2016 Farmer All-Star: Cedar Grove Nursery
Joel Daeschel started farming right out of high school, and worked at different nurseries in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. He and his wife, Marie Daeschel, started Cedar Grove in 1998, focusing on cultivating annuals and perennials. They are one of the first booths you see at the Market, with a huge variety of bedding plants and herbs and vegetables starts.
The family lives in Eldorado, but the greenhouses are located farther south where the plains begin, outside of Stanley. With the luck of having good, deep wells, and with Joel’s passion, Cedar Grove has created an amazing space to nurture and grow plants in an environment that can, at times, be less than hospitable.
Cedar Grove is really about helping the community and teaching them how to help themselves. Joel always thought it was important to facilitate people growing their own plants, understanding their own climate, and working to grow their own food. He was adamant about selling plants that would do well here.
Joel always had a strong sense of community at the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market, which has become what he always wanted it to be: a community full of the different parts of being able to buy and grow local food.
That sense of community was felt strongly when Joel became ill and eventually passed away earlier this year. The customers and other farmers were with the family throughout the difficult times. His daughter, Mikaila Daeschel-Christensen, has been keeping Joel’s legacy alive by continuing to grow the plants he started and getting them to the customers. “Every day, coming to Market and having people ask me how he was doing, and being there for us, doing whatever we needed, it has been overwhelmingly appreciated, and it really stands out.”
The future is unknown for Cedar Grove, but the impact the Daeschel’s have had on our community will be felt for many years to come.
Photos and video by family and Gabriella Marks Photography