Episode 53: Helga Garcia-Garza


by Rodney Wilson



Helga Garcia-Garza talks about the farmer opportunities offered by Agri-Cultura Network and La Cosecha CSA, dealing with crippling drought in the Southwest US, and cooperative organic farming.

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Hear about how the community-led Agri-Cultura Network began in 2009 with just three small-scale farmers who wanted to build capacity, aggregate products for larger markets and work cooperatively. Helga talks about how the organization has grown into a coalition of 57 farms—the majority less than 3 acres in size—using a shared food-entrepreneur kitchen and other infrastructure, hosting a CSA with a food-access mission, selling to public schools and other institutions, participating in farmer training, partnering on nutrition-education programs, saving seeds, developing food policy and more.

Learn how acequia water rights govern what and how farmers can grow in New Mexico and what the critical drought looked like in 2022. Related to this, Helga talks about how the Agri-Cultura Network farmers realized they needed to be more serious about saving their own seeds and what exportation of agricultural products means for the land.

Listen through to the end for Helga’s breakdown of the financial value of each market for the Agri-Cultura Network and some of the wins the New Mexico Food and Ag Policy Council have recently seen.

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