Blue Corn Trek

  • Age Range: 14-18 year olds
  • Min Group size: 8 - Max group size: 16
  • Gender: All Genders
  • Instructors 3
  • 21 days on trek
  • Cost: $4,795
  • Dates: July 20 - August 9, 2024

FOCUS: Food systems of the southwest

Trek Details

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.