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  • 2018-11-15 1:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Cruces Creatives, in partnership with six other organizations, has been awarded its first grant: $30,000 for a program to identify and address obstacles to regenerative agriculture in New Mexico. An executive summary of the program follows.


    Seeding Regenerative Agriculture

    Farmers and ranchers can achieve many benefits by more closely following natural models. By cultivating continuous vegetative cover, minimizing tillage, and inoculating soils with the beneficial microbes in soils where the microbiota has been destroyed by conventional practices, farmers can increase crop yields, increase soil nitrogen through the work of free-living nitrogen-fixing bacteria, increase soil carbon, increase soil water infiltration, increase soil water retention, and prevent or reduce topsoil loss (Johnson et al. “Soil Microbial Communities,” Johnson “Carbon and Nitrogen Partitioning,” Johnson “Influence in Agroecosystems”). Similar benefits can be achieved on ranchland through soil microbiota restoration and by imitating the high-intensity, adaptive grazing practices that nature developed with wild ruminant herds.

    In this proposal, we refer to these practices collectively as regenerative agriculture, and these practices can address water scarcity, food scarcity, climate change, biodiversity and habitat loss, and farm and ranch profitability and long-term viability. The large-scale benefits are known. The challenge now is adapting current practices. Unfortunately, the process of adapting new practices is notoriously slow in the field of agriculture—often taking decades—and the global challenges facing us do not leave us that time. In this collaborative proposal, we propose to work around or address the obstacles impeding the widespread commercial implementation of regenerative agriculture.

    There are multiple obstacles to the widespread commercial use of any new farming or ranching practice: technical hurdles, such as difficulty translating lab-based agricultural research to the realities of the field or range (Parnell et al.; Kellett; Dau); economic obstacles, such as difficulty raising capital funds or uncertainty about return on investment  (Hepperly 45, 48; Carr), regulatory hurdles (Parnell et al.; Hepperly 54-55); knowledge barriers, such as unfamiliarity with required tools or processes (Hepperly 50, 188-189); negative perceptions of science among farmers (Hepperly 35-36); differences in culture and professional expectations among farmers, scientists, and policy makers (Maat 187); and communicative obstacles among farmers, scientists, and policy makers.

    For regenerative agriculture in New Mexico, many of these obstacles have already been removed. Each geographic area, and perhaps each farm, will have its own technical hurdles, but the major and widespread issues have been overcome, with several commercial farms and ranches around the United States having implemented regenerative agricultural approaches successfully (Byck Soil Carbon Cowboys”; Byck 100,000 Beating Hearts). Economic obstacles are still formidable, but they can be manageable: capital funds can be raised through loans from organizations such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and although more information about return on investment would be valuable (one goal of this project is to generate more such information), multiple pilot projects at the commercial scale will attest to the economic viability of regenerative agriculture. In New Mexico, regulatory systems do not impose direct obstacles, even though regulations could be improved by creating new policies that recognize and reward soil carbon capture.

    In New Mexico, the most substantial obstacles are political, cultural, and knowledge-based. Collectively, our collaboration is poised to address each of these remaining obstacles.

    Our plan for change, in essence, is modeled on how beneficial adaptations can originate and spread through ecological communities: a small group, well positioned for change, adapts; the adaptation proves beneficial; the adapted individuals interact with other individuals; and the adaptation spreads. In many instances of social behavior, groups follow tipping point theory, and once a small, critical mass of practitioners has been reached, a new behavior can quickly spread through an entire group. Our goal is to build regenerative agriculture in New Mexico toward its tipping point.

    Research conducted by collaboration team member Patrick DeSimio through the MESA Project (see “Partner Organizations”) has found that, in Doña Ana County, sizable minorities of farmers and ranchers are largely not subject to the political and cultural barriers that typically impede the implementation of sustainable agricultural technologies (2018, pp. 55 and 67). This subgroup of agriculturalists views environmental degradation as a significant threat, accepts mainstream scientific consensus on human impacts to climate and the environment, and shares a substantial technical vocabulary with agricultural scientists. Most members of this subgroup have already implemented sustainable practices on their farms or ranches. For members of this group, which we call a Seed Group, cultural and political beliefs are no longer obstacles to regenerative agriculture; rather, these beliefs can be motivating assets.

    Consequently, when working with a Seed Group, the only substantial obstacles to regenerative agriculture are knowledge barriers (which can be addressed through training) and possible technical hurdles associated with on-the-ground conditions as specific farms. Technical hurdles always require innovation, but they can be addressed.

