“I am from New Mexico, I was born and raised here, and it’s the only home I have. I want to see it thrive, I want to work for it. If we are not stewards of the land, who will be?” Nina Yozell-Epstein, Founder, Squash Blossom Local Food

Squash Blossom Local Food is a mission driven social enterprise, working to protect the interest of local farmers, preserve land in Northern New Mexico, lower the carbon footprint, and bring healthy, nutritious food to the community. Eating locally, also deeply connects people to the food they are eating; giving them a relationship to what’s in season, where their food comes from, and how it was grown.

Why the name Squash Blossom? Squash Blossoms are very delicate, once they are harvested they have to be delivered within three hours and eaten that day. Who else can do that? Who can work that closely with farmers, and deliver for use that day? The specialty is harvesting per order, food is delivered within 24 hours, and squash blossoms within 3 hours. The business is just as fragile, precarious, and needs effort and support.

“We’re all here [in New Mexico] against the odds. It’s a desert, it’s a short growing season, there is fire danger, there is drought. You don’t think of farming here, yet everything that grows here has that much more flavor, that much more spice, and that’s true for the people too. I want to protect us, I want to protect my community, and the land. Squash Blossom Local Food is about New Mexico, it’s about protecting the most delicate and vibrant aspect of our culture and community.”

Twenty farms, from 1 – 30 acres in size in Northern New Mexico, small-scale agriculture, are contributing to the Squash Blossoms local delivery.

Four farms are represented in this group of images:
Española Valley Farms, Salvador and , Española, New Mexico
Rancho la Jolla, Danny Farrar, Velarde, New Mexico
Red Mountain Farm, Jeff Nitz and Clare Price, Abiquiu, New Mexico
Malandro Farm, Jim Benson and Lisa Anderson and family, Abiquiu, New Mexico

Over twenty restaurants are participating. Click here to see the list.

A recent article about Squash Blossom in Edible Santa Fe

To learn more, visit: Squash Blossom Local Food online

When I first sat down with Joan Sutherland and the creative team of the non-profit Cloud Dragon, The Joan Sutherland Dharma Works, to discuss the possibilities of collaboration on this video project, Joan spoke to my heart. Paraphrasing, she said : People can’t be afraid of walking in the world with a broken heart, and to allow it to stay broken, in the understanding that the broken heart is an open heart, and connected. With this one sharing of perspective, I felt immediately whole, unashamed of my own life experience, and instantly more interested in accepting and embracing the mystery, the darkness, the difficulty, and the uncertain path as success, not failure, as richness, not the lack, as the source of action and inspiration in moving forward in the world with compassion – “We press our own broken heart up against the broken heart of the world, and then we ask, What’s next?”

“The Darkness has its own radiance, it’s not about looking for the light switch, it’s about sitting in the dark in its own terms, and feeling that power, the great roaring silence, that is 96% of everything.”

Please enjoy Joan’s poetry, wisdom, questions, and lineage in this short 10 minute video which was screened with a Q & A on May 28th, at the Living Room, Muñoz Waxman Gallery, CCA, Santa Fe.

To learn more about Joan Sutherland’s work and teachings, please visit the Cloud Dragon : The Joan Sutherland Dharma Works website.

A huge thanks to editor, Shelene Bridge and the editing/ creative team, Edie Tsong, Piper Leigh, Stella Reed, and RJ Ward. And, a profound and deep gratitude to Joan Sutherland, her dedication to and articulation of all that is unknown.

I hear the word “local” all the time, and of course, I think I’m as local as they come – for days, months sometimes, I don’t venture beyond a 30-mile radius of home, conducting my social, financial, spiritual, routine life within my own community. Or, so I think. However, our buying power, and what comes into our town from outside is huge…, food, energy, clothing, the products and some services at our fingertips are ordered online, produced far away, and shipped. As quickly as the thing arrives at our doorstep, our money leaves the community… all quite convenient, invisible, and possibly silently hurting the place we live, work, and call home. I sometimes wonder why in such an abundant world, there are so many problems within our boundaries. Our buying habits might account for many.

Vicki Pozzebon asks and investigates such economic and social quandaries through the lens of “localism”. On her website, she defines “Localism is an emergent economic development model that is about community, meaningful jobs, good corporate citizenship, sustainability, food, renewable energy, thinking local first” As a localist writer and consultant, she is committed to a local living economy model that truly sustains and enlivens community, your family, neighbors, and friends.

Vicki’s new website recently launched, and in the spirit of local collaboration, she worked with Renée Innis of Rinse Design and StoryPortrait Media to help her tell her own story through design and imagery.

Top Left: Kelly Egolf and Elizabeth Redman, VERDE Juice
Top to Bottom Right:
Sheila Nixon and Check Roland Richter, Joe’s Dining
Santa Sidra Hard Cider, a member of Delicious New Mexico
Juliana and Tejinder Ciano, ReUnity Resources


Her book, For the Love of Local: Confessions from the Heart of Community, will be published this Fall.

She is also offering Localist Learning Circles and BIG Retreats for social entrepreneurs.

M o r e   i n f o