RGCF farms approximately 50 acres of the Los Poblanos Open Space – a traditional acequia-watered part of Albuquerque’s north valley. Fields are farmed in a range of traditional and modern ways. Crops are grown for both people and wildlife. Wildlife habitat is maintained along with food crops.
Depending on the availability of water being brought from the Rio Grande by the area’s historic system of acequias, some fields use traditional furrow irrigation. Furrow irrigation is ideal for crops such as onions, garlic, and chile.
Other fields rely on the same surface water from the river, but flood the fields instead of using furrows. This works especially well for alfalfa, grains and sunflowers.
Yet another field demonstrates state-of-the-art subsurface drip irrigation – a method that saves water and enables the Farm to grow produce year round, using both acequia water and well water.
The Farm grows heirloom vegetables including Hopi blue corn, Brandywine tomatoes, and Charentais melons. It saves and shares seeds to ensure that these valuable crops are not lost. Corn, sunflowers, and grains are grown to provide food for wildlife. Hedgerows provide cover, nesting sites, and food for many species of birds.
The Farm greenhouse provides an early start for field crops such as onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and peppers. Some plant starts go directly from the greenhouse to market to be transplanted into customers’ gardens. Heirloom sunflowers such as black oil and mammoth grey stripe are very popular at market, adding both beauty and great food for birds to any yard.