My name is Daniel Martinez, I am a 29 year old Taos Pueblo Native. I have a multi-cultural background, having been raised on the Taos Pueblo reservation as well as an off grid community called Tres Arejas near Taos, New Mexico. Living off grid exposed me to alternative energy and sustainable living. Our house was powered by a photovoltaic system and heated by passive solar gain. We also collected rain as our only source of houshold water and grew most of our own vegetables. My Pueblo traditions gave me a connection and sense of responsibility for the natural world. This upbringing predisposed me to pursue a career in working with nature and understanding its forces.
After graduating from Taos High School in 2007 I started a landscape maintenance company with my brother in law Jed Lee. We expanded into design and installation but in 2010, Jed was diagnosed with cancer. He lost his battle in 2011 and I assumed full ownership of the business. I ran Reliable Landscape for three years after and in 2014 handed the business to Jed’s nephew Nick Martinez, who was our most knowledgable and dedicated employee. I then turned my attention to my family’s land on Taos Pueblo.
In the spring of 2015, I began planting sweet corn, beans and squash with my father on his five acre field. We sold a portion of the beans and squash at local famers markets and made chicos with the sweet corn, which we also sold. That same year I started working with a non-profit farm on Taos pueblo called Red Willow Farm. I left Red Willow in the summer of 2016. I continue to plant field crops and I am currently studying audio engineering. I also taught myself to write music, play guitar, synthesizer, sing and am working to produce my own rock album.