Firing up the horno again

Since we over-estimated the amount of corn we would need for our horno-making workshop, we now have an abundance of corn that requires us to make another batch of chicos.  The nice thing about us needing to make another batch of chicos is that all of the maize we are using is completely local.  We are using our maize harvest from Parr Field as well as several dozens coming from Thanksgiving Farm, a project of Tierra Lucero and Bob Pederson.  Bob with Tierra Lucero is AIRE’s partner in the Parr Field Garden Project, and we are looking to integrate and collaborate in even more meaningful ways in the future.

The other nice thing about making another batch of chicos and the fact that wee need to do it sooner than later given that we already harvested the maize and it could be subjected to freeze or mold if we do not act quickly is that we can now integrate this workshop into the Chrysalis School days and curriculum.  We started the horno during Chrysalis’ Sustainability Studies elective at the end of the day, and AIRE then took over when the school day ended by hiring our ‘SEmbradores’ to help with the process…

With this batch of chicos, AIRE decided to rely ion in-house expertise as well as the recently-obtained expertise of our Sembradores so we did not hire any facilitators to show us the way.  Instead, we estimated the heat of the horno ourselves, mixed the mud our selves , and completed the process of drowning the fire, filling the horno, and mudding up the openings ourselves.  It was a great feeling to be able to complete this process ourselves, though after it was done we asked ourselves, “did we burn the fire long enough?”, “did we drown it enough?”, “”or too much?…  These questions will be answered tomorrow morning….

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About Miguel

Miguel Santistevan is a researcher, educator, and advocate for traditional agriculture crops and systems.
This entry was posted in AIRE, Chrysalis Alternative High School, Parr Field. Bookmark the permalink.

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