Taos, NM – March 10, 2017 – A Taos non-profit organization Agriculture Implementation Research & Education (AIRE) is coordinating a tree care event entitled “Fruit tree care and pruning 101: a hands-on workshop.” The workshop is a collaboration between AIRE, the Taos Tree Board, the Heartwood Coalition, the Los Jardineros Garden Club, and the Taos Charter School. It will be held on Monday, March 20 from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM at the Taos Charter School located at 1303 Paseo del Cañon East.
Jeremy Jones, principal of the Taos Charter School, is excited about the workshop noting that the fruit trees have not been pruned but have given a considerable amount of fruit. Beth Enson, volunteer for the Heartwood Coalition, commented that the orchard at the Taos Charter School is now one of 6 orchards located in the Taos area on public property that the Heartwood has planted or is actively caring for. Ben Wright and Paul Bryan Jones will take the lead in the workshop and are accomplished arborists who have garnered national attention for their identification and care of giant trees in Taos. They are also known locally for establishing orchards adjacent to the Parr Field Garden and at the Gusdorf Park.
Miguel Santistevan, Executive Director of AIRE, was awarded a grant from the Los Jardineros Garden Club to help with supplies for the workshop in addition to funds for the establishment of a “three sisters” garden to also be located on the grounds of the Taos Charter School. Miguel sees this initial workshop as a kick-off to the agricultural season and is scheduling workshops and presentations throughout the Spring and Summer to teach acequia agriculture, Permaculture, and other modalities of Sustainability. Miguel has many publications on these subjects and recently presented at the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance conference in early March. He sees this workshop as an important effort to bring like-minded people together for beautifying the landscape and creating opportunities for local food security. “The acequia landscape has always been known to have orchard systems, many of which have been neglected in recent years. I am honored to work with Paul and Ben in our shared vision to care for the trees we have and expand fruit production in the Taos Valley. Someday I would like to see our students be able to eat almost exclusively from a harvest of local fruit for their school lunches and snacks.” More information on future workshops can be found on AIRE’s website, http://www.growfarmers.org
AIRE’s mission is “To gather the people, plant the fields, and implement agriculture, research, and education for food security and restoration/conservation of the landscape, food traditions, and other Northern New Mexican (agri)cultural practices.”