Proposed Project
Two Tarahumara communities will build seed banks and establish seed growout plots to replenish seed stores. Seed banks will be simple adobe structures managed by local Tarahumara leaders. The seed banks will provide long-term, sustaimable food security and enable Tarahumara communities to withstand future droughts and climatic changes.

Tarahumara communities will also plant orchards and repopulate goat herds. Goat husbandry not only has provided a traditional source of meat and milk, but goat manure is essetial for replenishing soil fertility.

In addition, Tarahumara communities will install rainwater storage reservoirs and gravity-fed springwater harvesting hose and irrigation, providing low-tech, long-term, sustainable water security.

At each seed bank location, agricultural experiments will be conducted using a variety of techniques, including no-till and medicine wheel plantings, different animal manures, fallowing and rotation, different inputs to adapt to climate, and the planting of drought-adapted seed varieties. Other experiments will be conducted on site to help farmers adapt to changing agricultural conditions and pests.

Each seed bank will provide heirloom varieties of corn, beans, squash, and other vegetables for Tarahumara communities of approximately 300 people. The seed banks will be located at the top and the bottom of the canyons to provide climate-specific, regionally adapted seed cultivars for Tarahumara communities.

Seed farms will grow drought-tolerant, regionally adapted varieties of corn, beans, and squash, plus greens and other vegetables. Perennial fruit trees will be planted on the seed farm. Goats will be free-range pastured and fenced nearby. Soil fertility will be maintained through crop rotation, cover crops, and manure from goat herds.

Goats will provide a source of milk, meat, and manure for each of the Tarahumara families. Two central herds will be established, and goats will be sold and given to local Tarahumara to expand the herd. Each recipient of goat will be required to received goat husbandry education and training.

Water from springs will be gravity fed to seed farms using plastic water hoses and stored in reservoirs on site.

Seeds will be kept in central community double-wall adobe storage facilities. Within the buildings, seed cultivars will be stored in solar-powered chest freezers if funding allows. Freezing will also help destroy pathogens like the bean weevil, which has plagued some crops. Seed banks will be managed by local leaders with oversight from Barefoot Seeds.

Seeds will be distributed annually at traditional running festivals, called rarajpari and ariweta, organized by local leaders with oversight from Barefoot Seeds.

After three years, seed banks should have sufficient quantities of stored seed and proven viability to be managed completely by local leaders. Once seed banks are sufficiently established, drought-resistant, regionally adapted seed cultivars will also be stored and replicated on site on small Tarahumara farms throughout the canyons.

1. Urique Valley: The valley-floor seed bank and farm will be located at El Rancho de Las Delicias, two kilometers south of the village of Urique on the Urique River. The 12.5-acre plot has been made available to Barefoot Seeds for growing out regionally adapted cultivars of corn, beans, and squash, as well as citrus trees and other perennials.

2. Porochi Highlands: The high-altitude seed bank and farm will be located on a 10-acre farm near the canyon rim. This 10-acre plot has been made available to Barefoot Seeds for growing rim-adapted varieties of corn, beans, squash, and other vegetables. At 4,000-5,000 feet, soil and climate are more conducive to apple trees and hardy fruit trees.

The Tarahumara are skilled in region-specific seed saving and storage techniques, and they already use plastic irrigation hose to gravity-feed water from high-elevation springs. Sanitation education will be required for all communities receiving water irrigation and storage supplies. Tools and training in the repair of water hose and seed saving techniques for each crop will also be provided by Barefoot Seeds. In addition, goat husbandry training will also be provided to families acquiring goats, and basic orchard management will be offered to communities to ensure the long-term health and sustenance of perennials.

Puro oro en estos deportistas campeones del 2009