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Sara Rose Wasson

Sara spent a large part of her youth and adolescence in New Mexico and is back after 15 years of non-stop travel, exploration, personal growth, learning and adventure.She has experience with Sustainable Communities both in America and in Europe and has been studying Permaculture in all its varied forms for many years and is certified in Permaculture Design. 

    She is thrilled to bring her vision, skills and experience back to Northern New Mexico to create Self Reliance Farm, a collaborative endeavor involving the fulfillment of multiple visions within the local community, including her own.

She has always felt a strong connection to Native American culture and has a deep appreciation for the Hispanic culture here as well and is very honored to be able to work within both communities to bring the Self Reliance Farm vision to life.

   Sara is also a singer/songwriter, leatherwork and jewelry artist (among other art forms), writer, chef and lover of children, animals and all things rustic, natural and of the Earth.

Jesse Ford

Jesse was born and raised right here in this beautiful region of Northern New Mexico, just a few short miles from Self Reliance Farm. He has been studying and implementing Natural Building techniques since he was old enough to pick up a hammer. He also has alot of knowledge, skill and innovative ideas in water systems management grey water, rainwater catchment and filtrations, etc.

Jesse's family has strong roots here in the community and his parents built their adobe home by hand in the 1970's, carrying water from a well back to the house to build each adobe brick by hand in the traditional way. 

Jesse has a keen eye for innovative design and a practical and thoughtful approach to building. 

Laura Leadingham

Laura has been gardening since she was a child and considers Mother Earth and plants to be a life long love of hers. Originally from Alabama, Laura majored in Agronomy and Soil Science at Auburn University. She started landscaping & building permaculture inspired gardens at age 21. She fell in love with New Mexico when she came here in 2007 to do a year long apprenticeship with certified organic farmer, Monica Rude at her farm Desert Woman Botanicals in Gila, NM. Laura then went on to study various forms of Healing Arts and Herbal Medicines in Jamaica and she is also a level 3 Reiki practitioner.

Taking the knowledge and skills she acquired in these pursuits, she has implemented them as much as she can where ever she goes, saving seed, making some of the best compost you've ever seen and doing freelance landscaping, foodscaping and irrigation installation. Laura has been managing an organic farm in California for the last 3 years.

She is happy and excited to be able to call Self Reliance Farm "home".


Beni Goldenheart,
aka Jeff Kline,
MA, Ed.


Beni arrived in Las Trampas shortly after the highway was paved in the 1960s and acquired the land and built the adobe homes as a refuge and environmental education center. He was mentored by the generation of the 1890s Jacobo Romero (see “River of Traps”), Tranquilino & Filia Lopez, Max & Eulalia Cruz and Fermina Leyba, to name a few.  They were descendants of the original families who have been living in Las Trampas for hundreds of years without electricity, fossil fuels or any significant cash money. Their open hearted attitudes, joie de vivre and self reliance inspired him to create the Self Reliance Foundation producing films in Las Trampas such as “Sun Dried Foods” and its Spanish version, “Comida Seca Por El Sol,” which were shown worldwide by the United Nations to inspire others to appreciate their own cultures and integrate small scale solar technology into their traditional ways of life.  “Acequias del Norte” explained water rights and showed how to irrigate more efficiently while maintaining traditional culture. 

     A later film, “Rekindling the Fire”in English and Tewa documenting the Tesuque Pueblos revitalization of organic agriculture has been used by various Indian tribes to encourage traditional practices.  He has managed multiple grants for the National Science Foundation to increase understanding of science, technology and the environment among under-served Hispanic audiences. In the 21st century he subsidized use of the property by Gemini Farm, a major source of organic food; whose hard working staff were an inspiration to many. He is founder and chair of Hispanic Communications Network,, the largest provider of Spanish-language educational information in the United States. Beni serves as an advisor to Sara Rose, the farm’s Director.


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