Gaia Gardens has been an excellent neighbor: Poki Piotin and the other volunteers have gone out of their way to reach out to the neighborhood and invite them to participate.  They have also worked hard to address any of the neighbors' concerns.  Deb

Our property is adjacent to the Gaia Gardens property.  Chickens are on the other side of our coyote fence.  Since the ducks were moved to a better location, we have been happy and so are the ducks.  The garden itself is very well planned and looks great.  We have seen several groups of school children taking advantage of the educational opportunity offered by the people at Gaia Gardens.  Personally, we are looking forward to the variety of fresh vegetables offered soon by Gaia Gardens at the Santa Fe farmers market.  Tomatoes are our favorites.  Try it-you will love it. Don

Gaia Gardens, which in my opinion is one of the leading innovations in Santa Fe in recent years, has the potential to be a catalyst trend creator in sustainability for the local area in a country and world that increasingly needs sustainability. New Mexico was just named the worst state in the nation for a child to grow up, mostly due to poverty. It has unseated Mississippi. It has been shown that living sustainably and being able to grow one’s own food is a step towards prosperity, especially among children who are so keen on gardening and plants. It is a shame that your time has to be spent fighting non-sense laws instead of helping Santa Fe lead the state in living sustainably.   Joe

I live in the small housing complex next to Gaia Gardens.  When it was first being put in, I thought it was another set of houses and was upset; I liked the open land next to us.  When I realized that it was a community garden I was instead overjoyed!  Poki and his folks have been good neighbors, quiet and a great asset to my neighborhood, which I consider to be a small community unto itself.  The activities of the farm are of no nuisance whatsoever, and are instead beneficial to myself and to my neighbors around me.  I have not experienced any traffic or parking issues.  Kevin

My mother and I live across the street from the gardens at 2224 Paseo de los Chamisos.  We had been living at my Tierra de Zia condo on the other side of the bike path and that’s when I first discovered you on my morning walks.  I was so impressed with your gardening and composting projects along the bike path. I had spent 1 ½ year searching for a house to purchase for me and my mother, and found the townhouse across from you in the Los Chamisos subdivision.  The fact that Gaia Gardens was there was an extra added benefit to the location of the property. You are wonderful, friendly, community-oriented people.  Your use of the property, I am sure, has kept theft and the potential for derelicts to hang out in the neighborhood down.  You are certainly an asset to the whole neighborhood. Santa Fe should bring more gardening into both city and residential areas.  I think it is fantastic!  Laurrie

I have been taking my sons Spencer, 8, and Liam, 4, to Gaia Gardens for the past two years and have been extremely impressed with the gardens, the staff, the volunteers, and the centralized location.   Liam likes to feed the ducks and chickens, and Spencer likes to weed!  They have been extremely generous to the community educating children and parents alike about responsible gardening and responsible use of our precious water resources.   It seems that there has been a misinterpretation of the happenings at Gaia.  From a parent's perspective, and a professional gardener's perspective, they are a huge asset to this community and should be encouraged with every means possible to continue their excellent work.  Linda

I am a mother of 2 children, Rosa (4) and Rico (6 months).  We live in walking distance of Gaia Gardens.  Since summer of 2012, our weekly visits to the garden have been part of our family’s cherished routine.  Because of the ease and access to Gaia Gardens, my 4-year old daughter knows some of the ins-and-outs of farm life!  Gaia Gardens has provided us with fresh, nutritious food as well as real-life experience of community, sustainability and well being.  I ask you to support urban farming, including the allowance of volunteers and visitors, in accordance with the following 2008 Sustainable Santa Fe Plan action item: “Amend the Development Code to encourage locally grown food to both reduce GHG emissions and prepare for future rises in fuel costs to transport food into the area”.  Shanna

We have lived at 2215 Rancho Siringo Rd. for half a year. Gaia Gardens is a great asset to the community. We have children who need to have the opportunity to understand that food comes from a garden first, not a grocery store. When I have mentioned to people where we live they have said to me, “You live by the gardens? What a great thing for the community!” The gardens are beautifully maintained and there have been no problems with parking or traffic.  Michelle 

Last year I delighted in visiting the farm stand. The stand contributed to a sense of neighborhood and community as I chatted with other local homeowners while buying delicious vegetables. I was happy and proud to share in the opportunity to eat delicious locally grown vegetables without driving to the supermarket to buy vegetables shipped from far away.  I felt I contributed a bit to a better world and healthier society.  Susan

We live directly across the street in the La Serena Place cul-de-sac of the Los Chamisos Association.  In that position, we have ample opportunity to observe activities at Gaia Gardens across the street (Paseo de Los Chamisos).  You have enhanced the overall appearance of your property, which in prior years had gone through somewhat of a decline.  It's wonderful to walk the Arroyo Chamisos Trail and see your beautiful gardens and well-kept surrounding grounds.  Traffic on the street has not been a problem  Your friends park in a neat and orderly fashion and don't block other driveways.  Noise is never an issue and you have always been quickly responsive to any concerns our association has raised.  Vic & Joni

I write this note to express my gratitude to Gaia Gardens for the two flats of organic heirloom tomatoes that they gave me. This is increasingly helpful to a young/new farmer and a generous gesture.  Gaia Gardens has been a wonderful addition to our SF Farmers Market Community and makes an incredible contribution to the greater community by modeling and sharing sustainable practices.  Serafina, Lovely Day Farm

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