    Our proposal is to work with members of Seed Groups—who are part of our existing networks—to implement regenerative agriculture on their farm and ranch land throughout New Mexico, to collaboratively address the inevitable technical hurdles, and to collectively design and perform economic and scientific research to accurately gauge the net economic and environmental benefits of regenerative agriculture. With the Seed Groups as models and guides, we will then collaborate to facilitate interaction and exchange between Seed Group members and other agriculturalists in their communities, promoting the spread of regenerative agriculture (a beneficial adaptation) through larger sections of the agricultural community. The goal is to reach a tipping point beyond which regenerative agriculture becomes the new normal.

    Members of the Seed Groups will be drawn from our existing networks (almost 100 members of a Seed Group are already involved in the MESA Project in Doña Ana County) and through promotional materials that explicitly identify with sustainable agriculture and its benefits in relation to environmental threats.

    This project plan relies on the collective expertise and abilities of each project partner. The Institute for Sustainable Agricultural Research (ISAR) at New Mexico State University (NMSU) is a global leader in regenerative agriculture, especially the cultivation and use of beneficial soil microbes, and ISAR will provide technical and scientific support for this project. Similarly, the Sustainable Agricultural Science Center (SASC) at Alcalde will provide scientific and technical expertise on regenerative agriculture and will provide a testbed for research. The MESA Project, Acequia Madre del Rio Lucero y del Arroyo Seco, Rivers & Birds, and Western Landowners Alliance offer established connections with farmers and ranchers throughout New Mexico, as well as a wide range of resources that can support regenerative agriculture in New Mexico. The Western Landowners Alliance, with its extensive history of successfully influencing policy, will work to impact policy and facilitate regenerative agriculture. Cruces Creatives, a makerspace in Doña Ana County, will offer technical support through rapid prototyping and a broad network of community experts who can help farmers and scientists quickly develop needed technologies and equipment for regenerative agriculture. Each partner organization also has connections to policy makers, offering the chance to create an organized movement behind any needed policy changes.


    Works Cited

    Carr, Geoffrey. The Future of Agriculture. The Economist, June 9, 2016.

    Dau, James. From Lab to the Field, Research Takes Food Where It’s Needed Most.” n.d. 

    DeSimio, Patrick. Literacies and Discourse Conventions in Sustainable Agriculture: Potentials for a Rhetoric of Cooperation between Farmers and Scientists. Masters Thesis, New Mexico State University

    Hepperly, Jody. Standing in the Way of Control: Small Farmers, Water Use, and Technology Adoption in Oregon. Master’s Thesis, Oregon State University

    Johnson, David C, Elliington, Joe, and Eaton, Wesley. “Development of soil microbial communities for promoting sustainability in agriculture and a global carbon fix” (PrePrint) PeerJ, January 13, 2015

    Johnson, David C. “The influence of soil microbial community structure on carbon and nitrogen partitioning in plant/soil ecosystems.” (PrePrint) PeerJ, March 2, 2017.

    Johnson, David C. Presentation “Soil Microbes: Their Powerful Influence in Agroecosytems.” California State University Chico.” September 29, 2016 

    Kellet, Abby. Taking the Lab to the Field.” Farmers Guardian, 2016. https://www.fginsight.com/vip/vip/taking-the-lab-to-the-field-10568

    Maat, H. (2011). “The History and Culture of Agricultural Experiments.” NJAS-Wageningen Journal of Life Sciences, 57(3-4), pp. 187-195

    One Hundred Thousand Beating Hearts. Vimeo, uploaded by Peter Byck, 12 June 2016, https://vimeo.com/170413226  

    Parnell, J. Jacob et al. From the Lab to the Farm: An Industrial Perspective of Plant Beneficial Microorganisms. Frontiers in Plant Science 7 (2016): 1-12.

    Soil Carbon Cowboys. Vimeo, uploaded by Peter Byck, 27 November 2013, https://vimeo.com/80518559



  • 2018-11-04 10:28 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Home Stretch Fundraiser

    We’re almost there!

    As a community this year, we’ve raised over $250,000 to establish and equip the makerspace. If we can raise $50,000 more, we can bring the makerspace through its startup period and establish Cruces Creatives as a permanent resource for everyone in Las Cruces. We’re already 5/6 of the way there!


    If you appreciate the makerspace and what it does for the community, please contribute. 

    This is the most impactful time for you to give


    Why Your Help is Important

    Cruces Creatives is on track to be entirely self-sufficient in 2019. 

