Got Dirt? Plant Seeds!
Seed Exchange On For April 17-18
By Kathy Bedell © Saguache Today
While the national conversation concerning agriculture can appear like a chameleon, morphing into whatever political narrative is garnering votes and funding at the time, in the heart of the San Luis Valley, generational farmers, ranchers and gardeners understand the true roots of putting good food on the table.
These are the farmers who till the earth, the backyard gardeners who plant the seeds, and generational families whose first-hand knowledge and trial-and-error experience navigate the best harvest from their efforts. You are likely to overhear their conversations in the aisles of the local feed store, or across the gas pump as they refill the plow.
And for more than a decade now, these commercial harvesters and backyard vegetable tenders come together for the San Luis Valley Seed Exchange! The popular gathering is returning April 17 & 18 to Joyful Journey Hot Springs connecting the agricultural community through education and exchange. The event is free and open to the public, with an at-will donation for your consideration. You’ll meet wonderful people, make valuable connections, and create relationships with like-minded and common goal-oriented people.
For vendors who wish to participate, better get your spot reserved now as the recent report indicated that the main tent was at capacity but there was still an opportunity for space outside this area. All of the details concerning a great line-up of speakers and presenters as well as sponsorship and live stream opportunities, please see the details outlined below.
While the event took root primarily as a community seed swap, it has grown to be so much more as it marks 11 years of exchanging valuable local information for a successful harvest as well.
And as anyone knows, keeping even the most beloved, valuable event going year after year takes a lot of passion and dedication. According to the official SLVSE website, “it began with a seed give-away held in the Colorado Room of the Saguache County Library in March and April of 2010. Both events were a great success and many seeds were given away to an eager public who patiently waited almost ½ hour to get their free seeds.”
Along the way and over the course of many seasons, good harvests and ones that didn’t give such a hearty return, the annual seed exchange went along. It’s a good read and one that is a strong testament to how a community comes together and grows things, like food – and annual events!
It’s great to see this one come back this year! Here’s what Saguache Today knows so far. Please consider participating in whatever manner you can from seeds to sawbucks!
Step One: Find a Pood Plot of Soil
The 11th Annual San Luis Valley Seed Exchange will be on Saturday & Sunday, April 17 & 18, 2021, hosted at Joyful Journey Hot Springs Spa located at 28640 CR 58EE in Moffat, Clo. 81143. For more information, please contact Cherie at (719) 256-4328 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in becoming a vendor, please see the important information below. All proceeds from the event will be donated to the greenhouse project at the Moffat Pk-12 Consolidated School. They will have a large outdoor tent available for vendors, however, the vendor tent is currently at capacity. If you would like to be a vendor located outside the main vendor tent, please contact Cherie at (719) 256-4328 or email@example.com. This will offer more space to house vendors, speakers, and audience members at a safe distance.
Step Two: Spreading The Seeds
There is no entry fee for this event. Vendors and presenters will bring seeds, local products, and/or information on local organizations dedicated to promoting sustainability in the San Luis Valley. There will be items for sale, trade, or give away. The event will also be live-streaming the speakers! So you can watch from your home or business if you can’t attend. If you would like a five-minute interview on our live stream, the fee is an additional $50. Here’s the Speaker series Line-Up for the 2021 SLV Seed Exchange.
Step Three: Learn & Turn (The Soil)
Food Sovereignty, Security & Storage is the theme of this year’s San Luis Valley Seed Exchange. Learn from the valley and regional experts on the topics that will help YOU get the best harvest! Here’s the lineup for the two-day speaker series. Did you know you can also attend virtually – and ask questions?
Saturday, April 17
- Events & Speakers (Specific details are listed below)
- 9 a.m. – 4pm – Traditional seed swap / Visit vendors / Network with community
- 10 a.m. – Seeds Are Our Past, Present & Future by Addelina Lucero of SLV Local Foods Coalition in Alamosa
- 11:30 a.m.- Food Sovereignty by Micah Roseberry of Growing Community Now & the Rios del Norte Farmer & Rancher Co-op in Taos County
- 1 p.m. – Biodynamic Restoration & Healing: Seeds, Soil & Water by Aaron Perry of Y on Earth in Boulder
- 2:30 p.m. – What is Food Sovereignty & Why Should I Care?
- Speaker Panel
- 4 p.m. – Biodynamic Soil Activation Ceremony – Aaron Perry of Y on Earth in Boulder
Sunday, April 18
- Events & Speakers
- 9.a.m. – 4 p.m. – Traditional seed swap / Visit vendors / Network with community
- 10 a.m. – Community Project Updates – from the following local organizations:
- Moffat PK – 12 School Greenhouse Project – Moffat
- High Grounds Garden – Crestone
- La Puente – Alamosa
- Crestone Mercantile – Crestone
- Crestone Energy Fair – Crestone
- plus more
- 11:30 a.m. – Preserve & Store Your Garden Fruits & Vegetables by Melinda Bateman – Morning Star Farm in Arroyo Seco
- 1 p.m. – Optimizing Diversity on Small Farms by Chris Pieper – Flourish Farm in Arroyo Seco
- 2:30 p.m. – Making Money as a Small Producer
Step Four: The Harvest
Speaker Forum – Talk Descriptions & Speaker Bios
Biodynamic Restoration & Healing: Seeds, Soil & Water presented by Aaron Perry
Join author and impact entrepreneur, Aaron William Perry for a keynote presentation on the power of biodynamic land and water medicine in the context of restoration and healing of our ecosystems and communities. He will share and discuss the connections between soil, water, climate, ecosystem restoration, food security, and community resilience. Following the presentation he will host a special biodynamic soil and water activation ceremony in which all are invited to participate (Bring a mason jar or other 12-16 oz container with lid to carry some to your home garden, yard, and houseplants!)
