Fruits of our labor

making mud
Vida del Norte Coalition teen members – the Active8, and Singing River Field Center youth in a collaborative summer camp/market building project start the horno in early June

What a wonderful season we’re enjoying! With only four official markets left, here’s a photo journey through some of the season’s growth, and the music schedule is below.

We’ve been able to build our shade structures, horno, and gardens with funding from the LOR Foundation.

building in action
Miguel Gonzales and Rachel Kuc´ plastering the horno, July

We can care for our gardens and make more plantings (trees!) thanks to the Questa Economic Development Fund and their support (both grant support and the installation of the central water source at the market site).

Vida del Norte Coalition teen members – the Active8, and Singing River Field Center youth in a collaborative summer camp/market building project start the gardens in early June
kaylee and amalia
Vida del Norte Coalition teen members (from the Active8) enjoy the garden they helped create, August

We have hired musicians each Sunday and thank Chevron’s Community Grants for Good, which has enabled us to pay these folks.

smooth site
Most shade structures complete, early August

We’re really thankful to our community – our dear vendors, patrons, entrepreneurs, builders (all ages) and eaters of what’s growing and what’s cooking. There are so many to thank by name, we’ll save that for another post.

Local lamb from Costilla from the shepherdess, with Navajo Churro
jamey in stand
Vendors moving into the new shelters

Mostly, you need the music schedule and the link to a very recent article.

Questa Farmers Market Music Line-up:

Aug 25 Nick Hans
Sept 1 Chris and Rodney Arellano
Sept 8 Carlos Rael
Sept 15 Michael Rael and Questa Mariachi

Read this recent article in New Mexico Magazine, A Town Reborn by Elizabeth Miller, to see how we think a local farmers market is part of the solution.

Want your own Questa Farmers Market shirt? They’re for sale at the market or email us,, or write to PO Box 462, Questa NM 87556.

shirts just in
Adults $15
Kids $12
Aprons $12

Prepared Food Vendors, here’s what you need to know this season

Each person running a food booth must have their temporary food establishment permit. It’s $25 a month, call the New Mexico Environment Department in Taos at 575-758-8808. Also, new this year in New Mexico, at least one person in your booth/food operation needs a food handlers card (you can take an ANSI certified course online to get this card).

You may need a commercial kitchen to make your product (unless you’re cooking on site at QFM). The San Cristobal Kitchen is ready to rent. It’s been approved by the state environment department.

Call Wendy to reserve the San Cristobal Kitchen, 575-770-7968:

$15 for 2 hours, the minimum
$30 for 4 hours
$60 for 8 hours

You will need to sign a release form to use the kitchen. You will need your food handlers permit. You may pay by money order or check.

We abide by state regulations because QFM is authorized to accept payment from shoppers enrolled in food benefit programs (SNAP/EBT, Double-up-food-bucks, WIC, and Senior Nutrition checks). This is why all prepared food vendors are asked to obtain the correct permits.

If you have questions or need help with training (to obtain your food handlers card), call Wendy and Alex, 575-770-7968. They are happy to help!

Questa Farmers Market site improvements receive support from community members and LOR Foundation

Spinach! Courtesy image, Jamey Bryant, Walking Bear Farm

The following article appears in the June Issue of Questa Del Rio News. Three vendors will begin selling early! Get eggs, produce and baked goods on Sunday, June 2nd, 11am to 3pm.

Contributors: Gaea McGahee, Maria Gonzalez and Daniel Hutchison

Questa Farmers Market 2019 goals:

  • Increase attendance, both vendors and patrons
  • Develop community space with site improvement and beautification project
  • Incorporate community members, specifically youth, in leading project
  • Increase support for local producers – vendors income in 2018 totaled $19,500, more than double 2017 total $9,500

Questa Farmers Market will begin Phase I of a site improvement plan, June to early August. This collaborative project involves Vida del Norte Coalition teen members – the Active8, and Singing River Field Center youth, with support from the LOR Foundation.

The vision for these improvements grew from several seasons of experience. Market organizer, Gaea McGahee, says, “everyone at this weekly, seasonal market [vendors and patrons] need a functional and beautiful space. I believe improvements will make it possible to keep putting forth our efforts, and grow a lasting local market.”

The plan is to build an horno and create raised gardens and shade structures for vendors and patrons. An excellent location in the Visitor Center parking area (used by QFM for two seasons) has been provided by the Questa Economic Development Fund. It sits at a major intersection on the “Enchanted Circle,” the scenic byway through mountain communities.

QFM has received a LOR Foundation grant and with it comes a role for the community, including visitors and vendors. During the market season QFM will survey attendees to gather responses to site improvements, as well as hear hopes and concerns for Questa.

Dedicated vendors and community organizers, plus energetic youth, will make site improvements possible, with thanks to LOR’s financial support. The Foundation supports projects in rural communities across the rural Mountain West and recently added Questa to that list. “LOR was founded in 2007 on the simple premise that communities can find economic prosperity without sacrificing what they love about the place they call home,” said Jake Caldwell, a LOR program officer based in Taos, NM.

Courtesy Sketch – Taos Landscaping, Inc.

On June 10th, youth and community members will begin the horno. This traditional mud brick oven will provide a focus during the market, and may help extend the season as corn is roasted into chicos in the fall. QFM aims to support local food, nutrition, and economic opportunities, and establish a truly local market: supporting traditional cooking and preservation methods is vital to this mission.

Sun and rain shade structures for vendors and patrons, and a well organized space for musical performers, will dedicate the site. Raised gardens will add beauty, plus the attention gardens require assure the investment of energy; along with shared responsibilities comes a sense of ownership.

The Market officially begins June 16 but some farmers are ready; look for early sellers and keep up with the latest at

Three vendors will begin selling eggs, produce and baked goods on Sunday, June 2nd, 11am to 3pm.

QFM is an EBT/Double-up authorized market and at least 50% of goods sold must be from local (80 miles) NM farms and gardens, and the remaining portion can be prepared foods and crafts. QFM is authorized to accept WIC, and Senior Nutrition checks; these circulate July to Nov.

For more information about Singing River Field Center, or to sign up your child, visit, or call Maria Gonzalez: (575) 779-2260. Want to help with site improvements? Contact Gaea McGahee: (575) 224-2102,

QFM is calling vendors and musicians:

Our Missions:

Questa Farmers Market is a community–led effort to localize our economy by supporting agriculturalists and makers during the growing season in beautiful northern New Mexico.

Vida Del Norte Coalition unites Northern Taos County Communities in preventing and decreasing youth substance abuse. Active8, youth extension of the coalition actively participating to reduce youth substance misuse.

Singing River Field Center connects local youth with nature, community, and personal potential. for more information about LOR.