Remember when Santa Fe-based organic seed/food company Seeds of Change got bought out by behemoth Mars, Inc? And everyone said it was just a cynical green-washing PR ploy? And they were right, because Mars shut the farm down and moved operations completely out of state, but retained the company’s made-from-scratch brand and feel-good history for itself?
You can buy that farm. It’s on 14 acres in El Guique, just north of Española. The property comes with a residence, two green houses, a 5,000 square-foot processing building and an apple orchard. And it’s certified organic.
Sarah Montgomery holds an ear of corn in each hand.
"These look like two ears of white corn to most people," she says. "But they're totally different."
Montgomery is the founder and director of The Garden’s Edge, a nonprofit that promotes sustainable agriculture within the state and in Guatemala. A central piece of that puzzle is preserving an ancient farming technique that's endangered: seed saving.
The corn in her left hand is Hopi, she explains, a dry land variety from New Mexico. "Farmers plant it far underground to get the moisture, and the seed is adapted to getting rained on only a few times a year." The other ear is Guatemalan. It's the Hopi corn's opposite, she explains, which is eager to soak up tropical rains and moisture. "Each one is adapted to its particular bioregion."