Biodynamic Soil Activation Ceremony – participants will come together in fellowship in a special water stirring ceremony. Using potentized biodynamic preparations, we will activate the homeopathic, probiotic, herbal, and mineral land medicine together, and will share in the experience of spreading it around the Joyful Journey property. Participants will also be given ~ 8 ounces of land medicine for their own yards and gardens. Please bring an 8 – 16 oz mason jar and/or container with a lid to carry yours home.
- Aaron’s Bio – Y on Earth – Aaron William Perry is a writer, speaker, impact entrepreneur, consultant, artist, and father. The author of Y on Earth: Get Smarter, Feel Better, Heal the Planet, and the Soil Stewardship Handbook, Aaron leads the Y on Earth Community’s global network of Ambassadors, catalyzing community mobilization, climate action, neighborhood resilience, and ecosystem restoration actions. A student and practitioner of Rudolf Steiner’s biodynamic land stewardship practices, Aaron curates special biodynamic soil activation and stir ceremonies throughout the Unites States.
Preserve & Store Your Garden Fruits & Vegetables presented by Melinda Bateman
Melinda will cover techniques for storing and preserving food, including root cellar variations that are affordable and easy to create, pickling, canning, fermenting and dehydrating food. As well as proper temperatures to keep commonly grown vegetables, like onions, potatoes and winter squash. If there is time and interest we can also talk about planning a garden for storage vegetables, what veggies to grow, when to plant and harvest them.
- Melinda’s Bio – Morning Star Farm – Melinda has been farming for over 20 years near Taos, New Mexico. Since converting her organic farm to Rudolph Steiner’s biodynamic method (applying his ideal closed-system sustainable approach, integrating all forces on the land – animal, vegetable, mineral, astral/etheric) Melinda’s soil has improved, crop health has increased, reduced inputs and pest controls are used, and irrigation needs have been lowered by 2/3. For twenty years she has been harvesting, processing, storing and selling produce to the Taos community, as well as teaching this Biodynamic method around the world.
Seeds Are Our Past, Present and Future presented by Addelina Lucero
Addelina will talk about the importance of saving seeds as an act of revolution and the necessity to continue our pathway of sustainable life and to keep our connections to Mother Earth and our ancestors. Seeds are our grandparents, our parents, our children, our grandchildren, and future generations. We must take care of them.
- Addelina’s Bio – SLV Local Foods Coalition – Addelina Lucero (Taos Pueblo/Yaqui/Chicana) is a mother, grandmother, traditional pueblo farmer, a seed keeper, educator, and a community food systems advocate.
She has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of New Mexico in Native American Studies and a minor in Political Science. Addelina has been working with Indigenous community food systems and food sovereignty for over 10 years now on the local and national levels. She has written curricula and created education programs for regenerative farming/agriculture, greenhouse technologies and social studies programs from an Indigenous perspective for 10 years. Addelina is the owner of Dancing Butterfly Naturals. She is a creator of natural and organic products and medicines that focus on her Pueblo roots, utilizing ingredients from her home and from other Indigenous sources. Addelina is passionate about sustainability, her connection to plant relatives, her family, her community, and she is committed to being the change she wants to see in this world.
“Don’t just talk about it, Be about it!” – Addelina
Optimizing diversity on Small Farms presented by Chris Pieper
In his talk, Chris will cover the basics of starting and maintaining small-scale and diversified farms. Some of the topics we will address include:
- How to effectively use no-till in the garden using diverse cover crop rotations
- Incorporating livestock
- Wood chip gardens
- Creating structural diversity and utilizing microclimates on the farm
- The concept of farm as ecosystem and rehydrating our land through regenerative land stewardship
- Chris’s Bio – Chris and his wife Elena have been farming on just 2 acres in Taos County, NM for nearly 2 decades. They use regenerative agriculture as a way to restore soil health, support natural biodiversity, and help the soil retain moisture. Chris employs his goats, chickens, geese, kitchen scraps and wood chips to build soil and increase biodiversity in the garden. They also own an outdoor gear store in downtown Taos, Mudd N Flood.
Food Sovereignty in the Rural SW presented by Micah Roseberry
- Micah’s Bio – AIRE | Growing Community Now – Micah Roseberry has been an organic farmer and educator for over 25 years. Four years ago, while on a teaching assignment in Mexico, Micah saw that the future of food sovereignty, the health of the environment and the future of the children were deeply intertwined. After returning to the United States, she started the Farmhouse Café and Bakery as well as the Farmhouse School Lunch program with the intention of building a stronger local farming network that supports the bright potential of students by feeding them vital local foods.
Colorado Journalist Kathy Bedell owns The Great Pumpkin, a media company located in Leadville, Colorado that publishes Leadville Today and Saguache Today. She may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.