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The mines of Cerrillos, New Mexico produce a particularly beautiful blue/green variety of turquoise, so stunning in fact that they have been mined for roughly the last 3,000 years! Chemically, it is a phosphate of aluminum carrying small quantities of copper and iron and a green mineral, variscite. These give the gemstone its color as […]


Nuts About Piñon? The seeds of New Mexico’s official state tree, the Piñon Pine (adopted in 1949) have long sustained Native peoples and Hispanic settlers; a cultural and economic tradition going back generations. Learn more about this tasty and nutritious little nut, and try out these local recipes! Go Nuts in New Mexico A Piñon […]

Buffalo Gourd

This indigenous species from the squash family grows throughout Northern Mexico, Western and Southwestern United States. If you are lucky enough to live in the West then you have surely seen this plant. It grows on the side of the road all summer, sending out long green tendrils dotted with big yellow squash blossoms and small […]

El Bacin: The Chamber Pot

Chamber pots and privies! Were they used by the early Spaniards in the Southwest? To what degree did the colonial settlers imitate the Pueblo Indians in their careful removal of waste?  Learn more about this “Unmentionable Subject”

Yucca Root Soap

Yucca has certainly earned its place among state symbols as it has many prominent uses. The Pueblos used the Yucca plant to make things like mats, shoes, rope, needle and thread, and as it turns out, soap!    Yucca Soap

Arbuckle’s Coffee

A display of Arbuckle’s can be found at our General Store, or “Tiendita,”” here at El Rancho de las Golondrinas. Arbuckle’s coffee would have been found in many a general store all over the country, but particularly in the West. Learn more about this “Cowboy Coffee” here! You can also visit their website to watch […]

The Sunflower

The Helianthus annuus, or Annual Sunflower, loves to grow in disturbed soil, so you often see it in newly dug up land or on the side of the road. If you drive around New Mexico in August or September you are bound to see many of these wild sunflowers.  Learn more about this cheerful plant!  […]


Synonymous with Santa Fe and known for staying cool in the summer and warm in the winter, Adobe was the first construction material used by humans, and to this day 50% of the world’s population still live in some form of adobe housing! Learn about the history of Adobe.

La Tiendita/General Store

Out of necessity, general stores like La Tiendita here at Las Golondrinas, got their start during the colonial period for the many pioneers who lived on the fringes of the frontier, far from any urban center. Many owners of these mercantiles began as traveling peddlers and once they had the financial ability, and steady supply […]

El Camino Real

During the Spanish Colonial Period (1598-1821), New Mexico’s main artery of connection to the outside world was El Camino Real, also known as the Royal Road or the King’s Highway, which connected Santa Fe with Mexico City 1,200 miles away. The story of El Camino Real lasted more than 220 years, from its beginning in […]

The Spanish Barb Horse

The unusual history of this breed began in North Africa, the home of the Berbers. The long occupation of Spain by the invading warrior horsemen from North Africa brought about the creation of a superior horse. The agile desert bred African Barb horse was crossed with existing Spanish stock to form the Spanish Barb horse. […]

Churro Sheep

Here at El Rancho de las Golondrinas we have a large animal family. Our biggest group is our flock of Churro Sheep, who are key in our “sheep to blanket” program. Our talented weavers turn Churro wool into beautiful textile art using traditional techniques! The Churro was the very first breed of domesticated sheep in […]

Burros Glossary

Compiled by Volunteer, Larry Marken Burro taxonomically, Equus asinus; a burro is a smaller (usually) equine of African ancestry (probable descent from the Nubian wild ass) which has been an invaluable draft animal in the American Southwest, most notably as a cargo carrier but also for riding; also important as breeding stock for mules (see […]

Bizcochitos: New Mexico’s State Cookie!

The New Mexico state cookie, an anise and cinnamon-scented delight, and is delicious during any season, but particularly around Christmas time! Learn more about this delicious treat! Try this recipe from New Mexico Magazine! Makes about 6 dozen medium-size cookies 5 to 6 cups all-purpose flour 1 tablespoon baking powder ¼ teaspoon salt 1 pound […]

Maíz or Corn

Learn More Sometimes referred to as the “Sacred Triad” or more commonly, “The Three Sisters,” the combination of both growing and eating corn, beans, and squash together is a fortuitous one. Corn requires large amounts of nitrogen, while bean plants grown nearby can use the corn stalk as a beanpole to climb while supplying the […]

Sorghum Presses and Mills

Presentation Goals Emphasize the theme of self-reliance among the region’s settlers during the colonial and territorial periods; Discuss the role of sorghum in the food supply of the ranch; Discuss (or illustrate and demonstrate) the extraction of juice from sorghum cane; Discuss the later steps in the preparation of sorghum molasses (aka miel); Describe the […]