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$1,010 pledged of $5,000 goal
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$1,010 pledged of $5,000 goal
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About this project

 Maize spread into South America around 6200-5800 BC, and into Peru specifically between 5700-5200 BC. Here, at the hands of the native peoples it was selected, perfected, and highly respected. 300 identified maize races exist in South America and over half call Peru home. 

A film about one of the last places on earth where biodiversity is maintained and generated - see the traditions and incredible seeds of Cusco, Peru.

Travel with us as we spend 10 days in Cusco, Peru - South America's Corn Capital. We will be staying with local Quechua families, interviewing farmers, and documenting the incredible diversity of seeds we will find while scouting the markets to locate and bring back seeds to share and adapt in North America. We will see how potatoes, corn, lima beans, common beans, squash and peppers are grown, harvested, and used in the local cuisine, documenting the stories and traditions that date back to the Incan Empire. One of the globe's lasts strongholds of diversity lies in Peru, where the culture is rich in local varietal diversity. In a world where our global staple crops - beans, potatoes, tomatoes, and maize - are controlled by GMO corporations and their genetic diversity is nearly wiped out, we rely on the last remaining paradises of seed diversity to help us return from the brink. 

                                                                                  - Stephen Smith

  From a wild grass called Teosinte we received corn through the generational work of the native Mexican peoples around 7000 BC. Popcorn, flint, dent, sweet, flour, and the amazing pod corn - all vary and hold amazing beauty.

Come explore the amazing world of corn in Stephen Smith's first book: Maize: Roots, Shoots, and Moccasin Boots - how modern corn came to be, why and how the Inca mummified their citizens and held bloodlettings, the importance of our genetic diversity, how to properly and successfully grow a crop of corn, and some fo the most amazing landraces of corn the world. Learn where it all began, how it happened and when, as well as the secrets and production of the often scary day length sensitive maize from South America. A journey, starting into maize's roots, growing into the shoots of civilization, and even the moccasin boots of the native peoples of the Americas that shaped to crop into the 4000+ landraces we have today.

 9000 years of history is carried by a global crop that has fed billions and calls Mexico its original home. Corn, also called maize, became a root of life for civilizations across the Americas where the highest diversity occurs. 

From teosinte to the popcorns, dents, flints, and sweets, join Stephen Smith in Maize: Root of Life as he carries us through the beginnings of corn, how it became centered as a root to civilizations, it's cultivation, and the production of some of the rarest and most stunning day length sensitive corn the world has ever seen-all non-GMO, all natural, and not as difficult to adapt as many believe it to be. Modeled after Matt Powers' Permaculture Gardening course, it is an 8 week group discussion-based course with weekly videos & LIVE Q&A in the class' Facebook group. Learn everything & ask everything you've ever wanted to know about Maize!

Peru: Cradle of Diversity is Stephen Smith's vision and inspiration that he brought to Matt Powers to help facilitate and bring to life. Matt is an experienced educator, author, videographer, and plant breeder - he is responsible for adapting Pisscorunto & Chuspi to North America. Matt also has years of teaching teachers and designing curriculum - he's helping Stephen organize and build his online course and self-publish his first book. Together they are working to bring diversity back from the brink, educate the world to the wonder that is still available, and to spread a new culture of seed saving and plant breeding and adapting. 

The Seed Sampler

A very rare and unique opportunity for gardeners and enthusiasts to be able to hold in their hands and plant in their gardens some of the most amazing corn and beans the world has ever seen. Purchase the largest maize in the world and some of the most colorful beans found globally brought back by Stephen Smith and his father from Peru and grown in a 'two-sisters' garden. With the online course and ebook, gardeners will have the ability to grow these day-length seeds and understand their secret workings and begin their own adaptation projects to aid in the preservation of global seed diversity.

Risks and challenges

Permits - If one does not have the correct permits for certain seed from certain countries, transporting foreign seed into the United States can be a very serious mistake.

Luckily, Stephen's parents were seed breeders and geneticists that traveled internationally for over 20 years, and they know what permits are needed. Both Stephen and his father have all appropriate permits from the USDA. They are ready to return with some amazing seeds to spread diversity with!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    Online Screening

    Watch Peru: Cradle of Diversity during a special online week-long screening.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    Online Screening + eBook

    - Maize: Roots, Shoots, Moccasin Boots - eBook
    - Watch Peru: Cradle of Diversity during a special online week-long screening.

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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    The Film + eBook

    - Digital copy of Peru: Cradle of Diversity
    - Maize: Roots, Shoots, Moccasin Boots - eBook

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    The Film + The eBook + The Course

    - Enroll in Maize: Root of Life - the Online Course
    (9/17)
    - Digital copy of Peru: Cradle of Diversity (6/17)
    - Maize: Roots, Shoots, Moccasin Boots - eBook
    (6/17)

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The Film+eBook+Course+SeedSampler

    - Seed Sampler of Rare Peruvian Beans & Corn (6/17)
    - Enroll in Maize: Root of Life - the Online Course
    (9/17)
    - Digital copy of Peru: Cradle of Diversity (6/17)
    - Maize: Roots, Shoots, Moccasin Boots - eBook
    (6/17)

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    Ships to Only United States
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Funding period

- (30 days)