“For today’s breakfast options we have a house made chorizo frittata with seasonal vegetables and buttered hominy or a toasted local blue corn meal polenta with two eggs and toast served with house-made green chile sausage.”
I’m currently enjoying a truly farm-to-table breakfast at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm. While Albuquerque isn’t typically the first place you picture when thinking about organic farms, acres of gardens and rows upon rows of delicious crops, it actually has a vibrant farm country culture in the North Valley area. While there are numerous family-run farms and grower’s markets in the area worth exploring, at Los Poblanos Historic Inn and Organic Farm you get a truly immersive experience through their farm stay, culinary program, events and programming.
Originally, the land that Los Poblanos sits on was inhabited by an ancient Pueblo Indian tribe called the Anasazi, followed by the Armijos, a prominent Hispanic political family who built a ranch and used the land for corn, alfalfa, wheat and wine grapes. In 1934 the ranch was acquired by Albert and Ruth Simms and it became the model experimental farm that it is today. The couple remodeled the ranch, employing famed architect John Gaw Meem to help with the refurbishment and turning it into an agricultural center, cattle ranch and community hub for political and cultural activities. In fact, there were often art exhibitions, concerts in their ballroom and lecture series with speakers like Thornton Wilder and Rockwell Kent. Moreover, it was home to the original Creamland Dairies, playing a major role in New Mexico’s dairy industry.
Los Poblanos Farm Suites. Photo courtesy of Mike Crane Photo.
Today, Los Poblanos encompasses 25 acres (10 hectares) of the original estate. While it’s been refurbished and added on to over the years, much of the heritage has been preserved through the agricultural focus as well as the architecture and decor. While Meem is responsible for the beautiful fresco murals paying homage to local agriculture and elaborate unfinished wood carvings, New Mexican artist Gustave Baumann is the reason you see the inn’s iconic San Ysidro Labrador with motifs of corn and wheat in the inn’s ballroom. Moreover, pioneer female landscape architect Rose Greely designed their formal Spanish-style gardens, while Robert Woodman — who was part of the Spanish Pueblo Revival movement — is responsible for the decorative tinwork in the chandeliers, mirrors and other furnishings. Throughout the building of Los Poblanos you’ll also find artwork by New Mexican artists. These are just a few of the many people involved in preserving the unique local New Mexican history and culture.
Surprisingly, the room rates are affordable, about $150 to $200 per night. That being said, you can enjoy breakfast or dinner at the inn without being a guest if you make a reservation. Since all ingredients are sourced on property or within 200 miles (322 kilometers) they call the cuisine “Rio Grande Cuisine.” Dishes incorporate French cooking techniques like braising, roasting and confit using local ingredients. The menu changes daily, with some possible dishes you may come across including house-made pound cake French toast; local blue corn meal pancakes; breakfast tostada with local beans, farm vegetables, cheese, sauce and farm-fresh eggs; and cardamom aebleskiver with house-made fruit preserves and house-cured bacon. During my visit, I opted to sample their toasted local blue corn meal polenta with two eggs and toast served with house-made green chile sausage. It was like art on a plate, the blue corn meal paying homage to the Native Pueblos while the green chile represented New Mexico’s iconic regional food.
Farmer Kyle out in the Kitchen Garden. Photo courtesy of Josh Hailey Studio.
Visitors can tour their organic garden, which grows crops like tomatoes, corn, artichoke, squash, roses, sunflowers, herbs, arugala, apples and fragrant lavender. The lavender is not only used in some of their drinks, but also the bath and body products found in their artisinal farm shop. They also harvest their own honey — which has a floral flavor as the bees pollinate the onsite lavender — and visitors can see the beehives. Some of the many other experiences one can have at Los Poblanos include cooking classes, gardening seminars and educational events on beekeeping.
Top photo: Breakfast being made at Los Poblanos. Photo courtesy of Sergio Salvador Photo.
Jessica Festa is the editor of the travel sites Jessie on a Journey (http://jessieonajourney.com) and Epicure & Culture (http://epicureandculture.com). Along with blogging at We Blog The World, her byline has appeared in publications like Huffington Post, Gadling, Fodor’s, Travel + Escape, Matador, Viator, The Culture-Ist and many others. After getting her BA/MA in Communication from the State University of New York at Albany, she realized she wasn’t really to stop backpacking and made travel her full time job. Some of her most memorable experiences include studying abroad in Sydney, teaching English in Thailand, doing orphanage work in Ghana, hiking her way through South America and traveling solo through Europe. She has a passion for backpacking, adventure, hiking, wine and getting off the beaten path.