NEW MEXICO (KRQE) – The Center of Southwest Culture was founded back in 1991 to help create healthy Indigenous and Chicano communities through economic development initiatives and educational programs. Sembrando Salud! is one of the organization’s programs that teach families how to create and manage their own backyard as well as how to properly garden and harvest.
Center of Southwest Culture Founding Director Arturo Sandoval discusses the bilingual program and the positive work it’s doing for the community. Sembrando Salud! educates families on how to create and manage their own backyard organic vegetables and also provides garden plans, organic seeds, organic soil, and drip irrigation materials to start a garden.
“Well Sembrando Salud really came out of issues we saw in our communities and specifically that is, our families really need to be eating healthy food especially fresh vegetables and given that they have limited budgets especially for food it’s often difficult for families to be able to give their children the kind of healthy vegetables they need,” said Sandoval.
Participants in the program get hands-on education through the group activity of setting up a garden space as well as step-by-step instructions of the Center of Southwest Culture’s regenerative principles from qualified staff members. Those in the program learn how to improve soil health by making compost and other natural inputs from yard and food waste, utilize space maximizing square foot gardening layouts and micro-gardening techniques, set up simple drip systems, and more.
While the program didn’t run in 2020 due to the pandemic, in 2019, Sembrando Salud! workshops reached about 640 participants from the communities of Jemez Pueblo, Bernalillo, Ramah, and the Albuquerque South Valley and International District.
For more information on the Sembrando Salud! program, visit centerofsouthwestculture.org or call 505-247-2729.