Every week in a warehouse in Central El Paso, workers at Desert Spoon Food Hub pack cardboard boxes of seasonal fruits and vegetables grown from Socorro, Texas, to Monticello, New Mexico.
Desert Spoon is the only business based in El Paso that provides community-supported agriculture, or CSA, a subscription model for local produce. Farms and vendors throughout the area offer an assortment of food if you’re looking to shop local for the holidays. And if you’re in the spirit of giving, nonprofits offer ways to donate or volunteer in the garden.
This isn’t the definitive guide to every small producer in the region, but here’s a sample of where you can find locally grown food from family farms, community gardens and CSA providers.
Lucia Aldana runs a gift shop and farm stand in Chaparral, New Mexico, open Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. The farm stand has sold chile peppers, pomegranates and tomatillos among other fruits and vegetables, plus fresh eggs. Aldana Farms also supplies Desert Spoon Food Hub.
Location: 648 Hermosa Dr., Chaparral, New Mexico.
Website: Aldana’s Farm Stand on Facebook
Bodega Loya and Growing with Sara Farm
Husband and wife Ralph and Marty Loya grew up along the Mission Trail in Socorro and took over the more than 100-year-old farm from Marty’s parents. Many of their crops have a personal connection to them, from the fig trees planted by Marty’s mother to the heirloom corn passed down for generations in Ralph’s family.
Growing with Sara supplies Desert Spoon Food Hub’s and La Semilla Food Center’s CSA boxes, as well as their farm store Bodega Loya open Friday through Sunday. A coffee shop where local artists can sell their work, Cafecito, also sits on the land.
Location: 10257 Socorro Road, Socorro, Texas.
Desert Spoon Food Food Hub and Spoon Flower Grocery
This nonprofit operates both a CSA and a small, brick-and-mortar store called Spoon Flower Grocery in Central El Paso. Run by Patsy Terrazas-Stallworth and her daughters, Vanessa Brady and Adriana Clowe, the business works with farmers in the regions and typically delivers more than 100 boxes a week through various programs.
El Paso chef Mateo Herrera often has a pop-up bakery at the food store. Aside from visiting the store, people can go to the nonprofit’s website to order a VSA box and add additional items, such as pantry staples.
Location: 1714 Yandell Dr., El Paso.
De Colores Farms
Yvonne Diaz grows vegetables on a small plot in southern New Mexico, as well as Mexican June corn with Antonio Lara, a retired chemistry professor at New Mexico State University. De Colores Farms supplies vegetables for La Semilla Food Center’s and Desert Spoon Food Hub’s CSA boxes, and corn to chef Mateo Herrera, who makes tortillas, tamales and pastries.
Location: Berino and Las Cruces, New Mexico.
This greenhouse grows microgreens, such as sunflower shoots and red amaranth, in East El Paso. Petite but packed with nutrients, microgreens can spruce up salads, tacos, smoothies, soups and other dishes. People can purchase microgreens online for pickup or delivery. Desierto Verde also supplies local CSA programs.
Location: 1500 Likins Dr., El Paso.
Full Circle Mushrooms
Founder Ximena Zamacona started experimenting with growing mushrooms on her husband’s family pecan farm in 2019. The project has since blossomed into a team that grows around 450 pounds of mushrooms a week, including oyster, shiitake, lions mane and chestnut.
You can find their mushrooms at the Las Cruces farmers market on Saturdays, as well as Bodega Loya in Socorro and Spoon Flower Grocery in El Paso. Check their website for a full list of where to find them.
Location: La Mesa, New Mexico.
Former El Paso landscaper Andre Gutierrez rotates crops on land he shares with his father, who manages livestock. He follows organic principles and specializes in fruits and vegetables that can thrive in dry conditions, such as tigger melons. His products can be found through La Semilla Food Center and Desert Spoon Food Hub.
Location: Anthony, New Mexico.
Planty for the People and One Grub Community Diner
Adriana Wilcox manages Planty for the People, an educational nonprofit extension One Grub Community Diner, a vegan restaurant run by her husband, chef Roman Wilcox. Planty for the People teaches people how to grow food with organic practices in the desert and includes a garden outside the El Paso restaurant, which Adriana and volunteers maintain.
A few products can be purchased from the restaurant’s grab-and-go fridge. On Saturdays the restaurant hosts a mini farmers market. The nonprofit also sells seeds.
Location: 901 Arizona Ave., El Paso.
Ramirez Pecan Farm
This 10-acre pecan orchard in Clint, Texas, just outside El Paso organizes popular events throughout the year, including an annual holiday festival to pick fresh pecans. The Ramirez family purchased the pecan farm in 2001. Along with managing the orchard and selling pecans from their shop, the family also sells desserts, such as pecan pies and milkshakes.
Location: 13709 North Loop, Clint, Texas.
La Semilla Food Center
This nonprofit farm in southern New Mexico runs a CSA subscription as well as educational component, from cooking events to youth camps. La Semilla Food Center uses organic practices and emphasizes soil health by minimizing tilling and growing cover crops to replenish nitrogen. La Semilla Food Center also offers internships for budding farmers. You can purchase a CSA box online for delivery or pickup.
Location: Anthony, New Mexico.
Sun City Roots
This indoor hydroponic farm in East El Paso specializes in growing a wide variety of microgreens without pesticides, herbicides or fungicides. Hydroponics is a technique for growing plants in a water-based nutrient solution instead of soil. Microgreens include sweet pea tendrils, Tokyo onion and rambo radish. People can also purchase mixed greens. Visit Sun City Roots’ website to make an order for pickup or delivery.
Location: 1531 George Dieter Dr., El Paso.
Taylor Hood Farms
Shahid Mustafa grows fruits and vegetables on a 2.5-acre plot shared with an artist residency in La Union, New Mexico, just west of El Paso. With Taylor Hood Farms, named after his ancestors, Mustafa continues the farming tradition of his great-grandparents in the South. He and Lindsey McKee lead workshops on regenerative agriculture to teach people about the connection between soil health and human health. You can purchase a CSA box for delivery online, as well as goat milk soap.
Location: La Union, New Mexico
Tierra es Vida Community Farm
This one-acre community farm is a project under La Mujer Obrera, a civic engagement organization founded in 1981 by Chicana activists in El Paso. Weekend volunteers help maintain the farm, which provides food in the Chamizal neighborhood. The group sells food on select days at Café Mayapán, a Mexican restaurant that’s part of the organization.
Location: Café Mayapán, 2000 Texas Ave., El Paso.
Wolf Dragon Farm
This small farm in West El Paso offers microgreens and fresh-pressed juice. Typical crops include sunflower sprouts, beet sprouts and wheatgrass. You can find products from Wolf Dragon Farm every Sunday at Upper Valley Farmers Market. Weekend pickups are also available via online order.
Location: 1140 Ada Lane, El Paso.