Nine miles south of Santa Fe, just off the “Scenic Turquoise Trail” and nestled between Arroyo Gallina and the Lone Butte on Bonanza Creek Road, lies Rancho Gallina. Built in the 1930’s for a pioneering couple of women, the ranch has been home to frontier doctors, cattle ranchers, Arabian horse breeders, artists and artisans, and now us.
We are Mitch Ackerman and Leslie Moody. We have lived and worked all over the country as union leaders and organizers for justice, most significantly in Colorado, Maine, New York, California, and both Washingtons. To sustain ourselves, our fantastic daughters, and our community of hard-working friends, we developed a penchant for eating, drinking and sharing our lives. As seasoned amateurs, we have hosted hundreds of friends and fellow travelers in our home, serving up good food, great drinks, and lively conversation.
New Mexico has always been a retreat for us. We took our first trip here in the dead of winter 1998, staying at Rancho Manzana in Chimayo. We were amazed at the sky, the colors, the food – and we kept coming back. We hiked Bandelier and the Jemez Wilderness, biked in the mountains and around Cochiti Lake, ate in town and out in the country – always taking chile, pozole, or chocolate home to warm us until the next visit.
We sought out New Mexico and found Rancho Gallina in 2012, in the midst of career changes and starting our life anew. This ranch was just what the doctor ordered to pull us out of our heads and into the hands-on world of renovation, restoration, culinary experimentation, and forced relaxation for everyone who passes through our door.
On our blog we will share our experiments – for better or worse – in trying to live simply, eat well, do some useful things with our hands, and build a home that can sustain us and everyone else who wanders on in. We hope you can join us.