God’s Work, Our Voices – Farming with Social Justice in Mind
“The Lord will indeed give what is good, and our land will yield its harvest.” Psalm 85:12 (NIV)
When we think of New Mexico agriculture, what comes to mind? Cattle grazing on high ranges? The deep, shadowy green of pecan orchards in the Mesilla Valley? How about the lush chile fields near Hatch and the peanut farms on the eastern plains? Or maybe it’s a field at Karen Hyde’s place in Corrales.
Last fall, Karen learned about the Indigenous Farm Hub and its fields in Corrales. She wondered if such a group might want to expand their planting by using her land. Alan Brauer, Farm Facilitator for the Hub, was most interested! He visited Karen, bringing samples of the delicious foods that young Hub farmers grow: green beans, arugula, and pattypan squash. He and Karen discovered they both grew up on farms on the East Coast and love growing things. They made plans to prepare her .6-acre field for spring planting, with the crops to be watered through Karen’s membership in the Rio Grande Conservancy. She also made her greenhouse available.
This spring, with compost from donated coffee grounds and straw for mulch, the fields are ready. Tomato plants have gone in, and leafy greens will follow, as will potatoes and corn. From her beautiful backyard of trees and flowers and birds, Karen will enjoy the sight of her land also producing food for others. It is a way, she says, to contribute to the economy and help address food insecurity. In short, her collaboration with the Indigenous Food Hub promotes social justice.
But what is the Farm Hub? It’s a network to create a sustainable Indigenous food system and bring prosperity to farmers and other food workers. It’s a training site for new farmers and reconnects languages and cultures to Indigenous agricultural practices. To learn more, visit Indigenous Farm Hub | One Generation To support the work, click on Purchase Produce. For $650 a season, subscribers get 6 to 8 fresh produce items each week from late May well into October.
Another way to support this endeavor is to donate to one of Hub’s close partners, the Native American Community Academy (NACA) in Albuquerque. Native American Community Academy (nacaschool.org) The school educates children K-12, strengthening their cultural identities and languages. During the pandemic, the school has reached out to families, providing food boxes. Inside those boxes are some of the fresh fruits and vegetables grown by Indigenous Farm Hub.