Well, I arrived too late for the almond pastries, but the market was bustling with activists who had plenty of ideas left. It was interesting to attend the chili-tasting booth set up by Isaura Andaluz, an activist concerned with protecting NM farmers from the greedy grasp of the GE (genetically engineered) food giant Monsanto. Isaura has been working ten years with the SaveNMseeds group (www.savenmseeds.org
) hoping the legislature and the voters of NM can tune in soon enough to keep local chile farmers in business. She is also involved with c4puertas.org, another food shed protection group. Check out these sites and check your opinions in with your reps. Isaura promised to e-mail me with the dates for the Las Cruces meeting with local politicos whose voices may help rein Monsanto in. Four of our biggest name brand chile growers have been lured into Monsanto's camp already, it appears. Isaura is hoping to drum up legislation towards the protection of small farmers who want to keep their products Monsanto-free, as in produce and keep their own seeds and be free from Monsanto lawsuits. This issue is well worth looking into.
A little further down the winding path, the Land Arts students from UNM were handing out food shed postcards decorated with recipes from local farmers. Amazingly, these UNM students are currently spending two months "On the Road" sampling life in the food shed, tallying the numbers of shoppers at growers' markets all over the state, and drawing portraits of as many who will sit still for one. The students are camping out as they go and eating only from the markets' offerings. As they tally and talk and draw portraits, they are earning credits from UNM in this living, edible, classroom of Land Art and Food Shed combined. Bethany, a local muscian from the group The Albuquerque Boys Choir (all girls and fabulous) drew my portrait and mentioned that her trio will be playing at Kosmos Sept 11, a week from Saturday. The two months on the road doing food shed research has bitten into the groups' playing gigs, but it seems a worthy endeavor and an exotic course to take. Kudos to UNM for tossing students out of the classroom and into the fray of a NM summer. What an adventure!