Group of 7 young people in long pants, some wearing baseball caps standing in a line smiling at the camera. Behind them are green trees.



Interns Rooted in Abiquiú Community Get Garden Growing

August 7, 2023

Another year, another great harvest for the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum Abiquiú Garden Project. But the fruits and vegetables of the garden are not possible without the care and nurturing of the Museum’s Abiquiú Garden Project Interns. Now in its 10th class of interns, the project has allowed Northern New Mexico high schoolers to care for the garden, learning how one’s natural surroundings can play an instrumental role in fostering a healthy lifestyle, while also learning about the historic and artistic legacy of the community in which they live.

Led by Jaide Romero, the Abiquiú Garden Project Coordinator, the group planted 29 different varieties of produce. Romero, a current University of New Mexico student from Española, was a Garden Project Intern herself in 2019. Under her guidance, the group grew peas, carrots, radishes, pumpkin, sweet corn, and more from seeds while cucumbers, squash, cabbage, broccoli, eggplant, peppers, tomatoes, melons, and marigolds were grown from small plants or seedlings. The interns take the fresh produce home to their families and the surplus is donated to local food banks.

Interns worked the garden weekly to plant, care for, and harvest the crops that were originally grown by O’Keeffe. They learned which she favored, and are able to see first-hand the work the artist put into the property she loved so dearly. Through this process, the students gained an understanding and appreciation for the land and edible subject matters that O’Keeffe often represented in her paintings, as well as learn about her keen work ethic and attention to detail.

Here about the interns’ experience in their own words! Over the summer, they contributed to a O’Keeffe Garden Project blog, documenting their experience.

Gabriel Gallegos

Española Valley High School

Hobbies: Riding tractors
Favorite aspect of internship: Getting paid to water the beautiful garden.

Luke Gillette

Home School

Hobbies: Playing games with friends
Favorite aspect of the internship: Hanging out with the other interns

Emma Jaramillo

Los Alamos High School

Hobbies: Taking walks
Favorite aspect of the internship: Planting and growing corn.

Caleb Romero

Española Valley High School

Hobbies: Hanging out with friends
Favorite aspect of the internship: Relaxing after long, hot days in the garden.

Consuelo Salazar

NM Destinations Career Academy

Hobbies: Riding horses
Favorite aspect of the internship: Seeing the growth in the garden from week to week.

Nate Suazo

Española Valley High School

Hobbies: Basketball
Favorite aspect of internship: Working with friends and keeping the garden weed-free.