Hope for a Beleaguered Planet....

Our book Milpa: From Seed to Salsa - Ancient Ingredients for a Sustainable Future explores through a blend of essays, recipes and documentary photography how the ancient agricultural knowledge and the wealth of 1000 year-old seeds and planting practices still in use among the Mixtec peoples of southern Mexico can help us to meet the ecological and food crises of today.

The essays, written in conjunction with campesino farmers, serve as a warning about the complicated dangerous effects inherent in the rapidly expanding distribution of GMO (genetically modified organism) seeds in Mexico, the birthplace of corn. Our documentary cookbook discusses alternatives for campesino farmers across the world and gardeners and consumers who care about food safety. Using the example of the Milpa planting system in the Mixteca Alta region of Southern Mexico just north of Oazaxa City, the book supports recent studies by UN investigators that show that small plots of land, heritage seeds and sustainable practices can in fact feed the world while enriching the soils on which we all depend for life…….

Milpa contains the traditional recipes lovingly shared by the local indigenous Mixtec women, allowing readers to re-create the culinary magic that flows from this ancient agricultural system. Recipes are painstakingly tested and photographed in traditional indigenous kitchens as well as in a professional modern test kitchen. Please purchase the book, below.....

All Rights Reserved: © Phil-Dahl Bredine, © Kathy Dahl-Bredine © Judith Cooper Haden Photography, © Susana Trilling SOMH.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

MILPA: From Seed to Salsa, September 2015

More Advance Praise for

Ancient Ingredients for a Sustainable Future

Please send orders or questions to:

Early reviews:

Deborah Madison, Chef and Author,  James Beard Award Winner
@Francisco Toledo
Milpa: From Seed to Salsa is an extraordinary book in many ways. It is a hopeful book that shows in careful detail how extremely well the old ways of farming and living in community can not only feed rural populations but also provide them with medicine and fodder for animals.  This is a viable alternative to big agriculture and so-called improvements from elsewhere; this is a fine example. Milpa is also a remarkable book because, like the community of families that tends the milpa fields, this book is product of cooperation among some very extraordinary people—two activists, a chef, and a photographer, who all found a way to bring to light a story of hope with great wisdom and beauty, with the cooperation of the Mixtec community who live the life this book allows us to witness.  I am so grateful for this book. It is a treasure.
Stephen Scott, Heirloom Seedsman; Owner, Terroir Seeds, Underwood Gardens

Milpa: From Seed to Salsa is a gem, showing in a real and gentle way why a large diversity of agriculture and seeds are so desperately needed in today’s world. From the traditional methods of growing heirloom corn that out-produces the commercial varieties, to the ancient knowledge of growing Chile de Agua without much water in an arid climate—there is much to be learned from the techniques refined through centuries of use and the seeds that have been lovingly saved and selected for the best vigor in these uncertain times. This book is a studied look at how we can truly feed ourselves sustainably and deliciously.

Lila Downs, Four-time Grammy Award-Winning Recording Artist, Oaxaca
This wonderful book is a delightful voyage for the eyes, the spirit, and the taste buds. Through amazing recipes, photos, and narrative it takes the reader on a journey in time and reveals the relationship Mixtec with the sacred Mother Earth which has evolved over thousands of years. Using this wisdom, it points to a hopeful future rooted in diversity, balance and strength.

 Phil Borges, PhotographerAuthor of Enduring Spirit, Tibetan Portrait, The Gift , and Women Empowered
Milpa: From Seed to Salsa helps us to reawaken to the wisdom of eating seasonal locally grown organic foods, and of being grateful for all that went into making our food available to us. Most of us long for more simplicity, and more naturalness in our lives, combined with a sense of true community. Looking at these wonderful images of women in their basic kitchens, of men plowing fields with their oxen, and of people remembering to take the time to celebrate their abundant, healthy, harvest transports me back to the time I've spent in indigenous communities around the world. It's what keeps me going back year after year.

Peter Rosset, PhD, Food rights activist, Agroecologist and Rural Development Specialist; Author of  Food is Different  
Milpa: From Seed to Salsa gives us an inside look at a culture and a food system that complement each other in ways that are good for both people and for the Mother Earth. These Mixtec indigenous communities give us both "new and old" ideas as to what is possible for our modern world in crisis. 

Miguel Altieri, Professor of Agroecology at the University of California at Berkeley
Augustín, in his milpa
The Milpa campesina offers a promising ecological model as it promotes biodiversity, it prospers without agricultural chemicals while using little fossil fuel energy, and it sustains production throughout the year.

Iliana de la Vega, Executive Chef and Owner, El Naranjo Restaurant (Austin, Texas and formerly Oaxaca, Mexico), Culinary Institute of America
Milpa is a network of cultural meanings and ancient traditions, and its value lies in the complexity involved: as a method that provides a complete and balanced diet; as a symbol of union and community; and as a sustainable solution to the food crisis that we face in modern times. In Milpa: From Seed to Salsa, the elements of this Mesoamerican indigenous practice come to life in beautiful pictures and recipes stating that our corn is much more than an agricultural system.