Watch SOIL STORIES recordings on the NM Healthy Soil YouTube Channel:
Online conversations on soil health
Our guests start with a short presentation, followed by conversation with participants.
Donne Gonzales is a 25 year old resident of Chamisal. Growing up on the land, her family has always maintained summer gardens and small livestock, and this has developed in her a great respect and love for gardening and traditional practices. When she was 19, and undecided about what to do with her future, she applied to be an American Friends Service Committee farm trainee. During the second year, she became a trainer, and in her third year, the Farmer Trainer program transitioned from AFSC to the New Mexico Acequia Association (NMAA), and she was given the opportunity to be the main Farm Trainer for the Los Sembradores Farmer Training program. Donne is now leading the fourth year of NMAA farm apprentices, and all together, has already graduated 15 other young farmers who have gained a strong connection to the land. Donne speaks proudly of how rich we truly are to have sacred land, water, and native seeds – and acequias and farming as a way of life. She believes strongly in sharing gardening skills, traditions, and her querencia for the land and acequias to individuals of all ages.
Emily Arasim is a young farmer and organizer, born and raised along the Acequia Madre de Tesuque. She is dedicated to learning from the land and fellow community members, and working with respect and accountability to protect traditional seeds, farming, and water stewardship practices in Northern New Mexico. Emily currently works as part of the New Mexico Acequia Association youth education team, developing curriculum and giving presentations about the importance of community waters and farming to children in classrooms and youth programs around the state. She farms with her elder mentors in Nambe and Tesuque, and nurtures collaborative projects with other young traditional farmers and seed caretakers. She previously spent five years as Communications Coordinator for the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, and believes that farming is one of the most important ways to address the intertwined social and ecological crisis we face.