Sunday, September 7, 2014

Help Us Buy the Farm!


As you may know, I have been running Gaia Gardens, a nonprofit, one-acre, certified organic urban farm in Santa Fe, NM, USA for the past 3 years.

The Gaia Gardens property is threatened with foreclosure so we are attempting to buy the property through a short sale.

To preserve this unique piece of land, continue our educational mission and provide affordable housing for future generations, we have created the Mil Abrazos (One Thousand Hugs) Community Land Trust, a nonprofit, to purchase the farm property.

A Community Land Trust is a nonprofit membership organization that owns and holds land “in trust” for the benefit of the community in order to provide permanently affordable access to land for such purposes as quality housing, sustainable agriculture, cottage industries and co-operatives, by forever removing the land from the speculative market.

In order to raise capital to purchase the farm property, we have launched an Indiegogo crowdfundingcampaign. Campaign will run until Oct 16, 2014

We are off to a good start and need all the support and exposure we can garner.

I would deeply appreciate if you could help us promote our Indiegogo campaign via your Facebook and other social media.

Please visit our campaign, contribute if you feel inspired, leave a comment (it helps boost our ranking) and use the social media share icons to help promote our fundraising effort.

Thanks a million!


Watch campaign here

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Garden is Starting Again!

We are please to announce that 50 volunteers came yesterday to clean the entire garden space up and we are ready to get started with the garden.

If you wish to get involved, please contact:


Monday, Wednesday, Friday  7:45 to 9:30am   (Maria)
Saturday 8:15 to 9:45am  (Alicia)
Tuesday and Thursday starting at 9:00 am   (Jacob)

Monday, October 31, 2011

Instructions for Restarting the San Pancho Garden

First, I would like to thank all of you for making it possible for us to create beauty, food and soil. It was truly a wonderful experience and very rewarding. Whoever is interested in continuing our efforts in growing a garden has a great start. There are friendly neighbors who will gladly help, and a garden that has been established. We placed the garden where the beds allow the drainage to flow back in to the river. It is a fertile piece of land, protected with a fence around it. There is water, hoses and tools, seed flats and an abundant amount of compost already made. There is more than one garden; in fact, there are several fenced gardens, and others that are along pathways with dug beds and amended soils. We would welcome any of the members of the community to take up the activity where we left it.

Most, if not all, beds were productive and provided food, flowers and herbs, and then were interplanted with a bean crop of several varieties to produce seed and stabilize the beds with their roots, as well as cover the beds with foliage to create a cover when the rains came.  We understand this was successful; that is, the garden is still there and continued to grow and produce food, was protected from the rain, and drained as well as produced seed. Our last communication in August/September, we heard that the garden was a jungle. We can only imagine the growth and abundance that remains.

Some suggestions for the future are as follows. See if you can find the beds and paths and begin to work where the garden allows you to start. Collect seed if there is any and keep it dry and in paper bags or glass jars in a ventilated room. Begin cutting down all the dead growth and clear an area, one at a time, until you can distinguish where the paths and the beds are. Cutting the weeds dry stocks will not disturb the beds, rather than digging out the roots, although in some cases you may have to.

Make a compost pile with all the roughage you take from the garden, or put it into existing compost. Once this is done, you will have reclaimed the garden and the space. This will take some effort, but within a few days, maybe a week, you will see the foundation of our work last year. There may be a lot of young growth intermittent with dead stalks. These could be weeds or last year’s crops gone to seed. Don’t just assume everything is to be composted. If the seedlings have sprouted, then you are well on your way to having a productive, diversified garden. Taking pictures and sending them to us will help if you need to identify what is there or to just keep us informed.

Let’s say there is a lot of green undergrowth and it looks like greens; ie, lettuce, spinach, chard, kale and so on. Then you are already there and need only to cut, thin and harvest and clear any weeds to make space. Also, you may find the pathways are covered with growth and also could be food or flowers, etc. We will see together…all in all, it’s a good fantasy! If, on the other hand, when you clear the garden beds, everything  is thick stalks and grasses and stickers, then cutting is the best first step.

Clear out the stalks, dig out the roots and grasses and bad weeds that have thorns, and then we will assess the next step. Maybe digging is needed to turn in the growth in the beds and skimming in the path to remove the weeds.  Possibly just skimming the beds will be the right action, and then top dressing with sifted compost; that is, digging into a finished compost pile or using compost that has been stockpiled along the fence. At any rate, sifting it through a screen and adding a four inch layer to the top of the bed and turning it into the top six inches and raising the bed would do it. Presto: ready for seeds or plants.

This is so interesting…you see we are preparing for winter and extending the growing season under hoop houses and cold frames , and thinking about  planning and designing for next spring --where you are beginning your spring season of growth in the garden now!

Love and appreciation,

Note:  If you need to refresh your memory on any of the steps such as starting seeds in flats, transplanting, creating beds, sift-turning, etc., just go back to older posts on this blog.  You can also use the search function.  Please feel free to send your questions by email.

