2016 was a big year for Localogy. Here are some pictures of some of the doings that I was lucky to witness. You have to see it to believe in it. With a little help from our friends, we'll make more pictures in 2017.
Well folks, I finally bought the farm:
Land: 60 acres
Water: 35 million gallons, flood irrigation
Climate: 115 – 135 frost-free days
Who feeds you? What if you could get all of your food from people you know? You would know your food was grown right. Your money would stay local and come back around to you. You might have some food security come apocalypse time…
Taos County is big on local food. Our farmer’s market is the 3rd largest in the state. Many restaurants make a point of sourcing local ingredients. There are thriving CSAs, growers’ cooperatives, and value-added producers. Yet, nearly all of us still go to the grocery store for the majority of our calories. We survive on food from afar.
Our goal at Costilla Farm is to grow our own food—all of it. Cereal grains, beans and peas, meat, eggs, dairy, maybe some fruits and nuts, whatever survives in this cold, dry, windy valley. There are plenty of excellent fresh vegetables available locally, so we’ll leave those to the experts (see Cerro Vista Farm).
I may be a fool to think we can do this, but it has been done here before. Not long ago this place was totally self-reliant. I know we won’t get rich farming in the high desert. One thing is for sure: we will get educated.
If we prove to be even slightly competent, we should end up with some extra food. That’s where you come in. If you live nearby, you will be able to get this well-rounded-100%-local diet. Just click the get fed button below and we’ll keep you in the loop. First come…first fed.
When Ms. Annalise said she wanted to take her second graders backpacking I said, “Our backpacks are bigger than your backpackers.” But doing the impossible is nothing new for the Kindergarten through 2nd graders at Roots & Wings Community School. It’s rare for even high school students to go into the wilderness overnight, even at the most ambitious and exclusive private schools. And here we are at this little public school camping out for three days in the mountains with five-year-olds.
It’s a credit to the teachers that—in a state where the Governor is bent on shutting down all but the largest and most average schools—RWCS continues to get as far out there as a public school can be. Take Mr. VanEvery’s first trip with Localogy as an example. His 3rd – 5th graders were studying food systems. In a planning meeting, he told me not to shop for Wednesday dinner because we were going to harvest it from the mountain! Pit roasted goat and prickly pear cactus never tasted so good.
The Roots & Wings mission is to engage the head, hands and heart ̶ enabling students to achieve more than they think possible and to take an active role in our ever-changing world. Students who spend their days in tidy rows of desks will find themselves woefully unprepared in the real world. The world is a dynamic place, and so too must be our schools!
Pollination was LEAP’s theme in 2016. “The Buzz” permeated LEAP activities and programming throughout the year, from our science and art enrichment programs for Questa and Costilla elementary students in the spring, to NeoRio at Wild Rivers in the Fall. We also organized our annual Questa Earth Day event, the regional¡Pollinate! Art Show at OCHO in Questa, StorySLAM and Paint Out event at Wild Rivers, Dia de los Muertos Celebration and field trips for Questa Junior High Students.
Each event and engagement deepened understandings of the phenomenal and beautiful roles of pollinators in our lives and ecosystems and brought people and "place" together in new ways.
We also launched two new projects this year: The Northern NM Growers & Makers Exchange and the North Central NM Story Cache. The goals of these new projects are to enliven our communities, generate meaningful conversations, draw-out local stories, and celebrate histories and traditions, new and old. The Growers & Makers Exchange champions our local agricultural and artisan networks by localizing our economy with outlets to sell goods and other infrastructural support. The “Story Cache” is a local oral history/story archive and platform for cultural events and programming.
HUGE thank yous to all our 2016 LEAP volunteers, collaborators, artists, participants, donors and grant-providers! You all made it possible.
We look forward to more in 2017!
Todd Wynward and Tyler Eshleman led the first Rewilding the Way Wilderness Trek in 2016. The expedition gave adult participants an opportunity to step into the wilderness for a time of reflection, space from dominant culture, spiritual formation, and renewal of vision and energy for a lifetime of climate and justice advocacy.
Rewilding included backpacking deep in the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and rafting down the Rio Grande—grappling with the complexity of water in a place where water is so precious, yet is also squandered and polluted. The challenges participants faced on the trip afforded them a deeper understanding of the ways in which they engage with, and learn from, their own environment.
The Rio Grande, the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, and the people of this watershed have much to teach. The trek empowered those who participated to not only learn and become attentive, but to return to their own communities and act with a "rewilded" spirit.
30 years + 30 days + 30 kids + you = free summer camp!
For 30 years Dr. Bud Wilson has worked a miracle - giving his all to provide a month-long transformative ranch and wilderness summer camp for any child... tuition free.
This summer 30 lucky campers will make the Sangre de Cristo Youth Ranch Summer Camp their home away from home.
