By Meredith Hughes
SilverMilagro LLC’s venture is out of the bag, and in early March Elan Silverblatt-Buser was scuffing through the dust on the property at 4206 Corrales Road formerly belonging to water rights attorney Tessa Davidson and realtor Matt Davidson, envisioning the future.
Guys with pickups parked outside were already rehabbing the inside of the former office, created by the Davidsons from a home likely built 80 years ago, with a former garage nearby next on the list. A small vineyard of the Roussanne grape, planted years back, sits in from Corrales Road on the north side of the property. A Roussanne wine, an “Old World” vintage of the Rhone Valley, is forthcoming this year from Milagro Vineyards.
Silver Leaf Farms and Milagro Vineyards joined forces near the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, offering fresh veggies and wine, and many other products as the project evolved, on a pre-order, drive-thru basis at the Winery. The Farmstand at Milagro will continue, but possibly may shift to the Corrales Road site once all is ready.
The successful partnership continues with the acquisition of the Davidson property last July, and a zone change and site development plan approval by Planning and Zoning on January 26. The front half-acre of the property had been C-zoned for the law office and real estate business in November 2010, but the rear one acre remained zoned for residential-agricultural use. Now the entire lot has been zoned to a depth of 350 feet for commercial.
Hence, Silverblatt-Buser is ready to roll. First to arrive at the reimagined outdoor space will be plant starts for sale, likely next month, so locals can begin to get their gardens going. He warns to be aware of late frost before planting.
A bright white used insulated beer storage truck acquired by Silver Leaf was turned from a useful eyesore on the land into an art project by Jaime Giovannone, aka Jaime G. The truck, now red and yellow, masquerades as a freight car on the Silver Lf line on one side, Milagro on the other. Jaime G is working on future projects for Silver Leaf and Milagro, does art for film and television (“Better Call Saul,” for example), paints murals, and is reachable at firstname.lastname@example.org
Silver Leaf Farms, “the leader in hydroponic and outdoor organic vegetable production in New Mexico,” per its website, will be putting in a cover crop on the long stretch of farmland behind the existing buildings, which will be plowed under, as part of a major effort to enrich and reboot the soil. Flowers may well be the first offering to be planted. As of now, Silverblatt-Buser is not certain as to what will be growing there in the future. At the moment Silver Leaf has about 20 acres in production, Milagro about 10.
A 600 square foot brand new structure will be built, for use as the sales center for plants, veggies and other retail goods, sort of “farmstand-ish,” as Silverblatt-Buser put it. A new driveway and parking area will be part of the overall design. Also likely, either a solar array or some type of solar rooftop installation, “hopefully.” The existing former law office and/or the side building will be home to Corrales’ Candlestick Coffee Roasters, owned by Zach Smith, and possibly a cafe/bar seating 18 patrons.
This “multi-faceted” project is the SilverMilagro vision, where bikers can wheel through to pick up fresh coffee, sippers can hang out on a plant-filled patio, and shoppers can visit the store. A tasting room for Milagro Wines will be part of the mix, too, but approvals are not expected before fall.
It was just a week into the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, and Silverblatt-Buser had a tale to tell of a young Jewish woman related to his mother, who died in 1942 at age 18 of typhus, in a Fascist forced labor camp in Ukraine. Selma Meerbaum-Eisinger was Helene Silverblatt’s first cousin once removed.
Writer Meerbaum-Eisinger was born in Czernowitz, Romania, now Chernivtsi, Ukraine, a city that was described by Selma's cousin, post WW2 German-language poet Paul Celan, as a city “where human beings and books used to live.”
Over 50 poems miraculously survived Selma’s death, the war, and the decades, passed from one person to the next, finally turning up in Germany where they were published in 1980. In 2008 Harvest of Blossoms: Poems from a Life Cut Short, edited by cousins Irene and Helene Silverblatt, was published in English by Northwestern University Press. https://nupress. northwestern. edu/9780810131361/harvest-of-blossoms.