La Finca Militar – Corral No. 5 & Community Park

Not Forgotten Outreach, Inc. is transforming a well-known pasture near the center of Taos into an active farm and public park.

NFO purchased the 28-acre property, known locally as the “Mitchell Pasture” or “Corral No. 5,” in early 2018 with a grant from the LOR Foundation.

Not Forgotten will plant year-round gardens for a farm-to-school program in which veterans and their families will grow food for local school cafeterias. A public walking trail will also be developed along the perimeter of the pasture so the community can stroll through the gardens, enjoy the open space and interact with the farmers working there.

Not Forgotten has led the country in promoting the therapeutic benefits of farming for veterans. By expanding these efforts at the Mitchell Property, Not Forgotten aims to train a new wave of young, able farmers while creating a space that military members and their families can connect with the community at large.

Not Forgotten also intends to restore two acequias (ancient irrigation ditches) that serve the property in order to keep the land productive and showcase the cultural and ecological benefits of traditional irrigation in the heart of Taos.

Not Forgotten Outreach will permanently protect most of the property from major development and use most of the land for productive agricultural activities. One corner of the field will become a veterans memorial park powered by an on-site solar array, and another 2.4-acre area is slated for an affordable housing development for veterans and their families.

Not Forgotten Outreach Farm; is a collaboration between the Albuquerque VA, Taos Land Trust, La Montanita Co-op, Northern New Mexico College, New Mexico State University County Extension Office, local farmers and Not Forgotten Outreach; to provide a program to Veterans and Gold Star Families to learn the basic skills and best practices for sustainable farming as a business or hobby and gain from its significant therapeutic and community benefits. Farming has a mission-driven focus, similar to the focus of the military – it is driven by the mission rather than the time clock.

Photo courtesy of Staci Matlock