For 30 days they will be beaming out sights, sounds, revelations and stories from camp.
We'll be live on this site on June 21 - the day camp starts. We want you right there with us - doing the deeds, singing the songs, in on the jokes, and up on the peak.
If you know someone who just needs to be a kid outside this summer - let them know Singing River Field Center is the place to be. Day-camp runs 9-4 Monday through Friday with a Thursday night campout starting June 22nd. Tuition is sliding scale. Facilities include: day lodge, a farm and greenhouse, nature trails, swimming and fishing holes...READ MORE
During the last week of school most students are just biding their time, watching movies and eating junk food in class, playing hooky, yearning for summer break... At Roots & Wings Community School, Passage is a time for deep reflection, relaxation, celebration, friendship and fun - this is what the most important week of the year looks like:
On April 22 – Earth Day, there was a full house at OCHO Art + Event Space in Questa. Bursting with youth creativity, color and light, the “Luz es Vida Earth Day Youth Performance Café” was full to capacity in more ways than one! Five large, brightly painted banners as well as some wonderful smaller works greeted guests as they entered the gallery space . Each one reflected the “Luz es Vida – Light is Life” theme in its own unique way through the creativity of the many youth hands (over 220!) that worked on them...READ MORE
Everybody loves a snow-day! For students at Roots & Wings Community School, a public charter school in Questa, the term snow day has new meaning. On the morning of March 2nd, with the much of the county still digging out from under a record snowfall - most area students were hoping to have the day off. Meanwhile, middle scholars at RWCS were up early and busy packing up with classmates to head out into the snow for an epic adventure...READ MORE
The sun is swinging lower and winter is sinking into the bones of our mountain with each chill gust of wind. Now is the time to catch up on inside work. Localogy sure covered some ground with our youth programs in 2014. Here are the pictures to prove it - just in time to show off to your loved ones over the holidays! Thanks to all you summer campers and school kids for living every day with us to the fullest. Thank you people who aren't pictured in any of the galleries below, but who were equally a part of the adventures with your donations and support. This is all you:
We know you are one of a kind. Now you can be one of the kind people who donate to the good work of Localogy. As a camp parent pointed out, not everybody can just click on that paypal button to make the big donation. When it comes to giving - one size does not fit all. So by popular demand... we give you two new ways to share with the kids:
- Automatic recurring payment. Take a moment to sign up and a robot will automatically donate a dollar amount of your choosing at a regular time interval that fits your budget. Giving has never been so painless. And of course you can make it stop at any time.
- Stock donation. We can now receive direct donations of stocks. Instead of contributing your earnings to the capital gains tax, send those old stocks to Localogy and we'll make some real-world gains. Contact us for more information.
Singing River Field Center is offering a wilderness day camp for 8-12 year olds: June 23 - 27 and June 30 - July 4. Camp runs from 8:45 am - 4 pm daily Monday - Friday with an optional campout Thursday night. Lunch is provided. Tuition is sliding-scale. Come into the mountains and play by the river! REGISTER HERE TODAY
1964 to 2014: Marking the 50th anniversary of the USA’s Wilderness Act, LEAP’s new “Wilderness Thinkers in Residence” is a year-long, online residency project featuring diverse voices and creative works reflecting on Wilderness.
The residency program is actively seeking participants: there is no limit to how many people can participate; “Thinkers” can be from anywhere; and the only requirement is that creative works (essays, poems, songs, stories, drawings, paintings, videos, interviews etc.) relate to Wilderness. All Wilderness Thinkers’ reflections and creations will be archived on the project website and fifty-two people will be chosen as Featured Thinkers in Residence whose works will be highlighted and posted online weekly from September 3, 2014 – September 2, 2015. Register HERE!
Thanks to hard working teachers, Lenny Foster's face, and some other creative fundraising, the 2nd and 3rd grades from TISA (Taos Integrated School of the Arts) got out on the ranch for spring field days. I've never seen such a happy dish line.
Due to overwhelming demand for Wild Camp (Sangre de Cristo Youth Ranch for young adults) the Planmasters youth council has wisely chosen to split the 1 two-week session into 2 one-week sessions. In other words - we've condensed the session to serve twice the 13-15 year old people with a higher quality small-group experience. We'll still get to hike a 14er (large mountain in Colorado) and have lots of laughs. Campers were divided between the two sessions at random.
The Planmasters (a group made up of youth) is also scheming on having events throughout the year beyond summer camp for young people who won't wait around until they are adults to make an impact in the world. You don't have to be a camper at Sangre de Cristo Youth Ranch to make the plan. Contact Daniel to get involved.
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Tuesday May 6th is your chance to give Localogy a big lift. Bud will match your dollars for 24 hours. Join the first annual National Day of Giving - get your friends in on it and check back here on Tuesday. Let's see what we can do together...