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Hopi Heirloom Seed Initiative

Hopi seeds are heirloom seeds. Being immersed in agriculture for a thousands years, Hopi has developed a rich diversity of seeds.

As with many other indigenous communities, the struggle to protect

the diversity of our seeds is at an all time high. We educate our community on all levels of seed protection so that we can continue our agricultural practices for future generations.

''The Hopi people sustain the corn and the corn sustains Hopi.''


Has been cultivated on the Colorado Plateau for centuries.

The same seeds that have nourished our elders will continue to nourish future generations. Coupled with sophisticated dryland

practices and proper selection, Hopi seeds have developed unique traits to thrive in the desert. It is critical to the Hopi that their long history of desert farming embedded in the genetics of their seed remains pure and within the care of the Hopi people. 

A Hopi Seed

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The Importance of Seed Saving

 It is a gift to help us survive in this world and one that we must learn to protect. It is what will sustain us through our farming practices, our culture, our traditions, our way of life and future. Modern farming technology (i.e. fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, machinery) threatens the purity of Hopi Heirloom Seeds and Hopi traditional farming practices. Hopi farming is in a decline. Less than 1/3 of Hopi said they still farmed or gardened and only 1 out of 4 Hopis consume a significant amount of local food.

A GMO (genetically modified organism) is the result of a

laboratory process of taking genes from one type and

inserting them into another in an attempt to obtain a desired

trait or characteristic. These modified plants require certain chemical herbicides, pesticides, and fertilizers to help them grow. GMO is a product of man made intentional GE (genetic engineering) but other unintentional risks can occur when other non-Hopi seeds are planted near Hopi field areas.

What Is A GMO?

        "It is in our stories that blue corn, beans, and squash were the three main food crops for Hopi. Hopi developed other varieties from these three over hundreds of years through Hopi knowledge"

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