Sunday, November 29, 2009

Genesis of the Wheat Project

OOh....we still look so fresh here in 1998.

This was the action strategy that laid the foundation of the Northern New Mexico Organic Wheat Project (and can be used elsewhere):

-Call for action in agricultural publications: are there market opportunities to grow high quality organic grains in a decentralized manner?

-Establishment of an ad hoc committee of farmers and processors and interested parties

-Investigation of regional farming traditions of wheat

-Selection of wheat seeds for planting based on a series of criteria

-2 growing seasons for testing varieties for growing and processing qualities: do the 'bake tests' and analyse varieties for protein content

-re-establish regional food infrastructure including machines, storage, processing

-Promotion of regional brand name: Nativo

-Direct marketing through farmers markets

-Growing for diversity: establishing organic high altitude seed varieties

-Establish a confederation of farmers, processors and consumers that control Nativo grains and all its derivative products (such as organic straw bales, flour, bread, animal feed)

-Formulate Common Goals and Values:

-food security through genetic diversity and a healthy eco-system-
-bio-regional organic farming an a locally based economy-
-meaningful work and micro-enterprise opportunities-
-open space and restoration of fertile farmlands-
-a storehouse of agricultural information and knowledge-
-cultural integration through collaboration and 
the achievement of common goals-

Challenge for the Wheat Project (then as now) is to re-conceptualize the role of farming in our understand food not as a commodity traded on the cheap, but rather as the very source of nutrition and the integrating force of vital communities.....

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