Posts Tagged ‘albuquerque backyard farms’

Choosing a CSA

If you don’t want to garden yourself, or don’t have room, a CSA is a great local-food option. You share in the season of a local farmer/gardener, and receive truly seasonal vegetables. Using a CSA for a season is also great preparation for starting your own garden, since it trains you to cook with what is in season and grows well in your area. We have several CSAs in our area, but recently I was contacted by Jill, a HIgh Desert yoga instructor who has a small CSA and is ready to take a few more customers. I have not used her CSA myself, but this is exactly the sort of Earth-friendly mini-farm that we need more of, so I’m reproducing her ad below.
Whenever you are considering a CSA, I suggest a discussion with the farmer by phone or email about growing practices (most mini-farms can’t afford the organic certification process, even if they use organic methods,) the variety of vegetables that you can expect, whether fruits and/or flowers are ever included, roughly when the season will start and end, and how many family members each box can be expected to feed.
After one or two CSA seasons, you might be ready to grow your own!

Vegetables by the box.
Mama’s Garden is a Northeast heights backyard garden CSA providing a fresh and delicious variety of seasonal vegetables, herbs, flowers and melons. Mama’s Garden is run by Jill Palmer and her son Narayan and has been selling its pesticide-free produce at local grower’s markets since 2009. Sign up by May 5th for your weekly box throughout the growing season and pay weekly. Free deliveries to the NE heights and Nob Hill. Contact Jill at

Jill adds in her email: ” I am happy to provide you references of my previous CSA members or any
> other info. you might like to know about us. Having just a backyard,
> I am not cert. organic, yet I use no pesticides and prep. the soil
> with yummy compost I make at home and from Soilutions as well as horse
> manure. I have enough variety to keep the box fun…as every few
> weeks a few more veggies begin to fruit. I sell a 1-2 person amount
> as a $15/box and 3-5 person amount as a $30/box. Yet amounts/prices
> can be tailored for more persons than that with discounts.”

Before and after: the first six months

Too often, when I look at my garden I concentrate on what needs to be done or what didn’t turn out as hoped. The recent intense heat spells have been hard on garden and gardener alike, and it’s easy to fall into frustrated negativity. So today, as I look out my front door at the view above, I want to remember what it looked like when we took possession of the property six months ago:

Okay, not everything prospered, but we eat a lot of vegetables from our own yard every night, birds and butterflies and skinks abound, and every now and then I see a neighbor or two hanging over the fence admiring the view. Amazing what compost and stubbornness can do.
Please, please, use the DH oil spill as an opportunity to think about some ways to reduce your own footprint. “Yard farming” is the most healthful and pleasurable way I know to do that. If you grow any food in Albuquerque, please consider registering with the “2012 gardens by 2012” project. Go to and click the “2012 Gardens” tab. Sustainablity and greater self-sufficiency are great causes.