At Home with Moore Family Farms

A local-food enthusiast and recent college graduate puts theory to work creating a family farm outside Albuquerque.

| September/October 2013

Fresh out of college and hoping to start a market garden, Richard Moore got lucky when his parents decided to trade in their cramped suburban Albuquerque, New Mexico, neighborhood in favor of a fertile, rural area. After considering a range of locations from trendy to rustic, Carol and Ken Moore bought two irrigated acres near town, where they planned to build a superefficient home. Their longing for a more sustainable lifestyle in a rural setting just happened to coincide with their son’s agrarian impulse. The concept for Moore Family Farms was born.

From Classroom to Field

Richard graduated from Kalamazoo College in Michigan in 2009, where sustainability studies courses had gotten him thinking about environmental ethics, ecological philosophy and land stewardship.

“I was interested in sustainable food systems, and farming seemed a neat way to tackle it,” Richard says. “I got really interested in humanity’s relationship to the natural world.”

And he got more interested in what he ate. Richard was starting to cook more often, which led to shopping for local, organic foods at farmers markets and food co-ops. But growing things seemed a leap. “I had barely even gardened,” he says.

After graduating and moving back home to Albuquerque, Richard interned at Los Poblanos Organics, a community-supported agriculture (CSA) enterprise now called Skarsgard Farms. There he got a hands-on crash course in planting, weeding, fertilizing, harvesting and handling fresh food, and taking it to market. He even attended farmer Monte Skarsgard’s weekly classes on how to run a CSA.

After that year, Richard began looking around for a place where he could grow his own crops.

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