Annual Homegrown Food Retreat celebrating ninth year


By Leslie Wustrack

Special to The PREVIEW

Growing Partners of Southwest Colorado announces its ninth annual Homegrown Food Retreat that will be held on Saturday, April 8. The public is invited to attend the event from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the ELHI Community Center in downtown Ignacio. A regional event, the retreat is held in a different location every year.

This year’s Homegrown Food Retreat features keynote speaker Chef M. Karlos Baca, founder of Taste of Native Cuisine. The former executive chef at Dunton Hot Springs, Baca is classically trained in both French and Japanese cuisine. Baca’s talk is entitled “Full Circle: An Indigenous Food Tale.”

Baca founded the Taste of Native Cuisine organization in 2011 as a means of bringing together indigenous chefs to provide wild harvested and hunted foods for tribes in the Four Corners region. The group strives to reintroduce and revitalize native practices through education, foraging and menu tastings.

Baca’s work was featured on “Zagat Foodways: 10 Meals that Define America.” A speaker at the March 2017 Food Sovereignty Symposium and Festival in Madison, Wis., Baca recently partnered with The Sioux Chef team, in hosting Yúaarükapì “Foods of our Natural World,” a special five-course Indigenous Pop-up Dinner in Minneapolis, Minn.

Other speakers and topics include:

• Brandon Francis, New Mexico State University Ag Science Center​— “Healing the Animas River.”​

• Olga Gonzalez, director of equity and inclusion, LiveWell Colorado​​ ​— “Mobilizing the Power of Your Community.”

• Beth LaShell, instructor, Fort Lewis College Agriculture and Biology Department — “The Colorado Cottage Foods Act Explained.”

​• A​ Community Garden Panel ​representing​ various food models​ in​ Bayfield, Durango, Farmington and Pagosa Springs.

The Four Corners Office for Resource Efficiency (4CORE) will present a Do-It-Yourself Rain Barrel Construction Workshop which requires separate registration and fee (forecor​e​.org/water-conservation).

The cost for the day’s events, which includes lunch, is a suggested donation of ​$20.

To register for the Homegrown Food Retreat, visit or email

Growing Partners of Southwest Colorado, a nonprofit founded in 2004, is a group of agencies and individuals working together to support a fair, sustainable local food systems that reaches all ages, incomes and cultures.