In the recent book Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land (PB1058), Native Seeds/SEARCH co-founder Gary Nabhan discusses how farmers and gardeners are desperately seeking ways to adapt how they grow food in a world of climate change. One solution promoted by Nabhan is to to grow varieties that are best suited to warmer, drier climates such as those originating from the Greater Southwest region conserved in the NS/S Seed Bank. Many are traditionally dry-farmed, surviving on rainfall and soil moisture without the use of irrigation, and are well adapted to the extreme heat and drought that are part of “the new normal” of global climatic uncertainty.
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Our food has a story to tell. Whether purchased off a supermarket shelf or picked from a backyard garden, each morsel we eat carries with it a rich history that spans cultures and stretches back across centuries. At its essence, the story of our food crops is a tale of seeds—a Homeric odyssey chronicling the travels, travails, and transformations of these tiny flecks of life on their epic journeys from ancient fields to modern day forks.
Spring wildflower season is one of the desert’s most colorful periods. But planning for those multicolored displays in the spring requires planning in the Fall. The prime time to plant spring flowers in the low desert areas of southern Arizona is during late September through early December. Most spring blooming wildflowers benefit from the cold temperatures of winter and begin their life cycle when the winter rains come.
By Chris Schmidt, Director of Conservation
Every region of the world requires unique solutions to building and sustaining its own system for seed security, but practices that work well in one context can often be informative in others. With such cross-pollination of ideas in mind, I recently had the great fortune to visit the stunning nation of Nepal to exchange experiences with farmers, community seed bank members, and staff of local and international NGOs.
Rations for the Native Seeds/SEARCH farm apprentices are largely based on food that is grown at the Conservation Farm. They have access to a wide variety of dried corns and beans at the farm, and these foods have become staples. If you visit the farm, you are sure to witness the making of "daily bread" — corn tortillas!
Here is some information about how to make fresh corn tortillas, and a recipe for our take on garlic bread. This post is provided by the 2013 farm apprentices: Danielle, Matt, Pablo, Travis, and Francesca.