    Since the opening on June 26, 2018, just a little over four months ago, there’s been rapid growth:

    • 200+ events
    • Over 800 people involved through events and/or memberships
    • Almost 80 members—by the end of the year, we’re on track to reach 100



    If we can maintain this growth (and there are plans in place to increase it), Cruces Creatives will, by 2019, be able to pay for all of its expenses using revenue from memberships, programs, and events.

    The current donations of $250,000 in tools, time, and money have made Cruces Creatives a mighty special space. With the Home Stretch Fundraiser, your contributions can bring Cruces Creatives through the remainder of the start-up period and turn the makerspace into a permanent asset for Las Cruces.




    Now is the time when your support will make the biggest difference



  • 2018-11-01 4:01 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    The first Cruces Creatives Trunk-or-Treat was a wonderful success! At least 400 kids and families came through the doors to do crafts, face-painting, shadow puppetry, and games, photo shoots, bouncy-house jumping, go through our decorated trunk-or-treat cars, and more.

    Just a few of the amazing costumes that came through!


    Face painting!


    Trunk-or-treat and shadow puppets!


    Bounce-house - have to burn some of that candy off!



    Crafts and cotton-candy from a caldron!



    Makerspace made decorations all over!


    Even the in-house made arcade system was in the holiday mood!


    Games and more


    And always the end of night supplies

    It was a wonderful night. A great big thanks to the many volunteers who made this event possible and to all the families who made it out. 


    Just some of the many volunteers who made this year's Trunk-or-Treat possible - thank you!


    If you are interested in helping next year's Trunk-or-Treat event, or if you'd like to help at other special events, please reach out to Jordon Kopreski, our Volunteer Coordinator, at j.kopreski@crucescreatives.org



  • 2018-10-18 9:20 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


                  10.18

    Welcome to the October 18 issue of the Cruces Creatives weekly newsletter. This is a place where you can see a calendar of upcoming events, keep up-to-date with big news at the makerspace, and learn about cool projects that your community members make.

    This newsletter will be published each Thursday. If you have makerspace news or announcements that you’d like to submit for the weekly newsletter, please email Pat DeSimio (p.desimio@crucescreatives.org) by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday.

    News 

    Trunk or Treat

    Looking for a safe place to Celebrate Halloween with your kids? Come to Cruces Creatives for games, movies, Teal Pumpkin treats, photo ops, popcorn, cotton candy, and more—plus, use the private parking lot to trunk or treat. For more information, visithttps://crucescreatives.org/event-3099105.



    International Folk Music Awards Artist of the Year Performing at Cruces Creatives 

    Folk music duo Ordinary Elephant, Artist of the Year atthe 2017 International Folk Music Awards, will be sharing songs and insightsinto songwriting from 7:00-9:00 p.m. on Friday, November 2. Tickets areavailable by donation at the door and at https://crucescreatives.org/event-3098771.

     









    Upcoming Weekly Events


    Special Events

    Knitting for the Absolute Beginner, FREE for Members / Open to all, Oct 18

    Figure Drawing/Painting Model Session, Oct 19

    Weekly Community Bike Shop, FREE, Oct 20

    Figure Drawing/Painting Model Session, Oct 20

    Introductory 3D Printing, Oct. 24

    Improve Your Handwriting (On the way to Calligraphy), Oct 25

    Trunk or Treat & More, FREE, Oct. 26

    Weekly Community Bike Shop, FREE, Oct. 27

    Figure Drawing/Painting Model Session, Oct 27

    Charitable Crafting Project, FREE, Oct. 27


    Training Events

    Introduction to Audio Recording, FREE for Members, Oct 18

    Intro to Bikes and Bike Tools, FREE, Oct 20 

    Basic Textile Lab Safety Training, FREE for Members, Oct 20

    Advanced Textile Lab Safety Training, FREE for Members, Oct 20

    Basic Wood Shop Safety Training (pre-HVAC), FREE for Members, Oct. 24

    Intro to Bikes and Bike Tools, FREE, Oct. 27


    Volunteer Opportunity

    Front Monitor Training, Oct 20

    Back Monitor Training, Oct 23


    Members get 10% off all paid events, entry to member-only events, plus access to tools, space, community and more.


  • 2018-10-11 11:51 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Local makerspace partners with the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation

    LAS CRUCES, SEPTEMBER 13, 2018-- The Cruces Creatives makerspace is proud to announce that it has formally become listed as a vendor with the New Mexico Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (NMDVR). With this listing, people receiving services from NMDVR can have an annual membership to the makerspace included as part of their work plan.