Friday, July 29, 2011

6" per hour - 6" por hora

last tuesday morning we had a nice tropical shower, and although the rain lasted just under an hour amounting to about 1 3/4 of an inch, at one instance it really poured, with rainfall rates going up to 6" per hour...this is what we mean when we say that 'a river crosses the garden'...

el martes pasado tuvimos un buen chubasco mañanero, y aunque llovió por menos de una hora con una precipitación total de 45 mm (1 3/4"), en un instante llovió a cántaros, a razón de 6 pulgadas de lluvia por hora...esto es a lo que nos referimos cuando decimos que 'un río cruza el jardín'...

weather info from - información meteorológica de:
San Pancho Weather

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Zingiber & Salvia

Gingers (Zingiber officinale) are popping up in one bed where the zinnias are starting to wilt from too much water and humidity. Now I feel like planting those rhizomes everywhere!,

and we'll see if a large bed of chia (Salvia hispanica) will grow well in these (very rainny and humid) far they look beautiful anyway, with craters the size and shape of a horse hoof...hmm

Gengibres (Zingiber officinale) están saliendo en una cama donde las zinias están marchitándose por el exceso de agua y humedad. ¡Ahora me dan ganas de plantar esos rizomas por todos lados!,

y veremos si esta cama larga de chía (Salvia hispanica) crecerá bien en estas (muy lluviosas y húmedas) condiciones...hasta ahora se ven hermosas de todos modos, con cráteres del tamaño y forma de un casco de caballo...hmm

Monday, June 27, 2011

Hola Campesinos!

Greetings from Santa Fe!
Juaquin and I are doing well, despite the fact that the whole neighborhood is going up in smoke! (the 12,000 residents of Los Alamos (site of the Manhatan project and atomic bomb research and development) have been evacuated because of a forest fire that has already burnt 50,000 acres in 2 days is threatening the town and the nuclear lab). We have 12,000 people coming down to Santa Fe to seek shelter.

¡Saludos desde Santa Fe!
A Juaquín y a mí nos va bien, a pesar del hecho de que la vecindario entero está en humo! (los 12,000 residentes de Los Alamos, localidad del proyecto Manhatan y un laboratorio que hace investigación y desarrollo de bombas atómicas, han sido evacuados debido a un incendio forestal que ha quemado 50,000 acres en dos días amenazando al pueblo y el laboratorio nuclear). 12,000 personas están viniendo a Santa Fe a buscar refugio.

Juaquin and I have just started working on the creation of a 1/2 acre farm in town. It's called Dandelion Ranch and is very promising. We'll be blending the biodynamic French-intensive technique with a multitude of permaculture principles. We'll be using Dandelion Ranch as a showcase and teaching ground, with the intent to inspire and support urban farming in Santa Fe.

Juaquín y yo acabamos de empezar a trabajar en la creación de una granja de 1/2 acre en el pueblo. Se llama Dandelion Ranch ("Rancho Diente de León") y es muy prometedor. Estaremos mezclando la técnica biodinámica francés-intensiva con una multitud de principios de permacultura. Usaremos a Dandelion Ranch como un escaparate y campo de enseñanza, con la intención de inspirar y apoyar la agricultura urbana en Santa Fe.

We are also helping friends at another farm, Synergia Ranch, residence of many of the scientists who pioneered the Biosphere 2. Last week alone, we planted 300 tomato plants, 200 basil plants and a few hundred other varieties of chard, peppers, eggplants and celery. Juaquin has been going to Colorado to get seedlings from his friend Rich at Abbondanza farm.

We hope all is well in your world. Sending bundles of love to you all.

PS. If you wish to follow the evolution of Dandelion Ranch, sign up with your email on the Dandelion Ranch's blog (click on image below)

También estamos ayudando a unos amigos en otra granja, Synergia Ranch ("Rancho Sinergia"), residencia de muchos científicos pioneros de Biosphere 2 ("Biósfera 2"). Sólo la semana pasada, plantamos 300 jitomates, 200 albahacas y otros cientos de plantas de variedades de acelga, pimientos, berenjenas y apios. Juaquín ha estado llendo a Colorado para obtener plántulas de su amigo Rich de Abbondanza farm.

Esperamos que todo marche bien en su mundo. Mandando un bonche de amor a todos ustedes.

PS. Si quieren seguir la evolución de Dandelion Ranch, inscríbanse con su correo electrónico en el blog del rancho (dar click en la imagen de abajo).

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Poki & Juaquín

We know that Juaquín and Poki are over in Santa Fe (New Mexico, U.S.A), getting ready to start a new garden project amongst other amazing stuff, maybe they can tell us a bit about it and what they've been up to cause...we miss them.

Write here guys!

Sabemos que Juaquín y Poki están en Santa Fe (Nuevo México, E.E.U.U.), preparándose para empezar un nuevo proyecto de jardín entre otras cosas increíbles, quizá nos pueden contar un poco sobre ello y sobre lo que están haciendo porque...los extrañamos.