Last week, I toured the Alvarado Urban Farm in downtown Albuquerque; a project of the Downtown Action Team. It is unique in a downtown city center to be standing in the middle of a farm. Alvarado is surrounded by the Silver Gardens apartments, a parking garage, and the downtown train station…it is, in other words, a patch of farmland surrounded by the tall buildings that make up the Albuquerque skyline. The number of residents in this part of town is growing by leaps and bounds, yet it is missing key features like a grocery store and community space. It is a “food desert” as defined by the USDA.
That’s where the Alvarado Urban Farm comes in. Their goal is to become a local food hub and community space– to set up a farmers market on Wednesday afternoons for commuters (on their way to or from the Railrunner) and local residents. Along with 40 some-odd raised planting beds and several bocce courts, there are plans to build a gazebo and market building, and to host community events such as lectures, and concerts. Some of their partners include Amy Biehl High School and the Veteran’s Farm Project. In the near future they have plans to partner with a local daycare to teach a younger generation about urban farming.
Alvarado Urban Farm is a great example of local agritourism. Tying agriculture and community together in one space (in the middle of a city, I might add) is amazing! If you are on your way to a show at The Box, headed to the train, or just walking around downtown Albuquerque I recommend you stop by the Alvarado Urban Farm at 101 Silver Ave SW to see all of the great work they are doing.
At the end of the tour we were handed scissors and a bag and were told “now go get your hands dirty”. I went home with a bag full of freshly dug carrots and collard greens.