Dixon New Mexico: A Sustainable Living Community

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Photo by Elmo Baca
Dixon residents enjoy an abundance of local art.

A great place to live you’ve never heard of is Dixon New Mexico, a sustainable living community. Dixon’s cultural heritage and artistic beauty are at the forefront in this small town.

Dixon New Mexico: A Sustainable Living Community

The houses and farms in Dixon (about half an hour from Taos and an hour from Santa Fe) were built fairly close together to make use of meticulously maintained acequias — irrigation ditches fed by snowmelt. Community governance is organized around protection of the all-important watershed, under the direction of a mayordomo, or “ditch boss.”

This village, rich in Hispanic and Native American heritage, blossoms the first weekend in November when the annual Studio Tour begins. Since 1981, this is the time when stone sculptors, vegetable farmers, grapevine-wreath weavers, garlic garland braiders, winemakers, chocolate makers and many other artisans open their homesteads to demonstrate how they practice their crafts and honor their traditions. Fine arts and crafts, tortillas, sopapillas and tamales can be sampled and purchased at many of these home studios, but the connection with a community culture at its finest hour is beyond the reach of money. “Lights are burning late into the night before the Studio Tour,” says Lynda Prim, owner of a six-acre farm near the town.

They don’t call this the “land of enchantment” for nothing. But you don’t have to own a second home to experience Dixon — there are some great cabins and adobe casitas for rent by the week.

Do you live in Dixon? Have you visited? Please post your comments below.

Dixon, New Mexico

Population: 1,529
Climate: Mild in summer, erratic in winter. Average January temperature: 31 degrees. July average: 72 degrees.
Median House Value: $220,000
Natural Assets: Confluence of Embudo River and Rio Grande; pastoral countryside of rolling hills, characterized by sagebrush, apache plume, cliffrose and piñon pines.
Sustainable Initiatives: Passive solar architecture; local economy; preservation of land, water rights and watershed.

Check out the other towns on our 2007 list of Great Places You’ve Never Heard Of.

David Wann writes and produces documentaries about sustainable lifestyles. His most recent book, Simple Prosperity, is a sequel to the bestseller Affluenza that he co-authored.

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