Local Food Albuquerque
This page is for listing of local food and agricultural products and services. It's a work in progress, so please check back to see what's new. Don't miss the "Meet your local farmers" page.
Suppliers of pastured and grass-fed meats are located on "The Meaty Issue" page.
My favorite suppliers are on the page "the Meaty Issue." If you eat meat, please consider these delicious and more animal-friendly and planet-friendly alternatives.
I only know of one source for raw cows' milk in our area, but it's a good one. Sunshine Farms in Bosque Farms (869-3701) keeps a few milk cows under idyllic conditions. I have watched the cows grazing in the front pasture on lush green grass with chickens scratching near their feet, and this is the ideal life for a cow as far as I'm concerned. The milk is rich, delicious, and entirely legal. The family also produces some vegetables and herbs, and their website hints that information on chickens will be posted in the future. This is the sort of family farm that I want to support when I buy food. The milk is available in gallons and half gallons. They sell goats' milk too.
My first choice for general grocery shopping will always be La Montanita Co-op. Their community commitment is strong, and there's no national administration to funnel money out of our local economy. While national chains put up banners about "local" food, the co-op quietly puts its money where its mouth is. Each store is empowered to buy produce in small quantities from local producers, so people with as little as one box of fresh organic vegetables to sell can find a buyer here, if the quality is good. Count the local products here, and then go to a national chain store and do the same thing, and then form your own conclusions about who's really supporting local food. Also keep in mind that the co-op does a lot of other good things that cost money, like offering discounts to people who do community volunteer work and offering benefits to both full-time and part-time employees, so that more New Mexicans can get health insurance. This is worth supporting.
Our local CSA, Los Poblanos, offers a wonderful way to get vegetables if you don't garden. Under the direction of Farmer Monte, Los Poblanos grows vegetables in the North valley and will deliver them to your home weekly or biweekly, or you can box up your own at one of their many pick-up locations. Great eggs and pork are occasionally available on a limited basis. During the winter when my garden is lying low, this is where I get my vegetables. Do remember that in midwinter they can't produce enough to fill boxes with enough variety, and some of the produce will be from small organic growers in California during this time. You can also find them at the farmers' markets during the growing season. Check them out online at www.lospoblanosorganics.com.
Good seeds are not as easy to find as you might think. There's a good discussion of why this is in Steve Solomon's Gardening When It Counts.In short, good seed is expensive, and since small seed companies often just resell what larger firms sold them and don't trial it themselves, the potential for disappointment is high. Here in New Mexico we have Gourmet Seed International at www.gourmetseed.com. Their airtight packaging is useful since the seeds keep well, and I've tried several varieties from them with excellent results. Their selection of chicories and other leafy greens is comprehensive. Seeds of Change, near Santa Fe, has also been a good source for me. Some gardeners object to the fact that they're owned by the M&M/Mars Corp., so be aware of this if it's important to you. Outside our area, my best results have come from Territorial Seeds (www.territorialseed.com.) Their quality is very high and the seeds perform reliably.
Our area Farmers' Markets are wonderful places to connect with producers of good food. I visit the Downtown Mraket and the Corrales Market nearly every week, even when my garden is in full swing, just to see what other people are growing and to buy things I don't produce, like cheese. I can also highly recommend the Santa Fe market, which in addition to the usual fare has a wide array of producers of specialty meats, including grassfed beef, bison, pastured chicken, pork, and grassfed lamb. Put a cooler in the back of your car before you go.