Where Only
The Sturdiest Survive


I’ve been doing some middle-of-the-night reading of the memoir of one of our friends at Synergia down the road from us, John Allen, the inventor of Biosphere 2. We have been lucky enough to have become friends with the crew at the ranch and we were recently there to celebrate Johnny’s 93rd birthday.

57 years ago, John and his newlywed wife, Marie, hopped on over from their stint in Vietnam in 1966 to establish their ranch here in Cerrillos.

“Me and the Biospheres” is a fascinating read, and I was pleased to read that he wrote, Cerrillos, “is a place where only the sturdiest individuals had survived.”

Likewise, I was pleased to see that opposite that quote was a photo of the construction of one of their first adobe casitas, something we aspire to build ourselves. For now, we’ve got a new 1,200 sq ft raised bed garden and a marvelous slope of agave terraces built for starters.

Granted, much has changed in 56 years, but then again it hasn’t.

Half a century is but a blip on the scope of our region’s history. The unprecedented winds whipping up the sand and dirt to grate our faces and scratch our eyes on a daily basis for the last two months is a healthy reminder that we are merely migrant land stewards through time, who, if we can bear the grit and challenges of life in the high mountain desert, will reap the rewards of learning to adapt to and live harmoniously with the phenomenal, and often unforgiving, forces of nature.

I‘m looking forward to our own next 56 years here with my own Marie, Chelsea, as we build Hacienda Dominguez & Chelenzo Farms for our family and to support a better world.