Dr. Gary Paul Nabhan co-founded Native Seeds/SEARCH (www.nativeseeds.org), a non-profit dedicated to conserving and promoting arid-adapted crops throughout the US and northwestern Mexico. I’ve been buying precious, endangered heirlooms from this organization for twenty years, which was my introduction to the work of Gary Paul.
It wasn’t long before I learned that he had authored a whole host of books, including Enduring Seeds: Native American Agriculture and Wild Plant Conservation. His descriptions of how the plants were used in the everyday life of the ancient people, breathed life into the inanimate seeds in my hand and enabled the little gems to come alive and whisper long-forgotten secrets in my ears. Gary Paul inspired the images I still see of Native fields stretching as far as the eye can see-an abundance of food grown by plants who knew how to live in the hot, dry, alkaline desert. And a farmer, who knew how to sow the seeds, catch the water, sing to the plants, harvest the crop, and save the seeds.
In addition to conservation of Native American heirlooms, Dr. Nabhan is known internationally as a food and farm activist and for promoting the local food movement. (Find out more at www.GaryNabhan.com).
I’m excited, because my husband and I have obtained two treasured tickets to see Gary Paul speak on January 12. His lecture will cover the challenges and opportunities for the producers growing for local markets. I thought I might take some copies of his books, hoping for a signature. Then again, mine have been read and re-read to the point of being tattered…What to do?