I was commissioned by Cid’s Food Store in Taos, NM to film a series of mini-docs about their local artisanal farmers and producers. Cid’s is a really great natural food store – think Whole Foods way back when it was cool. In addition to providing a viable outlet – other than farmers’ markets – for local farmers to sell their wares, Cid’s acts as something of a regional business incubator: If you grow or make something that they consider suitable for sale in the store, Cid’s will help you get your stuff on the shelves, from packaging to UPC codes to pricing strategies. They’re really nice people and I really enjoyed working on this project over a period of more than two years.
Northern New Mexico and Southern Colorado have somewhat unique agricultural practices: One rarely sees sprinkler systems irrigating fields. The region has the Acequia system – basically a series of small canals – instituted in the time of the Conquistadores, and has not really changed since then. Each farm or family using acequias has water rights dating back generations, and are now regionally controlled by majordomos, the distributor and rationer of the water. Rotational grazing and organic farming are also widely practised, and there is a general communal spirit of helping your neighbour and being good stewards of the land.