Added: Cordelia Mcglone - Date: 18.04.2022 09:56 - Views: 31666 - Clicks: 8275
Please purchase a subscription to read our premium content. Thank you for reading! Corilia Ortega, right, shows her niece, Zephanaya Lovato, of Taos, the difference between male and female zucchini flowers July 25 at her Arroyo Hondo farm.
Noah Gonzalez, 6, tastes a freshly harvested squash July 25 at the Arroyo Hondo farm. Worried he might hurt the plants, Ortega gave Enoch some guidance before he gently picked his first zucchini of the morning. There is an effort to rebuild a network of farms, livestock producers and markets that once allowed the Arroyo Hondo valley to feed itself and bolstered an agricultural economy.
Her nephew, Noah Gonzalez, and her friend, Aimee-Lynn Stearns, 28, are helping nearby amid the plot of potatoes, squash and other crops. Her brother, Nicanor Ortega, 32, walks to a different part of the field to check his peas, corn and beans. As more farmland is subdivided and lost to development, people are worried about the long-term impact on the region, from the loss of water rights to the end of centuries-old agricultural traditions.
Several of these farmers, like this trio, are young. For some, farming and ranching are traditions that stretch back generations in their families. Others are new to agriculture and are choosing it after years in other careers. They feel a new urgency to this food effort. What new farmers and livestock producers need to get started is often beyond their budgets — equipment and land.
That access is critical to their foray into agriculture. Just to buy seed. A lot of the ability to do our work is our neighbors giving us a really good deal. Finally, LandLink has a spot where agricultural workers can post their skills and availability for people who need them. Beyond helping farmers, the service can help property owners retain their agricultural property tax status — which reduces property taxes — by keeping the land in production.
In addition, keeping the agricultural land productive can help a property owner retain water rights — which in New Mexico must be used to retain them. Joyce said loss of Taos County agriculture land came to the forefront in a property reassessment several years ago. The assessment found many properties in Taos County had fallen out of production. For some, that was due to a drought. Tobias Martinez of Ranchos de Taos and Darlene Vigil, a former county assessor, who both now sit on the Alianza Agri-Cultura board, looked deeper at the issue and found it was complex. A slow defunding of agricultural extension, which provided services to farmers, and a loss of neighborhood support for agriculture all played into the problem, Joyce said.
Her brother, an Army veteran, was accepted to a farmer apprenticeship program paid for through the New Mexico Acequia Association. He encouraged her to try it, and she did last year. Ortega now works with LandLink and helped start the local chapter of the National Young Farmers Coalition along with Stearns and others. They are up to a dozen members from all over the county.
But they have friends like them who believe in this work and are willing to help. Our grandparents had farms and gardens and lived off the land. Up. Log In. Purchase a Subscription. We hope that you continue to enjoy our free content. We hope that you enjoy our free content. Edit Close. Toggle Menu. Welcome, Guest. Up Log In.
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