new mexico draft mule farmers

posted December 30, 2010

we hope to get these guys on Greenhorn Radio! which returns to live shows in january.   here’s an older story about them.

Gemini Farms: Back to the Land
By Mark Schiller and Kay Matthews
published by La Jacarita News

Editor’s Note: As the Agricultural Revitalization Initiative (ARI) gets off the ground (see page 3) we thought it would be interesting to take an in-depth look at a northern New Mexico farm that is run by several young people in their twenties who are doing just what the ARI hopes to accomplish: putting a piece of traditionally irrigated land back into production.

Two young brothers with a vision have created a garden in Las Trampas that provides food for themselves, their friends, the folks who buy at the Santa Fe Farmers Market and who eat in Santa Fe restaurants, and also serves as an inspiration for anyone who cares about food sustainability.

Teague and Kosma Channing, 27 and 23 respectively, grew up in Santa Fe with a Polish mother and British-American father. Every summer they traveled to the farm county of Poland to visit their mother’s family, where they were exposed to traditional, old world farmers who grew fields of wheat and potatoes as well as kitchen gardens and orchards. They saw that in Poland even people who lived in the city maintained their connection to their farming roots and relied upon local produce for a substantial portion of their diet.

Although they maintain they grew up as typical Santa Fe teenagers, this experience obviously had a profound influence on the brothers. After Teague graduated from college and Kosma from high school, they decided to learn how to farm themselves and worked for several local farmers and orchardists before deciding to start their own farm. After an extended trip to Mexico, where they perfected their Spanish, they ended up at Jeff Klein’s seven-acre homestead in Las Trampas. (Klein is the founder of the Self-Reliance Foundation that has worked to help maintain small farms. He is also a friend of the Channing family.) Although three acres of the land were irrigable, they had not been farmed in years and were overgrown with grasses and willows.

continue reading HERE