Sunday, November 24, 2013

Women's Group Promotes Community Supported Agriculture In Taos

On this blustery and snowy morning, it is appropriate to long for our spring and summer gardens, particularly here in our beautiful state of New Mexico. In that context, I want to feature a project led by Gael Minton, a farmer in Taos New Mexico. The project, Taos Women Farmers, was featured in the blog of the organization Certified Naturally Grown (CNG) back in April of this year.

Gael and her husband Ty Minton are owners of Squash Blossom Farms in Taos. One of the pieces in our series about bugs, hunger and food in May of this year addressed the useful role of insects in food production. The piece used quotes (obtained by Jim O'Donnell) from the Mintons about the useful role of insects in the pollination process.

Taos Women Farmers was formed in in 2006, when six women gathered around Gael Minton's dining room table to swap advice and tips, the names of their favorite seed suppliers, and the best performing varieties  The group has grown to 54 women, and 30 women attended their meeting in January of this year,

Read more from the CNG blog:
None of the members have much extra time to attend a lot of meetings so TWF holds just handful of gatherings and farm tours each year, but they make those few meetings count. For their last winter meeting they invited 2 outside speakers, heard report backs from women who had attended the state’s organic conference, held a panel discussion “Why we farm”, and held a winter market of handmade value-added products.

Neither do the members want the network to become too formal with membership dues or officer positions, so they keep it all volunteer. The group’s overhead is practically non-existent - doesn’t have a website, and they either meet at each other’s farms or rent out a space on a donation-basis.

The main cost for organizing the network is time. Gael Minton is the main impetus behind the network - she keeps track of the email list, sends out reminders, and makes sure there’s space to hold the meetings.   Read the full post entitled, Taos Women Farmers   The Taos News also featured the women in a great piece published  in August 2013.

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