Our mission is to create space where community members
can help each other grow healthy food.
We envision a diverse and vibrant network of
community gardens in Cortez that inspires people to grow
their own food and forge strong social bonds.
Create a shared sense of place by connecting with
and embracing the cultures of community members.
Provide gardening, cooking and nutrition education.
Share healthy food with the Good Samaritan Food Pantry.
Build a sense of community and neighborhood vitality.
Work with local partners to promote healthy eating and
to develop a sustainable, local food system.
I am Amber Lansing, an Indigenous woman from the DIné, Shawnee and Acoma tribes. I was born and raised on Dinétah in a small town called Fort Defiance. I have lived in the town of Dolores for 16 years with my husband and 4 children. I am the Coordinator for the Dolores Family Project and the Dolores Community Garden. I started the community garden to assist with produce for the pantry. I also want to educate youth on the importance of growing your own food as a healthy way to heal the body, heal the mind and heal the land. Part of the garden will focus on growing traditional Indigenous foods to ensure families have access to them off the reservation. Our garden is community-built and led. The wonderful people of Dolores came together to help build the garden in the summer of 2022. It will also be maintained and operated by volunteers of Dolores.
I'm originally from Kansas City, Missouri and I’ve been part of the community garden movement since moving to Cortez in 2016. That following spring, I was fortunate to participate in a community organizing and food justice workshop, where I met many of my current mentors and close friends. I’m part of the original volunteer crew that got the rec center garden started in 2017 and have led workshops, the children’s garden program and the 3rd St Garden initiative, and developed our website and communications as well. My son, now 8 years old, has grown up with me in the garden; I couldn’t have asked for a better environment in which to help us both build a love for people, plants and the soil. There is something very special that happens when we work with others, doing something we believe in, and I’m really proud to be a part of it. I can usually be found running the Good Sam Food Pantry, finding stuff to compost, sharing seeds and getting way too excited about building food sovereignty in our community.
I've been part of the community gardening movement since 1977 when I secured a coveted garden plot in a community garden in Boston's Jamaica Plain neighborhood. My involvement grew to where I was president of a large community farm that had more than 30 plots, an orchard, solar greenhouse and three part-time employees including a greenhouse manager (me). As a freelance photographer I also chronicled the growth of community gardens in the Boston metropolitan area. My photos have appeared in many publications including Horticulture, The Christian Science Monitor, and numerous gardening books. Our family moved to rural Maine in 1983 where we had a quarter acre vegetable garden. When I retired from the Postal Service I volunteered for Veggies For All which grew organic vegetables for local schools and food pantries on donated abandoned farmland. Coming to Cortez has allowed me to come full circle in my life by re-engaging with the community gardening movement and continuing to grow veggies for a local food pantry. I also get to take photos of gardeners again . . . many of the photos on this website are ones I've taken.
I'm from Fairfax, Virginia and have lived in Utah, Australia and New Zealand. I moved to Cortez in 2018 and joined the Common Ground steering committee in 2022. I enjoy walking at Hawkins Preserve and playing video games.
Interested in joining the committee? Let us know!
Together we can create vibrant community gardens in Cortez, supporting the health, security, and connectedness of our friends and neighbors.