Looking for inspiration to write this article I had to go no further than a few feet downwind of a green chile roaster. Of all the wonderful things to appreciate about the season; the harvest moon, ripe fruit, patches of shimmery gold on the mountain, and brisk mornings to get reacquainted with your favorite sweatshirt… Number one on my list is the smell of roasting chile. It connects me to my home. To growing up in Northern New Mexico, among rows and rows of corn, chile, squash, fruit trees and miles of irrigation ditches. The smell of roasting chile is powerful and therapeutic. Geez, I even know a guy from Espanola who wrote a banjo song about it!  It’s also a happy reminder that there’s nothing like local. I’m a believer – from my experiments with soap making, to my home-grown-tomato vs. Co+op tomato taste tests*, to my nostalgia over milk in a glass bottle**, to my hobby hunting wild mushrooms. My visits to the Co+op always bring discoveries and grow my list of favorite things and people that center me and remind me of home. Oh wait…I guess I never left.
*To my surprise and delight, the tasty tomatoes I’ve found at the Co+op are giving my home-grown tomatoes competition.
**Ages ago, at milking time I’d go with my grandpa to the cow barn, followed by generations of mouser cats who made their living as hunters and freeloaders. Grandpa would aim a few squirts at their faces and they’d lick their whiskers all the way home.

Consuelo Montoya, LACM Board Member

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