El Rincon Farm is… ‘a family farm in a small, fertile valley nestled between desert hills of cactus, juniper trees, and shrubs’ …in northern New Mexico. Only a few years ago did the Trujillo Family begin farming their ancestral land found in the Hispanic village of Chimayo, known for its healing earth and waters. They… ‘plant in order to maintain the spiritual and cultural traditions of being land-based people, and to help feed our community.’ Although they grow a variety of crops, their focus is on heirloom, native crops such as red chile, squash, corn and beans. They also have many wild growing trees and plants on the property that exist among the 100ft Cottonwood trees; most abundant lately has been over 200lbs of apricots we have picked and processed. Most fields use an acequia (irrigation ditch) to water the crops and in the two weeks I have been here, I have found flood irrigation to be one of the most rewarding jobs on the farm; it’s really just moving dirt in order to divert water slowly down rows – sort of like playing in the sand as a kid, but with a little more responsibility.
Brothers Adan and Omar work alongside Marisela, their máma, who lives on the property as well. Father, Ted, is often found giving us ‘outsiders’ a history lesson and sister Pilar works for a local water rights non-profit. At any time there are 3-6 WWOOFers (volunteers) living/working on the farm as well. Each volunteer brings a beautiful quality to share, as well as the Trujillos, who are historians, lawyers, actors, massage therapists, activists and educated world travelers. There is an immediate sense of family that extends to all who visit the farm. The motivation is quickly absorbed and although some days are exhausting, the collective energy keeps us all going. The work is strenuous but as Omar put it today after returning from a day of office work, “All those papers, florescent lights and shit-I’d rather be outside farming 8 hours a day in the hot sun anytime over that.” And the beauty is that everyone agrees with him. In fact, everyone seems to agree on everything. Most beautiful of all is how welcoming and genuine the Trujillos are while sharing their love for the land and knowledge for traditional ways of farming.
Recently we were replanting chile while the sun was going down and although most sunsets are beautiful, this one was tough to beat. In the distance was a gray sheet of rain falling on the desert landscape peaks that look like a miniature Monument Valley. A rainbow stood between us and the storm while the stormy sky slowly blew a pinkish/red hue across above our heads. Clouds looked like layers of ocean waves, each with a different color until it poked through to the blue sky above it all. Closer to the sun the colors turned an intense pinkish/red and we were definitely having a hard time working. Everyone wanted to get a camera but nobody went; I assume none of us wanted to miss the experience, either that or nobody wanted to clean the mud off of our hands. For me, it was one of those moments that is best remembered and not photographed.
Overall, I have found my experience here to be exactly what I was looking for; rewarding physical labor in a healing, natural environment. I’m learning about not only organic food production (a term not used much here since it’s just how things are done) but also the various aspects of farming that extend beyond the fields. There is always something to weed, cut, fix, find, solve, figure out, cook, can, or dry but the Trujillos do it (along with their other professions) with a great sense of humor. I think it would be tough to find another family farm like this one and I have to thank them for the experiences I’ve had so far. It’d be tough to find another family farm like this one.
To see more photos from El Rincon Farm de Los Trujillos, visit http://elrinconfarm.com