Jackfruit–good source of protein

A friend tried jackfruit and recommends it.


Here are some recipes: jackfruit crab cakes!


Where to buy jackfruit:  Whole Foods


I wouldn’t buy seeds from Amazon–Reviews show problems with germination–and think we probably couldn’t grow them here anyway.

Joyce Johns on Valencia County food deserts and what can be done

Regarding NM HB204:  Healthy Soil Act

I am seriously concerned about food scarcity for young people in Valencia County. As a long-time member of the community garden we have always promoted family gardening. However, many county families really don’t have the time and resources to grow even a little food in the summer. We have tried to support the East Valencia Urban Garden Project sponsored by VSWCD at Meadow Lake and El Cerro Mission, and those gardens are starting to supply some fresh food for the area residents.

New Mexico HB204, now in the legislature, would give that program a boost. If you followed the crowd-funding project sponsored by Laura Bittner from the County Extension Office, you would know that she only reached about 65% of her $15,500 goal to supply weekend food sacks to Century High School Students. I recently talked to Diana Good, the Valencia County State Health officer, and I was amazed to learn that the school lunch programs in the summer often rely on volunteers to deliver lunches to the “food deserts” in our county.

I have talked to Ron Moya in Adelino who is growing commercial organic vegetables on his small farm. HB204 would certainly help him get financing. And last, I have listened to Newt McCarty of the County Extension Office and Ron talk about building a food hub in our county so that locally grown food could be sold and distributed locally to community centers, schools and other agencies. We would have more locally-grown food available to our disadvantaged citizens.

The food we try to grow in our county will only be as good as the soil. Alfalfa and corn drastically deplete the nutrients in the soil so it is amended with chemicals, and then the crop is given to animals. Our county needs food for people locally grown without pesticides and herbicides.  Look at all the bare fields, abandoned plots, and over-grazed acreage along Hwy 47. There are methods now being used to bring back that soil . . . to grow food, but it takes support and training. HB204 could provide that.

Details of HB204 https://www.legiscan.com/NM/bill/HB204/2019


Joyce Johns, Valencia Community Gardens, outreach

Regarding HB204:  adapted from Jan. 24, 2019 email Joyce sent to State Representative Kelly Fajardo



Non-GMO and organic seeds

Ask seed companies if they have taken the Safe Seed Pledge and tested their stock for GMOs. Here’s a list.

Purchase, plant, and save seeds from heirloom varieties. We need to support Baker Creek Heirloom SeedsSeed Savers Exchange, and Clear Creek Heirloom Seeds and others that specialize in heirlooms and that are NOT owned by Monsanto or Seminis. The legacy of Seed Saver’s Exchange is to tell you how to collect and store seeds.

For more, go to https://deeprootsathome.com/4-ways-to-keep-monsanto-out-of-your-home-garden/?fbclid=IwAR3rkmJZXqA4AX6R4dqCri5rdtONRHNkP8kOxcuNviopKZAH-AxXEKGZe3A

Now here’s some good news!

I hope if HB204 passes, the advisory board takes note:  Costco is removing Roundup from shelves.  Now let’s pressure Home Depot and Lowe’s to do the same:

Home Depot – 1-800-466-3337
Lowe’s – 1-800-445-6937


Healthy Soil Act: Let Kelly Fajardo and Alonzo Baldonado know you support HB204.

Nathan P. Small 
Elizabeth “Liz” Stefanics


This bill establishes a voluntary program, but it’s heading in the right direction:  establishes an advisory board to help define “healthy soil” and appropriates five million dollars to educate growers.  Let’s hope the board includes a soil specialist educated about the harmful effects of GMOs, herbicides, and pesticides on beneficial microorganisms in the soil.

Email or call Kelly Fajardo and Alonzo Baldonado.  The bill heads to their Commerce and Economic Development Committee on Jan. 23:


kelly.fajardo@nmlegis.gov or kelly@kellyfajardo.com



alonzo.baldonado@nmlegis.gov or zobaldonado@gmail.com


Corporate takeover of seeds and organics

Seed Industry Structure

Consolidation has increased in the international seed industry in recent decades. This chart depicts changes in ownership involving major seed companies and their subsidiaries, primarily occurring from 1996 to 2013.1 The largest firms are represented as circles, with size proportional to global commercial seed market share.2 For an article providing more detail on these graphics see: Howard, Philip H. 2009. Visualizing Consolidation in the Global … Continue reading

Organic Processing Industry Structure

The development of the USDA National Organic Standard in place of differing state/regional standards was widely predicted to accelerate trends of increasing consolidation in this sector. The first draft of the standard was released in 1997; what changes in ownership and control have since occurred?Continue reading