June’s Local Flavor is their 17th Farm & Ranch issue.
Celebrating not only a few of Northern New Mexico Farmers and Ranchers, but also some of the chefs in our local restaurants who take the concept of Farm to Table seriously; creating food that is nutritious, delicious and soulful.
The ongoing collaboration between the growers and producers of our food, and the restaurants who serve the mouth-watering creations they derive from it, are at the heart of this issue.
After decades of importing ingredients from all over the world, chefs all over are buying local, seasonal ingredients for the dishes they prepare. This movement promises to limit the human impact on the environment-less flying, driving, and fuel consumption – all of which leaves a smaller “carbon footprint”.
Farm to Table fare is generally organic or at the very least, not sprayed with chemicals to protect it for the long haul to the restaurant, and is far more nutritious and tastes better to boot! Everybody wins – from farmer to chef to the diner. The farmers use specialist equipment like LED growing lights for a commercial business, to make the crops grow quickly. Consistency is key and agricultural equipment can help with this such as cattle feeders; this ensures that the cattle are always eating fresh hay which in turn creates better cuts of beef.
Thinking globally and sourcing locally is not just politically correct; it’s also rewarding for the farmers, ranchers and the chefs in our restaurants. Although sourcing products from local purveyors is not exactly new – Alice Waters (Chez Panisse) pioneered the movement decades ago – lately it’s become more the norm than not.
Local Flavor’s Farm & Ranch Issue explores the diversity of farming in New Mexico, opening with the cover story titled A Farmer’s Dream of a young family from Guanajuato who are working four acres of rented land they call Gonzales Farms, a 12-year member of the Santa Fe Farmers Market community, with the hopes of one day fulfill their dreams to own their own.
In This Is Range Country: Sage Coyote, read about the genuine Western couple on a sprawling 300-acre ranch in Tierra Amarillo who raise a herd of Tibetan Yak, who are incredibly efficient foragers, needing only 6 pounds of forage to gain one pound, compared to 8 pounds for cattle and 12 for bison; as well as a herd of Red Devon, who finish better on grass than other breeds.These gentle red giants are also favored for their easy, docile temperament and for being known to calve easily, and can be contained within specific areas with help from cattle guards and other non-intrusive measures.
In Santa Fe, a pair of urban rebels who met at Capshaw Middle School eschew the typical route to run a microgreen farm, growing edible herbs and grains hydroponically and without any animal byproducts in a 220-square-foot room. Growing in controlled environments with such buildings as https://www.norsemanstructures.com/ to help the process.
Urban Rebels have garnered fans–20 restaurants in Santa Fe and Albuquerque as well as farmers’ markets–for each of the 38 varieties they now offer, which studies show help fight cancer and other diseases more effectively than the adult version.
In keeping with the spirit of Farm & Ranch, Local Flavor visits three restaurants who have their own highly creative take on what it means to be farm fresh, local, and respectful of heritage. Eloisa, Farm & Table, and Terra.
In their monthly Still Hungry? Column, Local Flavor features shopping and cooking at the Farmers’ Market, thanks to their summer Power of Produce Club for families wanting to adopt more vegetables and fruit into their lives.
Mark Oppenheimer goes back in time with La Boca Chef James Campbell Caruso so you can learn all about the origins of his cooking muse-Grandma, herself-in Eating Words.
You can pick up a copy of Local Flavor at more than 530 locations throughout Northern New Mexico, including Cid’s here in Taos. You can also read online. For much more on Local Flavor, please do visit their site linked below this post.
All images thanks to Local Flavor, (Photographer’s Gabriella Marks, Genevieve Russell, Steven Long, Douglas Merriam, Steven Long and Liz Lopez.)