Modern Tools, Ancient Values: Year-Round Farming at Taos Pueblo

by Todd Wynward

Think the local food movement is a fad for elite yuppies and homesteading hipsters?  Think again. Meet the Red Willow Growers Cooperative: Taos Pueblo food producers who use cutting-edge technologies to promote place-based values that have sustained their culture for a thousand years.

The Red Willow Farmer’s Market is a high-desert haven, providing abundant food year-round at 7,100’ above sea level. Located next to two substantial greenhouses and an educational building at Taos Pueblo, the market is open Wednesdays year-round and offers grass-fed beef, seasonal produce, eggs, fresh breads and pastries, fruits in season, jams, jellies, and soaps. From their rangeland nearby, the Taos Pueblo War Chief’s Office provides local buffalo, which is USDA certified, 100% grass-fed, and sustainably produced. During summer the farmer’s market is both indoor and outdoor, with a dozen vendor tables and an outdoor grill; in the off-season the market moves inside and is more limited.

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Region As Rabbi?

Ched Myers writes that the phrase “watershed discipleship” holds an intentional double meaning: both acting as a disciple during this watershed moment in history, as well as acting as a disciple within and on behalf of a specific watershed, as “citizen inhabitants of specific places.” Those are both certainly true. Yet I’d like to delve into a third meaning: acting as a disciple of one’s watershed.

Be a disciple of one’s watershed? You mean, like, consider your surroundings your Teacher?  Yes, that’s exactly what I mean.  So did Jesus. “Consider the lilies of the field,” the Master taught his disciples (Matthew 6:25). In other words, Jesus was saying Pay attention to the nature at your fingertips. Model your life after it. Study the divine creation that thrives in your watershed, and follow the pattern. Read more

Watershed Discipleship–A Way Through?

A Path Through Our Paralysis?

In early July 2013, Todd Wynward sat down with author and activist Ched Myers to discuss the concept of watershed discipleship and dream about building an allianceamong faith-based groups engaged in localized, bioregional living.  Below are Todd’s reflections.

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I have to agree with Ched Myers’ stark analysis of the current human condition:  modern society lies drugged in an “ecocidal slumber.”  We’re fully aware our actions are causing the corrosion of earth’s basic life-sustaining systems, and we know we have choices, yet we lay paralyzed, trapped by our compulsive habits and oh-so comfortable lifestyles.

Ched holds up a strange hope to our post-modern progressive paralysis: the Bible. He asserts that “the prophetic traditions indigenous to both testaments may alone be capable of rousing us” from our addictive malaise. Read more