Sedona’s unusually cold spring delayed the planting of St Andrew’s 2019 Chili Farm, but later high temperatures did the trick. Rows of Chimayo chile peppers, an heirloom type cultivated by Pueblo people for generations in New Mexico, popped up from their protective collars. St Andrew’s has been harvesting, drying, and grinding the peppers for sale as Holy Smokes and for creating spicy homemade condiments that will also be sold at the church and to family and friends.
In addition, this year volunteers planted varietals of Yoeme blue corn, native squash, and Sacaton brown tepary beans. Native Seeds/SEARCH, a Tucson non-profit conserves dry-climate friendly plants originally grown by indigenous peoples and early immigrants. Our seeds will be saved and forwarded to them to replenish dangerously low seed bank reserves.
As head Chili-Farm wrangler Ron Rummell points out, “When many Native Americans were granted land by the government, they were not given adequate water rights to sustain their traditional crops. The Native Seeds project helps to revive some of those lost heirloom plants.”
Want to know more? Contact the parish office at firstname.lastname@example.org