Groups revitalize Culinary Arts Garden to feed the community

Posted in: , ,

Lush greens have emerged at the Culinary Arts Garden, located on Main Campus between the East Wing and the Fine Arts Center. The garden is returning to its former glory after being dormant during the pandemic.

SFCC Foundation partnered with several groups to revitalize the Culinary Arts Garden and establish a community garden. Grow Y’Own, which originally installed the raised beds, worked with Love, Tito’s, a charitable organization that aids in the creation and restoration of community gardens nationally.

“Our Block to Block program allows us to make fresh food accessible and inspire healthy eating through building community gardens across the country,” said Amy Lukken, Director of Philanthropy and Chief Joyologist at Fifth Generation, Inc/Love, Tito’s. “When we heard about the need to revive the gardens at SFCC, we jumped at the chance to help out as both organizations are improving our communities one block at a time and it was a perfect fit.”

To give the gardens a fresh start, Reunity Resources delivered fresh soil. “Building healthy soil with compost is essential to grow healthy food and maintain a healthy planet,” Juliana Ciano of Reunity Resources said.

In April, the partners launched the community garden with a blessing and prayers by a Tesuque Pueblo elder. Volunteers from SFCC Foundation, college faculty and staff, Grow Y’Own, Block to Block, and special guests from Tesuque Pueblo, Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo and Central New Mexico Community College’s Horticulture Department celebrated the event (following COVID-safe protocols) with a dedication ceremony and workday to plant the garden.

The garden will provide produce for the Culinary Arts Program and those in need at SFCC and surrounding communities. Ondine Frauenglass, Interim Director of the SFCC Innovation Center, is the project coordinator, with assistance from SFCC Foundation’s Deborah Boldt and Kelly Marquez Smith, and Julia Deisler, Interim Dean of Trades, Advanced Technology, and Sustainability and of Professional Studies. Also involved in the initiative from SFCC are Assistant Professor Stephen Gomez, Ph.D., Trades and Advanced Technology Center; Linda Cassel, Director of Art on Campus; Ashley Martinez, Film Program technician; Pastry Chef Instructor Micaela Deaton, as well as Culinary Arts and Controlled Environment Agriculture staff.

A community festival in the fall sponsored by Love, Tito’s, will celebrate the harvest.