I am proud of all the young people in my community who made the effort to rekindle their ancestral spirit of agriculture. Not only did these young people transform land in our community, they transformed lives and minds. This year there were 5 successful growers that were able to revitalize over 3 acres of land combined. Three of the participants were able to bring water to land that had not been cultivated in decades! Elders and other community members began to join these youngsters in the fields being cultivated to share stories and old knowledge. These young people learned how to dry, store, and prepare traditional crops and they also participated in Market with their excess lettuce, squash, lettuce and other commercial crops. Collaboration with local organizations was fruitful in that many employees of the tribe and our elders were engaged in growing the small gardens that were installed this year.
I enjoyed frequenting the garden sites and the fields of the youth because a strong sense of community was developed. My favorite activities included irrigating and harvesting since those were never lonely jobs!
The unbearable part of this experience was all the time that was required to spend on the computer doing blogs and all the other data collection stuff that is needed by Ogalalla Commons. As an indigenous farmer I dont believe that it is necessary for me to blog and take pictures to prove that my project is being completed. I believe that people need to experience farming and community organization rather than just read or write about it! Sitting in front of screens is a waste of time for me.
Here are quick profiles of my 5 participants and their accomplishments through photography. If I had things my way, some representative from Ogalalla Commons would have came to Taos to hear and see these young people’s story in person rather than this medium. There is more context and depth of understanding that way.
Smoke Trujillo, 16 years Old, .25 acres developed
Deanna Suazo, 22 Years, .18 acres developed
“I believe it is important for the younger generation to have some knowledge of producing and participating in growing locally grown food. For myself I would love this opportunity to get to know the land around my house and utilize it for this project and future projects. As I mentioned before; in high school I’ve learned about sustainable learning and now I am interested in using my learned information and put to use.”
Daniel Martinez, 27 Years, .60 acres developed
Jasmine Romero, 22 Years, .15 acres developed
“Hi my name is Jasmine Romero, and I am interested in growing a garden, because I have never grown my own. I have helped people a few times with their own garden but I would love to learn the whole proccess. I also love the fact that I will be growing my own food that I can then share with family and friends. I’m looking forward to it and can’t wait to see my progress.”
Tiana Suazo, 24 Years, .25 Acres Developed
“My name is Tiana Suazo and I am from the pueblos of Taos and Jemez in New Mexico. I am 23 years old and graduated from Fort Lewis College in May of 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration. I have become more and more interested in food and local food systems through my apprenticeship at the Taos County Economic Development Corp. which was made possible by Ogallala Commons. I want to begin farming so I can support my local foodsystem and encourage others in my community to start a farm/garden of their own.”
Thanks for checking it out!