Cottonwood Gulch is excited to introduce Blue Corn Trek; a food oriented trek that will focus on food systems in the Southwest.
This trek is geared towards 14 – 18 year old’s with a passion for growing, cooking and discovering ingredients that create nourishing, delicious and beautiful meals.
Trekkers will learn about the history and culture of southwestern cuisine; diving into how places and people play important roles in creating a distinct culinary identity.
This food-focused trek will spend 3 weeks growing fresh food at our rustic Basecamp, collaborating and working with local growers, and learning to cook meals a variety of ways. Most importantly, trekkers and staff will be creating and sharing meals whilst living in community. After all, food is what is on a plate, a meal is what is shared around a table (or campfire!). By collaborating with the Basecamp Farm Educator, local growers, farmers, cooks and experts in the culinary practices of the Southwest, Blue Corn Trek will explore just exactly how “we are what we eat.”
Age Range: 14-18
Gender: All welcome, Male, Female, Non-binary
Min Group Size: 8
Max Group Size: 16
21 Days on Trek
Focus: Food in the Southwest
People: Who we are
Cottonwood Gulch is excited to introduce Blue Corn Trek; a food oriented trek that will focus on food
systems in the Southwest. This trek is geared towards 14-18 year olds with a passion for growing, cooking and
tasting ingredients that create nourishing, delicious and beautiful meals.
- Foodies in the Field: For trekkers who are interested in cooking food, growing food, eating food,
foraging for food and/or sharing food, Blue Corn Trek is a perfect space to nurture those interests
and skills. This trek cultivates an awareness of traditional ingredients and methods of cooking in the
Southwest while immersing trekkers in the practice of making a meal- from seed to empty plate.
- Creators and Collaborators: BCT brings together young people interested in making meals and
sharing experiences. Trekkers will collaborate with experts in the various fields of southwestern food
systems (farmers, chefs, foragers, horticulturalists) to build up their own skills and knowledge of
place-based, food-focused practices.
Places: Where we go
Blue Corn Trek spends 3 weeks growing fresh food at our rustic Basecamp, collaborating and working with
local growers, and camping in northern New Mexico on farm land.
- Basecamp: This trek is primarily based at Basecamp, spending most of the 3 weeks in Thoreau with
day trips out to local farms and growers’ markets. While at Basecamp, trekkers will collaborate with
the Farmer Educator to grow produce, care for chickens and develop an understanding of the initial
steps in food production. Day trips will provide opportunities to amplify learning as trekkers visit
local growers, farmers, cooks and experts in the culinary practices of the Southwest.
- On the Road: BCT will go on one short (3-5 day) road loop in northern New Mexico with day hikes
in San Pedro Parks Wilderness and Santa Fe National Forest.
Projects: What we do
Blue Corn Trek focuses on collaborating and working with local growers, learning to identify edible plants
and studying historical and place-based ways to cook meals. Most importantly, trekkers and staff will be
creating and sharing meals whilst living in community.
- Grow: Trekkers will learn the scientific and traditional ecological practices of growing food in the
Southwest. From seed propagation to soil science, from drought-resistance to permaculture practices,
trekkers will identify a variety of ways to access and cultivate food in the high desert.
- Prepare: Trekkers will engage in a multitude of processes in order to prepare a meal; cooking,
foraging, pickling, curing, roasting, baking and the many ways in which ingredients can be
transformed into edible and delicious plates of food. Whether cooking over an open fire, in the
mess-hall kitchen or on a road stove, trekkers will develop critical thinking and problem solving skills
whilst expanding their palettes and enjoying the fruits of their labor.
- Share: Food is what is on a plate, a meal is what is shared around a table (or campfire!). Trekkers will
share meals with each other, with Basecamp and take on working together to prepare a menu for
Rendezvous. Learning from, sharing with, and teaching other trekkers and Gulch staff is an essential
component of BCT.