    Micah Pearson, Cruces Creatives volunteer team member and community mental health advocate spoke about the partnership. “From the outset our mission has been to connect our members with the necessary tools, skills, training, and community to turn their ideas into reality. Realizing this synergized with the goals of [NMDVR], we reached out and quickly found that both of our organizations, and more importantly the community at-large, would benefit from our collaboration.”

    Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) is a State and Federally funded program designed to help eligible individuals with documented disabilities find suitable employment. VR is a voluntary program, and services persons who want to work. With a long history of success and proven methodology for making the best fits, time and again, NMDVR is committed to helping their clients succeed. As of 2017 8,821 New Mexicans received vocational rehabilitation services including: medical treatment, guidance and counseling, training and job seeking skills and received an average 210% wage increase after successful rehabilitation. (Source: 2017 NMDVR annual report http://www.dvr.state.nm.us/uploads/FileLinks/48fe3884b4b04d5c9942fc99ddaf9bd1/2017AnnualReport.pdf)

    If you or someone you know are already receiving or could benefit from the services of NMDVR and feel that they could also benefit from the wide variety of skills training and tools available at the makerspace, call the Las Cruces DVR office at (575) 437-6550 ask about adding a Cruces Creatives Membership to your work plan today.


  • 2018-10-10 1:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Recently the Velo Bicycle Hub, located in Cruces Creatives, was featured on News 22

    Check out the video

    The Hub is featured between 6:00 - 8:15. 

    Congrats Velo!

  • 2018-09-24 11:47 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From member: Dina Honeycutt

    SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 23, 2018


    Fall is officially in the air, with the Autumnal Equinox. Time to get crafting for Christmas!

    not the last things in the cut-out pile, but definitely falling out of season...


    The first crafting project of making kids clothes for school is winding down. Yes I finished a couple more pairs of shorts, and there are a few other garments to collect, and donate, but it is time to look forward to the next project.

    So, let me tell you about our next project! We are making tote bags, and then filling them for Jardin de los Ninos to give away to the families they serve. Jardin de los Ninos is an early childhood education center that serves homeless, and nearly homeless children and their families, here in Las Cruces. Every year they give some gifts to the children in their programs, and their siblings. This year they predict they will need gifts for about 50 children. Charitable Crafting is teaming up with Cruces Creatives Makerspace to provide those 50 children with gifts.

    First step, tote bags. A cloth tote bag is a useful item for nearly anyone, and easy and fun to make.
    pretty tote bags, already in progress
    Like last time, the project has inspired someone to take flight. Sarah Jones has been working on a pattern, that she will post on the Cruces Creatives web site, for anyone interested in making (and hopefully donating) a tote bag to our efforts. Of course we won't require all totes to be the same size, but we are looking at 13" wide x 15" tall x 4" deep, or there about. We are also - if you can tell - not concentrating on Christmas-y totes, as we want our recipients to be able to use them year round. If you aren't sure how to make a tote, Sarah is also working on a beginner sewing class and the project will be, you guessed it, a tote bag. It's a great beginner project, really!
    Sarah's latest tote, Love the floral!
    Once the bags are made, we hope to fill them with a toy (preferably made by someone at Cruces Creatives, or the Charitable Crafting group), a book, and some socks, underwear and pajamas. For that Christmas touch, a Christmas Ornament will also be included. The bike shop got busy on ornaments for us, and on October 10th, this is happening...

    Bike Chain Holiday Ornaments with VeloCruces


    October 10th is also our next meeting. So I hope you can join us cutting out tote bags, or sewing one up! Did I say our goal was 50? It is! Do you need more inspiration? How about this bag made of linen and cute Winnie the Pooh fabric!

    The cuteness!


    From the blog Createlivity, written by Dina Honeycutt


  • 2018-09-21 2:46 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    CRUCES CREATIVES·FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 21, 2018

    Local makerspace spotlights community artists and creatives.


    LAS CRUCES, SEPTEMBER 21, 2018 --The Cruces Creatives makerspace is proud to announce that it has begun production on a new documentary web series, “Maker Docs,” which highlights local artisans and creators. The episodes will be released over the course of the next year.

    While the series will feature members of the makerspace, it will not be limited to them. Lea Wise-Surguy, Executive Director of Cruces Creatives and a Producer on the project spoke about the series. “Making things is a fascinating and intrinsic part of the human condition and we’re excited to share the stories of the talented and skilled creators in our community.”

