Silver Leaf Farms: Another Reason to Love Corrales
Corrales was originally a farming community, and it retains a lot of that character to this day. The land is mostly divided into acre lots, and organic and pesticide-free crops are grown on many of the very fertile 11.3 square miles of river valley land within the town.
Have you heard of Silver Leaf Farms? You may already have eaten their pesticide-free vegetables if you visited any of a bunch of MetroABQ restaurants: Farm & Table, Los Poblanos, Torino’s, The Grove, The Shop, Farina; they also sell to La Montanita Co-op and Whole foods. I’ve bought vegetables from them at the Downtown Growers Market and the Corrales Growers Market.
Silver Leaf Farms has the run of five acres of indoor and outdoor gardens; the 10,000sqft Corrales greenhouse allows them to grow year-round– hydroponic tomatoes and other vegetables are picked and shipped to local restaurants, grocers, farmer’s markets, and, beautifully, they provide vegetables to the Cochiti, Santo Domingo and Bernalillo school systems, among others. Read about the Corrales little Free Library.
Recently, Silver Leaf Farms installed an $18,090 6.1 kW photovoltaic solar array system for the farm; they were helped out with grant money from the government for small farms. At the presentation to Silver Leaf Farms from the United State Dept. of Agriculture, Rural Development, the presenter stated that, “In the long run this project will help the environment through the use of clean energy and will help Silverleaf Farms save money and become more profitable.” The solar array has replaced thirty-three percent of the farms energy usage. From one of the founders, Aaron’s Facebook Page:
“Our aim is to bring the finest locally grown, chemical-free produce to the market to feed the local community and to prove that sustainable agriculture is possible. I built the greenhouse, cleared the land, began cultivating and can now say with pride that everything I bring to market is delicious, healthy produce that I grew, harvested and love to eat myself. I consider myself “beyond organic”: I use natural fertilizers and no chemical pesticides, herbicides or fungicides.”
As Silver Leaf Farms is now year-round, I’ve been buying their pickled beets and pickled cauliflower when I can find them. Never had pickled beets? They are more tasty then you can imagine! Try one and you’ll know… After the beets are gone, the leftover beet-red juice makes a fantastic salad dressing.
More about Corrales here…
Another part of the 516 Arts On the Map: Unfolding Albuquerque Art + Design Architecture & Design Studio Tour was led by architect Cory Greenfield of Entropic Industries and co-curator Katya Crawford of Westbund West Design; both teach at UNM. Greenfield used to work for internationally-recognized Architect Antoine Predock, who designed the New Urbanist adobe community of La Luz along the river on the west side. That liaison is interesting, as Greenfield is remodeling a Leon Watson adobe home in Old Town. Watson Adobes, most built in the late 1940’s, had small, compartmentalized rooms to save heat. Greenfield’s home was part of the tour, and we were amazed upon entering: the now large living room occupied the entire front of the house, and the kitchen-to-dining room spaces were open to the living area, creating a contemporary Great Room design. Watson ceilings were often filled with soil for insulation above the viga beams and latilla panels; to support the more expansive ceiling, Greenfield installed a structural steel beam for added support, seen above. Read More