La Cosecha CSA is a food access program that operates within the Agri-Cultura Network, a farmer owned cooperative located in the South Valley of Albuquerque. ACN aggregates, processes, and sells locally grown produce.
The network consists of nine South Valley farms. These include Baca Family Connection, Erda Gardens and Learning Center, Casa Grande Farms, Granja Para Mañana, Los Jardines Institute, Los Jardines de Moctezuma, Red Tractor Farms, Speakeasy Gardens, and Organicos. Although not all of our farms are certified organic, they all use organic practices, meaning they do not use harmful fertilizers or pesticides on their produce. We also source from 20 other out of network farms across New Mexico.
La Cosecha began in 2012 when the network farmers noticed that their produce was not being distributed in the South Valley. This was a matter of concern for the farmers because the South Valley is considered a food desert, as well as a high percentage of unemployment. This means a lack of access to healthy food and lack of resources to pay for it. The farmers wanted to feed their friends and neighbors and support the local South Valley economy.
La Cosecha is a CSA (community supported agriculture) program that supports local farmers, the New Mexico economy, and the local residents. We feed over 300 families a week during the CSA season. If a member meets the income eligibility for SNAP benefits, and either lives in the South Valley or has small children in the home (0-8 years old), they qualify for a subsidized share. The subsidization for our program is provided by funders, private donors, and our full pay members.
Each week we distribute produce at our own pickup site, as well as delivering to partner sites who host pick ups for our members. We expanded into Martineztown and the International District in 2016, in light of recognizing the same needs and struggles being experienced in these neighborhoods.
We provide a bilingual newsletter in the shares each week with healthy recipes, storage tips, and nutrition information. We also work with the referral clinics at our partner sites to reach families and children who either have a need for food access or have been diagnosed with chronic illnesses such as diabetes.