Read our Blog

Small Farms and Traditional Indigenous Agriculture

By Lynda Prim, NS/S Conservation Farm Manager. Published on May 1, 2015.

In my work with small scale farmers and traditional indigenous farmers, I have found it valuable to think about “climate smart” agriculture in the framework of resiliency. In agriculture, I think of resiliency has having 3 cornerstones: flexibility, adaptability, and biodiversity.

A Sweet Sign of Summer: Rare Watermelons Are Back

By Sheryl Joy, NS/S Seed Distribution Coordinator. Published on April 22, 2015.

From the rich recesses of the NS/S seed vault, we are happy to bring you four watermelon varieties that have not previously been publicly available. If your garden is a good size for summer’s favorite sprawling vine, check out these varieties!

Reviving Jack Beans

By Melissa Kruse-Peeples, NS/S Conservation Program Manager. Published on March, 20, 2015.

Imagine if you could take a time machine and visit an ancient Hohokam agricultural field 1,000 years ago. The crops in that field would contain corn, green-striped cushaw squash, and tepary beans – varieties familiar to contemporary Pima and Tohono O’odham farmers. But you might also find an unusual, yet majestic, bean known today as jack beans (Canavalia ensiformis).

Meet NS/S Supporter Brooke Pickrell

We recently asked our members and supporters to send in their chile stories, and Brooke Pickrell of Ann Arbor, MI, shares her fascinating experience of growing the plants in the middle of Midwest winter (yes, it's possible!).

All About Chiles

By Melissa Kruse-Peeples, NS/S Conservation Program Manager. Published on February, 20, 2015.

Whether it is red or green in New Mexico, spicy jalapenos of Tex-mex recipes, or fiery chiltepines of the borderlands, chiles are synonymous with Southwestern cuisine and central to our culinary identity. Chiles are also a large part of the agricultural economy of our region. The hot summer climate and sandy soils of southern New Mexico and Arizona come together to create a million dollar chile industry. However, you may be surprised to learn that chiles are a relatively recent part of the 4,000 year old Southwestern agricultural history and were not commonly grown or eaten until the last several hundred years.

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