Saturday, December 23, 2017

Property has been acquired by the Mil Abrazos Community Land Trust

https://vimeo.com/237255325


Dear Community,

It is with great joy and gratitude that I am announcing that the Mil Abrazos Community Land Trust (birthed out of the Gaia Gardens project in Santa Fe) just acquired a 32 acres property in Dilia, NM, along the Pecos River, 30 minutes south of Las Vegas off Hwy 84 and 1.5 hr. from Santa Fe.

The property is located in a Land Grant dating back from 1822 with a rich tradition of agriculture and ranching. The land is a typical strip of irrigated rural New Mexico farmland with 20-acre feet of Acequia water rights. The property has been heavily hayed and grazed over the years and land restoration will need to be practiced to help fuel a dynamic soil regeneration process.

After looking for land for two years and traveling thousands of miles, New Mexico called me back and my return has been a real love fest.

I knew we touched a lot of people’s hearts and imagination when we were running Gaia Gardens, but I never grasped the depth of hopes and dreams that were shattered when we closed the farm.

I can tell you now that it was all perfect. That it was time for me and Dominique to get out of the line of fire from our angry neighbor and a sluggish-to-evolve City administration.

We have now affirmed that we are removing this little slice of Paradise out of the speculative real estate market in perpetuity (the purpose of a land trust), in order to develop a resilient and regenerative agriculture, along with permanently affordable housing and other cottage industries, and a Permaculture education center.

I am proud to say that this is the boldest act of civil disobedience I have ever committed besides growing food inside the City of Santa Fe!

Our first step is to meet the local culture and integrate respectfully in the community.

Elders in rural New Mexico speak of a need for healing. How do we design this project to help re-weave the fabric of rural community, acknowledging a painful past of land grabs, poor land management and other violations that often created fractured communities, economic decline and social issues resulting in a progressive abandonment of ancient subsistence agriculture traditions? How do we design our project to help bring back younger people to care for elders and land? How do we weave ancient agriculture practices with Permaculture technologies and strategies to withstand the challenges of climate change? 

New Mexico has rich agricultural traditions that have sustained its population for hundreds of years. The irrigated areas along our major New Mexico watersheds could and should be revitalized to provide a large portion of the fresh produce, vegetables, grains, meats, eggs and medicinal herbs for our region.

As a nonprofit, we will be partnering with other organizations that work with regenerative farming, watershed restoration, rural poverty, food justice, summer camps, hospice care and more, and will be designing the farm to offer an inspiring and pristine place for their retreats and activities.

This winter will be spent observing the land and its patterns, remodeling the existing structure to create lodging for interns and visitors, and repairing the neglected flood irrigation system.

By early spring, we will begin a series of gatherings to start the process of creating a master plan for the property. 

I will be at the property part-time and am happy to welcome visitors. The watershed is stunning, the bird life abundant and the night skies a treat. Feel free to reach me by email if you wish to visit. Limited overnight accommodations are available.

Thank you for all your donations and support that have contributed to acquiring this beautiful piece of land.

We look forward to sharing our unfolding story with you.

Poki



PLEASE DONATE!
 
For our general fund: By credit card via the New Mexico Community Foundation website (https://donatenow.networkforgood.org/1441157…)


Towards the repayment of the loan:
Mail check to: Mil Abrazos Community Land Trust
C/o NMCF
135 W Palace Ave #301
Santa Fe, NM 87501

Your donations are tax-deductible

See our WISH LIST (items and skills)