Yesterday we went on an escapade to the NMSU Sustainable Agriculture Science Center at Alcalde. We conquered narrow adobe wall lined roads (in a quite large van) to the entrance of the center. We made the turn to the center property saw breath taking views of a 1920s era adobe house backed by research fields and Black Mesa. The grape vines and tress – oh yea, I’m supposed to be writing about the seed bank. Right, back on track.
We went to the center because we heard they have seeds, free seeds and lots of them. Upon arriving, the agriculture specialist gave us a quick tour of the adobe house I just mentioned and we talked about the LAYFP on the walk to the shed aka the seed bank. The door swings open revealing boxes, sacs and trash cans full of seeds*. Seeds, glorious seeds. Seeds for the taking. We got a quick run down on where to find what seeds and the specialist asked us a small favor, to only take seeds we will use. He passed through the doorway and left us in seedland. It is seriously better than being a kid in FAO Schwartz in New York with no budget.
For the next hour, we sat on bags of seeds and sorted while our mouths watered thinking of the fresh veggies that will come of these seeds. We brought home seeds like Cinderella pumpkins, heirloom eggplant, Sesame Street tomato, Mississippi Purple Pea, Supai Red Corn, pinto beans, swiss chard, Sonora Chile, Gold Star Chile, spinach, mustard, Winter Thyme, Tarragon, carrots, Headmaster Lettuce, paprika, Oregano, butternut squash, spaghetti squash, Vates Curled Blue Kale, ghourds, Red Verona Chickory and more.
The center recommends you leave at least an hour to sort the seeds. Based on our experience, that’s a correct recommendation. If you choose to get seeds from the center, call the center to make sure someone will be available to help you when you get there. Don’t forget to take envelopes and pens to label your seeds.
*Seeds have to be tested each year for areas such as disease and seed purity. After the seeds are tested, they are brought to the center for people to take.