Hopi Blue corn tassels drying in the field at Tierra Vegetables Farm, Santa Rosa, CA.

Hopi Blue corn tassels drying in the field at Tierra Vegetables Farm, Santa Rosa, CA.

This project began in 2005 as a study of Incan farming methods and has morphed into a serendipitous investigation of California farming, native plants, and agriculture in the developing world with the aim of providing practical advice (and inspiration) to modern farmers.

In the most densely populated state in the US, land use is fiercely contested, making it a unique laboratory for exploring the borders between human and indigenous land use. We seek answers to questions about native, urban and agricultural space: making videos about treks hunting down trillium plants just outside of San Francisco, growing experimental bean seeds with the help of Tierra Vegetables, and visiting local food heroes to interview them about their work.

In the Andes farmers have been raising crops on extensive sets of terracesĀ for hundreds of years. These andenes modify steep cactus-covered slopes into arable land, prevent erosion and make the most of what rain comes along. While malnutrition and poverty are rampant, in a place where only 5% of the land is suitable for agriculture, thousands of hectares of andenes lie abandoned and unused. The Seedling Project is working to document and encourage sustainable farming methods as they are recorded, studied and developed by agronomists working with The Cusichaca Trust in Peru.

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