Friday, April 18, 2014

Compartiendo Semillas and a Prayer for Rain

San Ysidro Labrador
A Mi Glorioso Padre Eterno, humildemente te doy gracias por la vida de tu servidor, San Ysidro Labrador, Patrón de los labradores. El cual que por los siglos nos ha mantenido, vuestro sembrado libre de langostas y temblores. Pidemos a tu servidor, San Ysidro Labrador, que por tu sudor y trabajo con que fuites fatigado, liberta vuestro sembrado del ladrón acostumbrado de no tener temor al Criador de esta Tierra. Liberta vuestro sembrado de la tempestad, de la sequía y del granizo que daña vuestro labor, le pedimos por el amor del Gran Señor. San Ysidro Labrador, Cortesano del Señor, Hasta el año venidero, nos despedimos de ti. Adios mi querido Santo, San Ysidro Labrador, te dejamos en la compañia del Gran Señor.

Prayer for Rain
Look to our dry hills and fields, dear God, and bless them with the living blessing of soft rain. Then the land will rejoice and rivers will sing your praises, and the hearts of all will be made glad. Amen.

On April 12, Anton Chico residents held their 2nd annual Compartiendo Semillas en Anton Chico. The daylong event consisted of morning workshops, potluck lunch, and an afternoon sharing seeds and conversation.

Organizers for the event stated, “This seed swap is being coordinated to give our community a place to share heirloom, open-pollinated, locally grown and saved seeds. We hope that this event will provide a gathering place for everyone to share the agricultural wisdom present in our abundant valley. The saving and sharing of these seeds and know-how is so important for the future of our locally grown and resilient crops, as well as, the health of our families and community. This food we grow is the best! From our backyard gardens to the local fields of market vegetables, to our home kitchens and kitchens across the region, our community can grow the food we need to sustain and support our families and neighbors in great health.”

Among the speakers were Nick Maestas, Delfinio Velasquez, Leroy Lucero, Janis Verela, Pat Minor, Marietta Sullivan, and Jeanette Hart-Mann.

Delfinio Velasquez talks about his garden.
The morning workshops covered a broad range of topics such as seed saving, local farming, food preservation, agricultural education and kids, water rights, and economic development. These presentations prompted a familiar conversation highlighting questions and comments about how to build a resilient and caring agricultural community.

Pat Minor demonstrates canning.
Nick Maestas called this the multiplier effect when talking about economic development, but it was clear to all in attendance that every one of these issues needs to be addressed in order to encourage a strong and healthy community. From educational empowerment, to seeds, to growing food for people, to developing a sustainable economy; every piece is an essential part of the puzzle.

Lunch proved this point.

With homegrown ingredients and the amazing talent of many local cooks, a potluck lunch of homemade red chile, posole, taquitos, beans, sopa, tortillas, and cornbread was served, which was delicious and satisfying.

Finally the highlight of the day began. The seed exchange.

Shared seeds came from Anton Chico fields and gardens, Santa Rosa yards, and donations from Guadalupe County Extension Service. These included mirasol chile, varieties of corn, beans, greens, onions, herbs, and flowers. All were open-pollinated and ready to be planted. From local gardens, these seeds will soon become healthy food and saved seed for sharing at the next seed exchange.

Marianita Velasquez shares bunching onions.
Pearl Maestas said that the event was a great success and she looks forward to another seed exchange in 2015.

Nick Maestas and Pearl Maestas pick out seeds.
Compartiendo Semillas en Anton Chico was sponsored by New Mexico Acequia Association, NRCS, Guadalupe County Extension Service.

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