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c. Tony Hull

c. Tony Hull

Land in Algondones provides cooperative spring farming opportunity Photo credit: Tony Hull

Local farming: opportunity to gain experience

—Tony Hull

In 2011, I joined several of my friends from Placitas in a cooperative effort to farm in Algodones. This land was made available through the generosity of the land owner, who also gave material support in many ways. We farmed in an organic manner and had extraordinary vintage melons and squash, as well as crops as varied as amaranth to tomatoes to sunflowers. Some crops were brought to market at the Farmer’s Market, or provided to schools. Most were divided among the participants. It was a rich experience.

In 2013, there is an opportunity for an individual, or collective of people, to continue this farming tradition on this Algodones land. For various reasons, most of those engaged in 2011 and 2012 cannot continue this year. Those of us who farmed Little Cottonwood Farm would like to facilitate a “hand-over” to others interested in growing food on this scale. Approximately two acres can be brought under cultivation, enough to bring significant food to the table of several families. A sprinkler system serves most of the land. The land comes with water rights to irrigate with over 13-acre feet of water, well-fed from a major aquifer. This is an opportunity to grow food for the table, for market, for horses, or to produce mulch on a significant scale. Those who farm need to be at the farm to run the sprinkler as needed for their crops, to plant and weed, and to manage harvest of their crops.

The main expense is gas for the generator, which provides power for the pump, and your transportation to nearby Algodones. In the past, the owner has kindly provided for plowing the land and for pump maintenance, and is very supportive of other needs of those who use and take care of this land. He wants the farming to be successful and a good experience for the farm. In addition to farming, the farmers are responsible for reporting water use to the Office of the State Engineer, and keeping the owner informed on this land.

The group and I, who have most recently farmed this land, would be pleased to talk with perspective farmers about our experience, and introduce such farmers to the land and the landowner. Farming can ensue as soon as the winter is over. If interested in this opportunity, contact me at: tonyhull@unm.edu.


Your Right To Know—the case for GMO labeling

—June Trezza

At the Placitas Community Library on February 4, from 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., an informational program on Genetically Modified Foods (GMOs) will be discussed by several members of an organization called Your Right To Know. They believe that all GE foods should be labeled so that consumers will have the opportunity to make informed choices about the food they eat. A bill sponsored by Senator Peter Wirth, D-Santa Fe (Senate Bill 18) will require all food and animal feed that contain genetically modified material to be labeled as such. “If we know what’s in the food, we can be making the choice,” Wirth said. His effort puts New Mexico among at least a handful of states that are expected to consider labeling legislation this year. 

A right to know supporter said, “In the California fight for GMO labeling in the November general election, Proposition 37 lost because agribusiness companies such as Monsanto, along with big food manufacturers opposed the labeling initiative. Their ‘deep pockets’ convinced the public to vote against GMO labeling,” she said.

There will be lots of handout information shared at the meeting about the health concerns of folks who have allergies and other symptoms that are thought to be brought about by GMOs. The discussion will enable participants to make their own decision regarding the labeling of GMOs in our foods and how it may affect their family’s health in the future.


BLM holds public scoping meetings for new vegetation treatments on public lands in western U.S.

—Theresa Herrera

On January 8, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced opportunities for the public to share ideas on the potential utilization of three new vegetation treatments to be evaluated in the national, programmatic “Environmental Impact Study (EIS) to evaluate the Use of New Herbicides on Public Lands in 17 Western States.”

The public may submit comments for the EIS via fax to (206)-623-3793, email to VegEIS@blm.gov, or attend any of three public scoping meetings between January 7 and 10, 2013. The public comment period for the scoping process extends until March 8.

The treatments are designed to help the BLM manage vegetation on more than six million acres of public land by providing options for controlling noxious weeds and other invasive species and conserving and restoring native vegetation, watersheds, and fish and wildlife habitat. The EIS will cover a range of issues including the effects of the herbicides and their inert ingredients on human, vegetation, fish and wildlife, livestock, and wild horse and burro health, as well as water quality, Native American Resources and resource use, and the cumulative use of these and other herbicides by the BLM and other landowners in the Western U.S.

The BLM welcomes identification of additional issues and concerns by the public. A reasonable range of alternatives will be developed to respond to the issues identified at the outset of the NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act) process. Each alternative will outline solutions to the issues and concerns brought out through public scoping to develop reasonable approaches for using these new treatment options.

To check the status of the EIS, or to access associated documents and updates, visit blm.gov/3vkd.


Long-term planning boot camp

—Robert P. Nankin

The Esther Bone Memorial Library presents a family caregiver and long-term care planning workshop on February 23 at 10:00 a.m. Mitzi Monroe, Rio Rancho’s Eldercare Resource Marketing Consultant will present the program geared to baby boomers and their parents.

Ms. Monroe will have copies of her book, Consulting by Design’s Eldercare Tool Book: The Family Caregivers Private-Duty Planning Guide, for sale following the program. At this event you will meet the experts and get the facts on long-term care and planning for it.

If you register in advance you will be given a Consumer Choice Lifestyle Gift Bag. Call the library at 891-5012, option 3, or register in person at the adult information desk. The library is located at 950 Pinetree Rd. SE in Rio Rancho.

 
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