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May 2024

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Photo by Gaea McGahee; Rachel and Amelia Hardy. 2022 Intern Amelia ran the coffee stand most days she worked at the market!

2022 Questa Farmers Market Youth Internship Recap: Part II

In the April issue of the Questa del Rio News, we gave the economic picture of the 2022 season. In this issue, we are sharing information about the Youth Internship.


We are a program of Localogy, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) in Questa. Our mission is to strengthen the local food system in northern Taos County by supporting small land- and home-based businesses, and youth through market internships, mentorship and skill building.


Our program organizes a market each Sunday during the growing season. We coordinate a youth internship and mentorship project, we partner with the North Central Food Pantry (NCFP) and local producers to send food out through the pantry’s distribution, and we collaborate with Vida del North Coalition, Questa Stories, Questa Creative Council and other community nonprofits, organizations and individuals. Our program grows each season through input and reflection from community members, especially from youth who work with QFM.


We support tradition, adaptation, and resilience with these core initiatives:

• Regenerate the local food economy through exchange
• Create a beautiful space to support community gathering
• Offer paid youth internships and adult mentorship positions
• Distribute local food through the North Central Food Pantry
• Use water rights to irrigate newly planted trees


Editors note: Gaea McGahee is a Questa Farmers Market Organizer


Paid Interns and Volunteers

We believe that establishing roles and paid jobs for youth makes the QFM program positive and powerful. We all prosper through intergenerational work and we go further by learning, and building together. Our previous seasons have shown that employment for youth through QFM internships is key—we are committed to continue offering these paid internships. Our Youth Internship program received LANL Foundation support through a 2-year Education Enrichment Grant. This is our second season with their support. To apply for the internship, go to: questafarmersmarket.org/blog/internship/.


The 2022 interns, mentors and volunteers, including Andy and Lorie Jaramillo who have worked with QFM since 2019, cared for the gardens, planted trees, built picnic tables (thanks to Jesse Hardy and his additional crews of volunteers), and mudded the horno several times in the season.


QFM Merchandise and your support

Freelance graphic designer Emily Wilde created our logo and we put it on shirts, aprons, and stickers! You can support our work by purchasing our QFM merchandise at the market. If you want gear sooner, email growersmakers@gmail.com, or call or text (575) 224-2102 about these items. We print our shirts and aprons on organic cotton to support healthier environments for farmers farther afield.


The vegetable and flower gardens provide spaces of experiential education and beauty, ensuring that the marketplace supports vendors and customers, as well as pollinators and traveling butterflies.


Mural

Muralist, Rae Lewis, began a mural project in 2021 beautifying our on-site shipping container, a greatly appreciated donation from the Questa Credit Union. Last season Rae worked with QFM interns, Vida interns, Vida summer camp and Sangre de Cristo Youth camp kids, and community members to create a pollinator mural, dedicated to Monarch butterflies and milkweed.


The 20 foot container has murals on both of its long sides; in 2021 the project completed an abstract quilted landscape of mountains around Questa. The design was inspired by the land, the practice of quilting, and a 1930s photograph of Questa quilters found by Estevan Rael-Galvez in his grandparents’ home next door to the market site.


These murals engage the community in the design process and allow all abilities and ages to paint together. The project continues in 2023!


Our Mission:

to strengthen the local food system in northern Taos County by supporting small land- and home-based businesses, and youth through market internships, mentorship and skill building.


Our vision:

The next generation is capable of producing food locally and is engaged in wise strategies to care for land, water and all resources. Small land- and home-based businesses are in the skilled hands of our next generation. Local food systems are successfully supporting all people’s health. Communities are connected through vibrant local food systems.


Thank you:

Our program has (over many seasons) received support from funders: the Questa Economic Development Fund (QEDF), the LOR Foundation, Chevron Grants for Good, The LANL Foundation, Taos Community Foundation, the Questa Creative Council, Red Willow Center, and the New Mexico Farmers Marketing Association. We have received other support from community organizations; the Questa Credit Union and the Vida del Norte Coalition, LEAP (Land, Experience, and Art of Place), Questa Stories, Rewire Yourself with New Opportunities (RYNO), and Taos Initiative for Life Together (TiLT), as well as the many hours donated each year by community members and volunteers to help accomplish the larger goals of our program and keep the market site beautiful and welcoming. Thank you all for your continuing support of our growing efforts.


Contact

We are a program of the local
non-profit, Localogy www.localogy.org
To contact Market Organizer, Gaea,
call (575) 224-2102
growersmakers@gmail.com
QuestaFarmersMarket.org
facebook.com/QuestaFarmersMarket
instagram.com/questafarmersmarket
Our mentors are supported by Taos County ARPA Funding,
awarded through the Taos Community Foundation”

Author

  • Gaea McGahee

    Gaea McGahee is the organizer of the the Questa Farmers Market growersmakers@gmail.com, https://questafarmersmarket.org/ and is the owner/operator of Yoga Sala in Questa. http://www.yogasalaquesta.org/, yogasalaquesta@gmail.com

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