Last fall, community members checked out over 600 packets of Kala Chana chickpeas (garbanzo beans) as part of our One Seed Pima County Program. One Seed provides an opportunity to share the experience of planting, growing, harvesting, and appreciating one specially chosen plant variety. At harvest time, gardeners are encouraged to drop off a small portion of their gathered seeds to become one with the harvests of other community members: to become One Seed Pima County.
We are checking in with all you gardeners out there - how are your seeds doing? We planted our Kala Chana seeds in September, thinking they would be ready to harvest in 100 days. We are a bit surprised that the plants have not flowered yet, but we are glad they are looking happy and healthy. We took our chances and did not cover them when there was a freeze, even though it is recommended that you cover your crops if there is a deep freeze.
The Kala Chana chickpea (garbanzo) is super food, high in protein and fiber, containing high daily doses of manganese and folate. Garbanzo beans are a “slow carb,” meaning they help control blood sugar levels. Unlike the traditional garbanzo bean, this variety is brown. We have sourced them from Terroir Seeds in Chino Valley, Arizona. Garbanzo beans are cultivated by many diverse cultures such as our Afghan, Hispanic, Indian, Kurdish, Nepalese, and Syrian neighbors.
One main objective of the One Seed Pima County is for the community to save seeds in order create a genetically diverse seed stock that is adapted to our desert climate. Seed saving is food security; helping to preserve the genetic biodiversity of our food crops by encouraging the planting of varieties (often heirlooms) that are not favored by commercial growers. Seed saving is culture; helping us preserve and share the foodways and stories of the communities who have passed down the seeds. Seed saving is community; encouraging us to share its bounty. Seed saving is resiliency; helping us create seed stock that is better adapted to our unique climate.
We'll keep you posted on our One Seed progress. In the meantime, you can drop us a line and tell us how your seeds are growing at firstname.lastname@example.org.