Town by town, I looked for these seeds, studying where they might be located. I started driving to many states in Mexico trying to find them, but there were none. It was so disappointing. One by one, I had people telling me that their grandparents planted them, but not anymore, and they lost the seeds awhile ago… I visited a very old lady who recalled planting them herself, but there was a big frost many years ago that caused her to lose all her seeds. After that, she started buying tortillas.
That’s Rafael Mier on maize in Mexico. But in how many places around the world, and for how many crops, is something similar happening? Perhaps the worst thing about genetic erosion is that we don’t know what we don’t know. But then again, maybe it doesn’t matter, if there are people out there like Rafael doing something about it.
…he was eventually able to find the popcorn seed he needed from a farmer in Mexico state—after planting, it’ll be part of his 2017 personal harvest as well as the first harvest of this variety in 60 years, Mier believes.