October 8, 2019

Amaranth Abundance

Amaranth Abundance
Chelsea Call
Anton Chico
September 30th, 2019

There is magic present in fall. The plant world communicates this transition through color. As a visual artist I find this fascinating. A perennial plant that dances brightly in the last light of the day, amaranth is a superfood in the family of grains. While at the farm in Anton Chico I spent time watching the amaranth flowers change, little pops of black emerging, signaling harvest time. With the other land arts kin I rubbed the amaranth flower together between my palms, black seeds and flower bits then fell onto the tarp beneath me.

A meditation occurred between my palms, as I rubbed the amaranth flowers together and listened to Jen share about her work with seed sovereignty. I learned that amaranth was once in abundance in the Southwest, before colonization. Amaranth was, and still is, a sacred plant to indigenous peoples and was incorporated into many rituals. Due to Christian conversion the plant was viewed as a threat and often burned in mass. In an effort to decolonization and reclamation, amaranth is reemerging in farms across the Southwest. While at the Albuquerque Museum for the Encuentro de Semillas // Gathering of Seeds event I attended an Amaranth Harvest where I learned a nourishing amaranth seed recipe from some Guatemalan women. I am grateful for my time connecting with this plant and look forward integrating amaranth’s nutrition into my diet. 

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