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Cedar Hill Farm Local


Chef Amber Michelle

Dave and Theresa Bosteter

Cedar Hill Farm Local

It's a day like today when I realize I'm in the right place, at the right time, with the right people. On the outskirts of town, in a community called Cedar Hill, I spent a couple of hours with Dave and Theresa Bosteter. I first learned of Theresa and her quest, through Pauline Pao, Aztec Farmers Market Manager. "Theresa is doing a really good thing out there with the old school house, you should give her a call," she prompted. I then spoke with Theresa's husband, Dave. All of his information was preceded or proceeded by his wife's name. How great is that? Finally, I got Theresa herself, not an easy woman to catch up with, and for good reason. She's busy! First we met at the Cedar Hill School House, now called the Cedar Hill Farm Local, of which, Theresa is president. (It's funny to write that, maybe we should have a farmer for POTUS.) This is where the Cedar Hill farmers market is held every Saturday, from 10:00 a.m. through 2:00 p.m. On 550 heading north, follow the signs, turn just after the bridge. (Instead of taking three other turns and exploring the residential community and basically crashing someone's family picnic, like I did. Lovely people, pointed me in the right and opposite direction.)

It's a small, but mighty market and there's much more than meets the eye here. Theresa is the driving force behind it. If you haven't been, go. They have TOMATOES! There are three farmers and many other vendors of crafts, honey, fancifood stuffs, and useful and beautiful things for your home. The store is set up all season with farmers and Frito pie and ice cream, in and around everything. As far as I'm concerned this Farm Local is the new Fabulous.

The School House, which recently gained non-profit status, was built in 1908. Plans for a 110th birthday party are underway for next year. It served as a schoolhouse until 1945 and since then has been holding its own as many things; community center, wedding chapel, reception room, and other events to keep it going and on its feet. Keeping it going, maintained and thriving is what Theresa does, by enlisting the help of the immediate community when they can and also by reaching out to the community at large to offer the school house as a venue for meetings, parties and other functions. Enter the farmers market.

The Farm Local and community craft store serve as a fundraiser and awareness center for the School House. "People see the signs for Frito pie and ice cream and come in!" exclaims Theresa. "We had a bus pull up with a family reunion, and their great-grandpa got out and told stories about when he attended school here," she says. "We meet all kinds of people who knew the place, and come in to tell their stories about it," agrees Dave.

When you enter, you'll see improvement efforts, but also improvement needs. It's old and needs help, and it's up to us all. The volunteer fire department is doing their part with ongoing roof repairs, but it needs much more. Even though it's an historical building, it lost registry eligibility when a restroom was added. "I'm not getting rid of that," Theresa states, matter-of-factly. Wise decision.

Please do anything you can to help; donate money, materials and work, hold fundraisers, events, it's a great business meeting site (out of the way, quiet, can be catered), bridge, ladies that lunch. The School holds about 70 people plus there's outside seating for about as many. Personally, I'm thinking cooking classes. It's deductible and it's our community. Two rules: no alcohol, no dancing.

After the stories and glory of the schoolhouse, I was invited to the Bosteter's home. I'm always so knocked out with an invitation to someone's home; it makes me feel good about myself, and honored to be invited into someone's personal and family space. That's where I met Chuckie, the garden. Yes, their garden has a name. At the urging of their New Mexico cousin, Theresa and Dave came to New Mexico. Dave received a transfer to Albuquerque while Theresa started on home remodeling and the garden development of their property with cousin Chuckie. He plowed and tilled and leveled so they could garden this very special spot of paradise. It's where dreams began. Sadly, he has since passed on, but his enthusiasm and vision for his family's happiness is alive with tomatoes, okra, herbs (my aromatic dinner), hops, peppers, berries of all kinds, and so much more ... Chuckies Veggies.

The Cedar Hill historic school house gets new bell tower (file photo)

I was invited inside to get my "score" of Chuckies Veggies bagged, and met Theresa's parents. Inside was a wonderful savory, mouth-watering aroma. Her dad was making jerky. YUM. It's also available at the Cedar Hill Farm Local. By this time, I'm full of everything; love, spiritual fulfillment, sensual acuity, and then (drumroll please), La Piece de Resistance, Ice Cream! Not just any ice cream, THE ice cream. That may be another article, but for now, let me just say, you will never be the same.

So GO! Buy the ice cream, have a Frito pie, get some veggies, recipes, sign up for the potluck, and take home some jerky. Bring your kids, donate some paint, or time, labor, whatever you can, and enjoy your Saturdays at Cedar Hill Farm Local.

Chef Amber Michelle is a CIA educated chef, cultural explorer, and the cook, cleaner and bottle washer of Holly Ester's Tasty Toffeebread, a wholesale cookie company, and gruvitacos, a seasonal taco trailer, in Navajo Dam.

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