Sunday, September 30, 2007

Santa Fe

Just four days into our stay in Santa Fe, we have found the gift of family and friends so welcoming and extensive we have seized to research the town as intimately as we often do upon our arrivals in a new place. We have sunk our teeth into learning from the locals over daily conversations, afternoons and dinners brimming with the knowledge of local plants, food, local culture, art, wildlife. entomology,archaeology and seasonal occurrences. The momentum of our travels has reached a peak.

With juniper berries drying in the back of the car window, we have a full collection of hollyhock seeds in four different colors. Mesquite seeds were dissected and retrieved as were the loofah pods that were generously and informatively handed out as a local product in Tuscon. We stayed in the north south side of town and Tug, the Galisteo St. neighbor helped us track down the state flower yucca seeds. Wild amaranth was billowing from the sidewalks. Within the passing of a entire day, the seeds being collected and drying in the center console of our vehicle were carefully dried, extracted and catalogued for future use.

My uncle invited us to view the inner workings of the small yet profitable Aroma coffee roasters, sharing the basics and master minding of organic and fair trade roasting.

The Santa Fe Farmers Market was so large we needed the assistance of a few new friends to show us the recommended route. There was an overflow of local farms. We spent the entire morning, finding out about turkey eggs, and quill feather pen carvings, and finding Jerusalem artichokes, and freshly roasted green chili. We found 6 different kinds of potatoes, the cheapest and freshest baby kale and arugula, one stalk of millet grain,and onions marked with the remnants of organic soil.

Dinner invites brought warmth and welcome to the food before us. My first attempt at eating fresh buffalo tacos, and the fine presentation and rolling of homemade egg pasta, prepared in the traditional rolling method from the western Italian hills. Fried lemons and orange peels, olives and onions generously and tastefully provided us with a mere 2 pints of the best smelling oil for our car. The grain of the south arrived in two dishes of blue corn polenta, with freshly harvested mushrooms, and blue corn flour pound cake. We were excited to share our project with the array of new friends and excited to find out that the same research farm we are attending this Monday is where most of the produce arrived from and mutual friends of many.

The kindness, interest in out project and resourcing that has taken place here is Santa Fe has made our stop here magical.

We head out to the seeds of change research farm, tomorrow. Stay tuned.