Hello All! My name is Angelo McHorse and I am a proud native of the Red Willow People of Taos Pueblo in Northern New Mexico. Here in our Tribal community I have initiated a new program called Taos Pueblo Young Growers (TPYG). This program is geared toward engaging youth in the age old practice of growing food but with an entrepreneurial twist. The youth involved in TPYG have been enabled with the tools, knowledge, resources, and information required to grow food on their home or family plot of land. These youth will then use the food grown for traditional subsistence purposes or to generate some income working with the local food markets of Taos. Through stewardship of the land in food production, these youth are learning essential lessons of hard work, persistence, community collaboration, environmental awareness, nutritional education, and civic engagement with local tribal government.
I designed this multifaceted program to address the issues of food security, idle youth in my community, fallow lands, the retention of water rights through agriculture, and continuation of ancestral traditional agricultural knowledge.
Taos Pueblo is unique in that we are a land rich community with primary water rights at the head gates of the life giving rivers of our area. I know that with the proper guidance, the youth of Taos Pueblo can realize and then develop the tremendous value of the dormant assets of land and water on their own family plots.
These youth in TPYG will pick up the yoke of their ancestors and continue to create a way of life that is healthy and sustainable for future generations to come.
By learning how to grow food, these young people will contribute to our local food shed and be able to feed themselves, their family, and the whole Taos Community at large.
The pictures included in this blog are of newly developed or re developed fields for growing Taos Pueblo traditional crops of Corn, Red Beans, and Squash. One crucial part of the growing process is bringing the water to the land being grown on, the picture I am in is showing a ditch that hasnt had a regular flow for over 25 years!
Another beautiful part of this program is that so many community members are encouraging the youth in their work because in most cases these young people are revitalizing land that hasnt seen and cultivation for decades!
In the next blog there will be updates of the newly developed fields! Please check out our facebook page! just search for “Taos Pueblo Young Growers” for many updates by the participants and plenty more pictures!