Planting rows and irrigating at Sol Feliz Farm

20140612-063322-23602615.jpgThis year we put in some red corn.  Again, better late than never…  But this time of year gives us an opportunity to really identify which of these corns will be happiest here in Taos.  This red corn posole strain is originally from the North Valley of Albuquerque, or at least we found it with a farmer from there back in 1996.  Some collaborators in our Living Seed Library have been growing it out for us for the last couple of years so now we have the original parent strain, one more recent being maintained in Albuquerque, and now this one will be grown in Taos.  So I am really thinking of future research opportunities to augment our studies in crop adaptation.20140612-063011-23411494.jpgOur planting method is easy.  One person opens the soil at the keyline of the furrow with a hoe, and the other person throws in three seeds…  “Uno para mi, uno para voz, y uno para los animalitos de Dios” is the local dicho, or saying that goes with our planting method.


After all the seeds were planted we were fortunate to get a turn at the water from the acequia.  I envision the seeds settling into their moist soil environment, stretching their “arms” of energetic filaments that will become roots as they wake up and start to reach for the sun.  We will likely get at least two, maybe even five, more irrigations before the acequia might run out of water.  It could be a good monsoon season, however, and we might have irrigation all season…  Who knows?  But if the acequia runs dry after a few irrigations, we will really have the opportunity to find out which of our seeds are the most adapted to this environment and water stress…  This is the first time we do red corn at Sol Feliz, the color that now completes our sacred circle of maiz colors: white, blue, yellow (sweet), and now red (we hope)…


About Miguel

Miguel Santistevan is a researcher, educator, and advocate for traditional agriculture crops and systems.
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