    The team at the Makerspace has tapped Micah Pearson, a local author, artist, and community advocate to write and direct the series in his directorial debut. The pilot has completed principal photography and is currently in post production with additional episodes to be filmed in the coming weeks. The first four episodes will be released online on a regular schedule to be announced at a later date, with the following episodes to be released as they are completed.

    The film series is a part of a larger initiative by the makerspace called “Meet the Makers.” The goal of the program is to raise awareness around the skilled and creative talents living within Las Cruces and its surrounding territories through promotional materials and events such as their inaugural Heritage Festival held earlier in the year.

    More information regarding the makerspace, their “Meet the Makers” initiative, and their numerous educational programs can be found on their website (https://crucescreatives.org) or their social media pages (https://facebook.com/crucescreatives, https://instagram.com/crucescreatives).


  • 2018-09-20 5:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    From member: Dina Honeycutt

    August, 25th, 2018


    The first part of July saw a new makerspace in Las Cruces, called Cruces Creatives. Of course I was intrigued and excited to check it out. The space is large and full of possibilities, with areas for computer creation and 3D printing, audio and video production, a woodworking space, and a bicycle shop space. Most important - at least for me - is that there is also a textile space. If you've read my blog at all (and I won't feel bad if you haven't...) you know that I enjoy social crafting. You know, getting together with friends, or people who are becoming friends, to craft. What's not to like about a makerspace?!?! I joined up, of course.

    Well, part of the thing about a makerspace is that they are looking for projects to occur in the space. So, when I passed the Gospel Rescue Mission Thrift Store, blackened and closed with boards over the windows, and read about the fire in the newspaper, and how the fire had damaged the clothing and school supplies that they had been collecting to distribute for the upcoming school year, I found inspiration. I went and pitched my project to the makerspace and they got excited. I wrote up a proposal for Charitable Crafting and set some dates in July for sewing kid's clothes, and asked for donations. Cruces Creatives put it on their calendar, and on Facebook. We even got a mention in the newspaper. Donations of fabrics and supplies started coming in. I was and continue to be pleasantly surprised (floored) by the generous response.


    There were two crafting days in July, a Saturday morning, and a Wednesday evening, and we had 6 people at the first one, and about that many (although not all the same people) at the second meeting. We got busy sewing up what I had cut out in preparation, and then cutting out some other items as fabric inspired. I was able to donate at least 10 outfits before Gospel Rescue Mission had their before school starts distribution day.
    Cutting and sewing at Cruces Creatives
      
    Ironing as well
    (I think that may be my good side...)
     
    It was a small start, but it was definitely a start. Cruces Creatives were excited. Did I want to make the project a continuing event? Well, I could tell, that although the sewing turn-out was light, that people were interested. And we had successfully donated some kid's clothes to a good cause. If we had regular times and dates, who knows how our efforts could grow? So, we set some regular times. 2nd Wednesday, from 5-9 PM and 4th Saturday, from 9AM-1PM, in case you are interested, and want to come help out.

    Some of our first group of finished garments donated.
    Cat not included...
    My friend, Cynthia Smith got inspired to create several outfits that made the first donation, and then she REALLY got busy, putting together kits of a t-shirt with some embellishment, and either shorts, capris, or a skirt. She approached the Las Colcheras Quilt Guild to see if they were interested in helping put together the kits. She handed out 30 kits! Some of the Las Colcheras Quilt Guild members stopped by on our most recent (today's) crafting day, and dropped of finished outfits and/or stayed to help sew!

    That's a super cute jumper!
    At this point we have 28 more outfits ready to donate, and even more that are in the works, still. I've had the pleasure and privilege to work with fine crafters, new and experienced. I've helped inspire, and in turn, I've been inspired. The community has given so that we could give to the community. Do I call this a win? YOU BET I DO!!

    Ready for donation!


    From the blog Createlivity, written by Dina Honeycutt


  • 2018-07-05 1:44 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Cruces Creatives is open!


    The final inspections and permits for the makerspace are completed, and Cruces Creatives officially opened on Tuesday, 6/26!

    Hours are:

    Tuesdays-Thursdays, 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

    Fridays and Saturdays, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.


    Let’s start learning, making, and connecting together! Over the next few weeks, look for a blossoming of events and workshops, and, come on by the makerspace—it’ll be open to all members and for tours!

    Founding memberships—which offer a permanent discount to thank you for being with us from the very beginning—are still available for the first 100 members. You can get your founding membership for access to the space and tools during all open hours, free introductory safety and skills classes, and 10% off all additional classes and workshops.

    We look forward to seeing you in classes, workshops, or around the makerspace as a member!


    Cheers,

    The Cruces Creatives Team


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