All for the sake of remembering and honoring what we have so nearly lost—the health of our soil, the health of our seed—and our own health, as well.
Two days ago I drove about thirty miles north of Santa Fe to visit a community seed celebration at the old hacienda, Los Luceros. I first saw the “casa grande”—the big double-verandaed old house—on one of my early explorations. The house seemed abandoned, long emptied of a past that holds the stories of many exploratory women here in the Southwest, like Mary Cabot Wheelwright. The next door ranch provided horses and guides for these women’s long and strenuous expeditions into Colorado, Arizona and Utah.
As we drove in, the apple trees were bursting into bloom and the old house was almost buried in flowers. (It is still abandoned, owned by the state which apparently doesn’t know what to do with it.) Closer at hand, farm buildings were filled with a bustling crowd of people from the surrounding pueblos, laying out packets of their homegrown seeds for trading. These are the seeds which Monsanto, if it had its way, would eliminate in favor of the seeds they sell, which have to be bought again every season because they are sterile. They cannot reproduce and grow again, a cycle that farmers have depended on for millennia. And this is even without considering the health risks food made with these products may cause. They should be called Dragonsteeth like the ogre’s teeth in the old story that sprouted up overnight and became an army of soldiers.
Our neighbors here are not going to allow this to happen, nor will it happen on the fertile fields of Wolf Pen Mill Farm in Kentucky.
So there is hope.
But only if we all keep up the fight.
I will plant my handful of herb and wildflower seeds after May 15 when we usually have had our last frost. Because we are in severe drought, and also under the threat of wildfire, I will only plant a few pots that I can water by hand. There is no water here for extensive farming or gardening.
Kentucky will be wet, and wetter, and the Horsetooth Corn will grow vigorously there to remind us all that fertility, growth and abundance is still possible.