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For over 300 years, farming has been a traditional lifestyle for generation upon generation for both the Hispanic and Native American peoples inhabiting the Taos Valley. During the past decades, this self-sufficient base has eroded, due to the transition to a wage economy, dependence on tourism, and the availability of cheaper agricultural products produced elsewhere. Lands that were traditionally farmed by residents of northern New Mexico have fallen out of production. Taos County now faces endemic economic depression and stagnation due to its lack of diversification and the atrophy of its agricultural economic base.
In 2018, the TCEDC re-implemented the Garden & Kitchen Youth Internship Program, made possible by Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company Foundation, led by Tiana Suazo of Taos Pueblo.
Suazo guided an intensive training for area at-risk youth between the ages of 15-21 from the Taos Pueblo and Taos County to learn “from seed to opening a food business”. The internship was a paid 12-week program, 20 hours per week focusing on planting, harvesting, seed saving, value-added food production, and food preservation. Over the course of the 12 weeks the interns successfully completed serval major projects including repairing two greenhouses at TCEDC, maintaining their own individual plot of vegetables and flowers, making a compost pit and implementing vermiculture, and to sell weekly produce at a weekly farm-stand marketas anaffordable, accessible opportunity for people to buy fresh produce. Students closed the season with an “Autumn Harvest Festival” in October.
For further information please call (575) 758-8731 or email Tiana Suazo, Garden Program Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
2018 Garden & Kitchen Internship Made Possible By:
“Supporting food, land and cultures of the peoples of Northern, New Mexico”.