Saturday, March 26, 2016

Santa Fe Seed Exchange

Sunflower Seeds
Every year, as our apricot trees begin to blossom and the trees get that green tinge, seed exchanges spring up all over New Mexico.  They are held in small community centers, libraries, and parking lots in the rural areas such as Mora and Anton Chico to the urban landscapes of Albuquerque and Santa Fe. It seems that seeds have a way of attracting people who grow their own food in urban backyards as well as the farmer and commercial grower.  The Santa Fe Seed Exchange is a more urban exchange with backyard gardeners bringing their small stashes of seeds.
This exchange is organized by Home Grown New Mexico and the City of Santa Fe Parks Division.   Jannine Cabossel  is at the helm of this endeavor, she is a master gardener who grows heirloom tomatoes and is known for her giant pumpkins and vegetables. She calls herself an "artisan farmer" as she loves to create beauty in her garden by combining art, flowers and her unusually large vegetables. This is SeedBroadcast's third year at this community driven seed event and it was a delight to meet up with people that we met the year before while searching the tables for that new variety of seed. We even discovered a new batch of seeds that we had given away last year, our Anton Chico Hopi Flint Red Corn. Someone had taken them home, grown them out, saved them and returned a brown envelop full of the new seeds to be redistributed.   Keeping our seeds growing and adapting to the local environment and the changing weather patterns is vital to the resilience of our local food sovereignty.

Anton Chico Hopi Flint Red Corn
Bean table
 The Santa Fe Seed exchange is held in the barn at Frenchy's Field  a well known and beloved park that straddles the Santa Fe River.  As people arrived with their seeds to share they were directed to tables that were arranged so seeds could be placed in their rightful category, such as flowers, squash, tomatoes..... this makes it easy to rummage for that favorite seed.  The Santa Fe Master Gardeners were on hand to answer any questions and had diligently made hundreds of seed balls to give away.

Master Gardener Seed balls
Xenia with her giant pumpkin seeds
 SeedBroadcast parked the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station at the entrance to the park where we exchanged stories and seeds with seed-lovers from all walks of life.

 Jason Jaramillo, the program coordinator for the Santa Fe Railyard Park Stewards stopped by looking for seeds to plant in the traditional waffle garden and he shared this story with us:
Jason Jaramillo

Also Tamara Kukuczka  who is planning a permaculture project on a piece of land that she has in Panama shared this story:

 One of our last visitors that  breezy mid-March evening was Brad Jones a natural story-teller. He captivated us with his tales of Frenchy's Field and the antics he got up to when he worked for the rail road.  He reminded us of how at the end of the summer the park would be covered in yellow and purple wild flowers. Each year bursting forth with a new look sometimes more yellow sometimes more purple. With a huge smile he left us with his story of how he would love to scatter new seeds around the park!
So what might next year look like?  How might we expand the small community garden plot and scatter some food producing seeds through out the park..... what might happen then?

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