Monday, November 19, 2018
This Thanksgiving thank the Indigenous Farmers
“Basket of Life”
by Toni Truesdale
The indigenous people of the Americas developed
Crops for their nutritional value, taste and durability; taking hundreds of Years of botanical experiments.
Developed were at least five hundred kinds of corn.
Varieties also of beans, squash. potatoes, chili and melons were cultivated.
Gardens, often under the harshest of circumstances, produced the foods That would eventually feed the world.
Stone was used as mulch, water directed and hoarded.
As the desert was hoed into waffle gardens, mists were used as irrigation
In the heights of Peruvian mountains; where hundreds of types of produce
Were developed in the experimental terraced gardens.
Ancient seeds of beans long thought extinct have
Been found in caches in the arid canyons of Cedar Mesa, and regrown.
The diversity of our food returns to importance;
At the cusp of the disappearance of many varieties of fruits and vegetables.
So important were the life-giving crops that many
Traditional Indigenous stories refer to them;
Sacred women who are the Three Sisters;
Corn, Bean and Squash of the Northeast;
Corn Maiden/Mother of the Southwest.
As in the Creation tale from Sky City, Acoma, a divine sister holds
A Basket of Life reminding us to preserve,
The rich diversity of our food for future generations.
copyright T. Truesdale 2010