Congressman Lujan Visits Espanola Farmer’s Market To Promote USDA’s SNAP “Double Up” Food Program

Congressman Lujan n' Horno Crew

Congressman Ben Ray Lujan takes time talk to students and to pose with them and an “Horno” (A beehive oven made of adobe bricks brought to NM with the Spanish colonists in 1598, and was part of the Moorish influence in Spain) instructor at the Espanola Farmer’s Market. The Horno is visible in the background and was being plastered withe red earth from the Abiquiu area. This mud plaster work done annually to replace the mud and straw that is washed away by  rain and snow.

Photo by Robert A. Naranjo/Valley Daily Post

Congressman Lujan D-NM Visits Espanola Farmer’s Market To Promote Federal SNAP “Double Up” Food Program

Joins Musicians In Singing Popular Spanish Language Ballad

By Robert Naranjo

Congressman Ben Ray Lujan D-NM visited the Espanola Farmer’s Market, on Monday, June 27, to promote the USDA food incentive program known as the Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB)  “which allows SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) recipients to double their purchases of fresh, locally grown produce when they shop at participating farmer’s markets. This helps recipients double their purchases of  fresh, locally grown produce…: according to Armelle Casaus with New Mexico Voices For Children.

Congressman Lujan visited with Sabra Moore, who has been a long-time advocate of the Espanola Farmer’s Market Lujan chatted with vendors including: a Churro sheep meat and sheepskin vendor from northern Rio Arriba County and Lujan told her his brother was in charge of shearing the sheep the Lujan family had in Nambe; a vendor who sold soaps, lotions and other items for the face and skin; a man who soldhoney from the southern part of Alcalde kno wn as La Joya–he told the Congressman he no longer lends nor rents the bees as they are too delicate after he was asked if does; a vendor that had beautiful rosaries that looked more like beautiful jewelry than a practical religious item; a musical duo, Martinez & Garcia playing the guitar and accordion respectively who sang the classic, “El Rey,” with the Congressman joining in and singing the entire song, and no, he did not out of key-and later explaining to the musical duo that El Rey , a song by Jose Alfredo Jiminez, was his father’s favorite song–he said when he plays it for his mom later in the day, it’ll bring back fond memories for her–the Martinez & Garcia musical duo who were also at the Garlic Festival on June 25 sang with former Lt. Governor, Roberto Mondragon. The Congressman spoke to more vendors before reaching the Horno crew and talking with the kids and the Horno specialist that was a hands-on instructor as well, about how interesting and useful an horno can be. “Yeah, like to make pizza,” one young aspiring horno builder said with excitement in his voice. The instructor said, “Yes, you can make pizza in the horno and it takes three minutes.” The Congressman was surprised at how short of a time it takes and asked how hot does it get in the horno. “Very hot” was the answer but it can be controlled by putting water in the “chiflon”  or mini stovepipe hornos have near the top of it to vent smoke when a fire is made it it to prepare it for cooking, baking, etc.

Lujan said he and his staff were on their way to Santa Fe for a land grant meeting. As he walked with a reporter to his car, he talked about cleaning ditches in Nambe with his dad and grandpa who always advised him to keep his “mind sharp and his palas (shovels) too.” As he spoke of acequias and growing up maintaining them, the sound of water made by an acequia with a small diversion for another lateral caused the gushing water sound, as if on cue. The Congressman quickly relayed what type of irrigation system it was to get the water to the field below. He added that he was “able to add language” to the Farm Bill that puts those issues in discussion before any action could cause any change or loss of any acequia or the same for a land grant.  Then he and his staffer drove away to a land grant meeting in Santa Fe.