January 2020

Dear DOT Garden Friends,

The winter months are often generous in their encouragement of reflection and rest. It is in these darker days of the year that the growing slows (it never really stops) and we take a moment to pause and realign ourselves for the coming year. There is always a level of excitement and anticipation of what’s to come as well an abundance of hope and faith that our dreams for the year will come to fruition. This winter season has been no exception, and the garden team has been thoughtfully nurturing many changes for the garden in 2020.

One of the biggest shifts this year is the departure of Tiana Baca, our Garden & Sustainability Director. Tiana joined the garden just over five years ago, shortly after the garden began. If you’ve come to a class or volunteer day, you’ve probably seen her time and time again. Or, if you found yourself simply meandering through the garden, you’ve likely stumbled upon her in the field, often with a mason jar of tea in hand. Tiana’s love for community education, seed saving, and the desert SW has informed so much of what we teach and grow here in the garden. Transitions are often bittersweet, though we’re excited to see what her next steps bring and are happy to see the garden’s stewardship pass to the loving hands of Heidi Anderson, currently our Garden & Sustainability Educator.

If you’ve yet to meet Heidi, it is because she’s often toggling in and out of classes expanding opportunities for classes to engage in the garden. As a whole, we’ve already doubled our curriculum time with classes from last year (and we’ve only just finished the first semester of this school year)! We’re thrilled to be teaching garden based curriculum in every grade from 6-12 through the Science department. This is in addition to the other classes and programs who joyously make use of the garden throughout the year. All of these accomplishments have been long term dreams for the program, and we’re so appreciative of the community support along the way.

As a result of this boom in curriculum and student engagement in the garden, we’re reimagining what the future looks like. For this year, the garden will be slowing down on broader community programming to focus on classes here at the school and thoughtfully plan a sustainable way forward.

We’ll be putting a pause on the monthly newsletter, so please stay in touch via social media and our website.

We look forward to a new year and new opportunities with you all!

—The DOTG crew

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Volunteer at the DOTG!

Interested in lending a hand at the garden? Join us for our weekly volunteer days, Wednesdays, 9am-noon.

We are a year-round garden which means there’s always something you can get involved in. Volunteers can join us for the full or partial time period.

All volunteers must complete a background check and sign-up weekly with our garden staff.

To sign up contact Heidi Anderson at or call the DOT Garden office at (505) 828-3164.

In our 2018-2019 school year, the DOT Garden program has engaged and fed so many, both within the school and around the city. We appreciate your continued support.
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The Desert Oasis Teaching Garden is a community education and experiential learning space at Albuquerque Academy where we explore sustainability and growing food in the arid southwest. We take the classroom into nature to investigate innovative ideas for cultivating dryland growing and we share this information across the middle Rio Grande region. The DOT Garden is a space where everyone is welcome to volunteer their time and knowledge to inspire others to fold sustainable living into their lives. We want to support all of Albuquerque becoming more adaptable and resilient.
Copyright © 2020 Desert Oasis Teaching Garden at Albuquerque Academy, All rights reserved.

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