Contact: Angelo Joaquin, Jr., Executive Director
Membership dues: Starts at $20.
Newsletter: The Seedhead News, quarterly, included in membership benefits.
Native Seeds/SEARCH (NS/S), a nonprofit organization with offices in Tucson and Albuquerque, works to conserve the traditional crops, seeds, and farming methods that have sustained native peoples throughout the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico. We promote the use of these ancient crops and their wild relatives by gathering, safeguarding, and distributing their seeds, while sharing benefits with traditional communities. We also work to preserve knowledge about their uses. Through research, training, and community education, NS/S works to protect biodiversity and to celebrate cultural diversity. Both are essential in our efforts to restore the earth.
Southwestern Native American farmers produced a great variety of food despite the region's marginal growing conditions. After centuries of cultural change, environmental destruction and land transfers, these farming systems have survived -- but just barely. When peoples sustained by agriculture lose their agricultural traditions, their survival as a culture may also be at risk. For many Native American tribes in the southwestern U.S. and northern Mexico, these relationships are being severed and destroyed.
Since 1983 -- financed by catalog sales, members support and corporate and foundation grants -- we've made more than 1,700 collections of desert-adapted Southwestern crops and become a leader in the heirloom seed movement. Our seed bank is a unique resource for both traditional and modern agriculture. Besides the expected drought tolerance of desert plants, many of these crops have unanticipated resistance to rusts, insects, chemical toxicity and other stresses. They provide an irreplaceable "genetic Library" to draw upon to ensure sustainable, environmentally safe agriculture in the future. We now have 4,400 members and a catalog mailing list of 22,000 families.
©1997 Committee for Sustainable Farm Publishing
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