Celebration of the Cycle of Life at La Milpa de Fresno

On October 29th, 2023, the staff of the Community Owned Food Systems Program (COFS) at the CCEJN, along with community members who are part of our program, opened the doors of our community educational farm to program funders, agency partners, and local community members.

The purpose of the event was to celebrate a successful first planting and harvest at La Milpa and the cycle of life and death among all living things and beings.

At the beginning of the event, Lorena Ramos, the COFS Program Director, and Eugenia Gonzalez, the Farm Assistant, organized a seed-saving workshop to teach attendees an ancient seed-preservation technique through a hands-on activity. Later, Nayamin Martinez, the CCEJN Executive Director, shared the story of La Milpa with the attendees, followed by a blessing offered by two Milpa participants and Pastor Wanda Flowers from the Fresno Westside Seventh-day Adventist Church, one of CCEJN’s generous and altruistic partners in the Milpa project. The celebration also included Mexican folkloric dance performances by the “Compania de Danza El sol” and delicious, traditional Mexican food cooked with corn, corn husks, and other products grown at La Milpa.

Throughout the day, the attendees had the opportunity to explore La Milpa and talk to the local community members who have been working on the farm since its establishment in 2022. The group of future small-scale farmers and their family members also made some of their harvest available for purchase during the event. The attendees had the opportunity to buy fresh produce such as cilantro, corn, kale, and cempasuchil flowers. The event ended with a rosary next to the Dia de los Muertos altar, which was assembled by La Milpa participants, volunteers, and CCEJN staff to remember and honor family and friends who have passed but continue to live in the hearts and memories of their loved ones. CCEJN staff and La Milpa participants would like to thank our program funders, community partners, community members, and everyone who supports and makes CCEJN’s La Milpa de Fresno possible. Thank you! Gracias!

Written by Lorena Ramos