Harsh and frigid, scalding and cracked, ancient with fossils of the inland sea that once was, and fresh with shoots that somehow rise from the earth’s snow-quenched crevices. The sky is huge and open enough to cradle both the bright, searing sun and the drenching monsoons and billows of snow that stumble in, early or late, never apologetic, each summer and winter season. Soft from afar, jagged up close; seemingly dead as a fossil, crystalized—but, just there, a fragile shoot. Part of the magic, the miracle of this place, the high desert, is the paradox of, the contrast between, the aliveness that bursts through what seems to be the uncaring, solid stillness of earth.
And then there are the people who cultivate this earth’s soil. All year at the Santa Fe Farmers Market, these men and women from their various plots of Northern New Mexico land sell the creations they’ve nurtured with their own hands. “Life for such a creation in northern New Mexico is unlike anywhere in the world,” writes Lesley S. King in photographer Douglas Merriam’s 2016 cookbook—a book born of, inspired by and in ode to the Santa Fe Farmers Market. The book, A Farm Fresh Journey Santa Fe Farmers Market Cookbook, is a gorgeous testament to the stark beauty of New Mexico as well as to Doug’s artistic talent, his ability to capture the earth, its fruit, its people. It’s the portrait of the contrast to and relationship between the New Mexico landscape, the plants that grow from it, and the people who cultivate and make these delicacies thrive. Ultimately, it’s a taste of our local earth. Continue reading