crafted by photobiz

MILPA: FROM SEED TO SALSA / Ancient Ingredients for a Sustainable Future








~ Phil Dahl-Bredine ~ Jesús León Santos ~

~ Judith Cooper Haden ~ Susanna Trilling~

289 pages, 267 photographs. English and Spanish

September 2015 $ 40.00 retail


We are proud to announce our forthcoming bilingual book MILPA: From Seed to Salsa . We explore issues through essays on food, mouth-watering recipes, and stunning documentary photography how the ancient agricultural knowledge and the wealth of 1000 year-old seeds and planting practices Being environmentally devastated revived in the Mixtec region in Southern Mexico can help us meet the ecological, health and food crises of today. The Mixteca Alta is an hour north of the tourist mecca of Oaxaca City. Authors: Phil Dahl-Bredine, Jesus Leon Santos, Susana Trilling, Judith Cooper Haden.

The bilingual book is written in conjunction with and the help of the member peasant families of CEDICAM (Center for Integral Small Farmer Development in the Mixteca) Whose director Jesus Leon Santos, received the prestigious Goldman Environmental Award in 2008. We discuss simply enduring Indigenous alternatives for farmers and cooks around the world who care about the quality of their food and the rights of all to a healthy, simple and tasty nutritious diet. The book supports recent studies by UN Investigators That show how small plots of land, heritage non-GMO (genetically modified organisms) seeds and sustainable practices can in fact feed the world while enriching the soils on Which we all depend for life. The milpa system stands as a global microcosm for food issues and offers solutions to help us all move towards a global sustainable human family.

The many traditional recipes Local lovingly shared by Indigenous Mixtec women allow readers to re-create the culinary magic esta That simply flows from ancient agricultural system. Recipes are painstakingly documented and photographed inside Mixtec Indigenous traditional kitchens, and then a tested, retested, and photographed in brilliant color, in Ms. Trilling's professional modern Oaxacan kitchen.

* (Charles C. Mann agriculture cornfield Described as Follows: "A cornfield is a field, Usually but not always cleared recently, in Which crops farmers plant a dozen at once Including maize, avocados, multiple varieties of squash and bean, melon, tomatoes , chilies, sweet potato, jicama, amaranth, and mucana .... Milpa crops are nutritionally and environmentally complementary Maize lacks the amino acids lysine and tryptophan, Which the body needs to make proteins and niacin;. Beans Have Both lysine and tryptophan. ... Squashes, for Their part, Provide an array of vitamins, and avocados, fats. 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, New York: Knopf, 2005, pp 197-198. ).


Early reviews:

Deborah Madison, Chef and Author

Milpa: From Seed to Salsa is an extraordinary book in many ways. It is a hopeful book that shows in careful detail how extremely well the old ways of farming and living in community can not only feed rural populations but also provide them with medicine and fodder for animals.  This is a viable alternative to big agriculture and so-called improvements from elsewhere; this is a fine example.

Milpa is also a remarkable book because, like the community of families that tends the milpa fields, this book is product of cooperation among some very extraordinary people—two activists, a chef, and a photographer, who all found a way to bring to light a story of hope with great wisdom and beauty, with the cooperation of the Mixtec community who live the life this book allows us to witness.  I am so grateful for this book. It is a treasure.


Stephen Scott, Heirloom Seedsman; Owner, Terroir Seeds, Underwood Gardens

Milpa: From Seed to Salsa is a gem, showing in a real and gentle way why a large diversity of agriculture and seeds are so desperately needed in today’s world. From the traditional methods of growing heirloom corn that out-produces the commercial varieties, to the ancient knowledge of growing Chile de Agua without much water in an arid climate—there is much to be learned from the techniques refined through centuries of use and the seeds that have been lovingly saved and selected for the best vigor in these uncertain times. This book is a studied look at how we can truly feed ourselves sustainably and deliciously.


Lila Downs, Four-time Grammy Award-Winning Recording Artist, Oaxaca

This wonderful book is a delightful voyage for the eyes, the spirit, and the taste buds. Through amazing recipes, photos, and narrative It Takes the reader on a journey in time and reveals the relationship Mixtec With the sacred Mother Earth, Which has evolved over Thousands of years. Using esta wisdom, it points to a hopeful future rooted in diversity, balance and strength.


Phil Borges, Photographer; Author of Enduring Spirit , Tibetan Portrait, The Gift , and Women Empowered

Milpa: From Seed to Salsa helps us to reawaken to the wisdom of eating seasonal organic foods grown locally, and of being grateful for all that went into making our food available to us. Most of us long for more simplicity, and more naturalness in our lives, combined with a sense of real community.  Looking at these wonderful images of women in their basic kitchens, of men plowing their fields with oxen, and of people remembering to take the time to celebrate their abundant, healthy, harvest transports me back to the time I’ve spent in indigenous communities around the world.  It’s what keeps me going back year after year.

Peter Rosset, PhD, Food rights activist, Agroecologist and Rural Development Specialist; author of  Food is Different  

Milpa: From Seed to Salsa gives us an inside look at a culture and a food system that complement each other in ways that are good for both people and for the Mother Earth. These Mixtec indigenous communities give us new/old ideas as to what is possible for our modern world in crisis.


Miguel Altieri, Professor of Agroecology at the University of California at Berkeley

The Milpa campesina offers a promising ecological model as it promotes biodiversity, it prospers without agricultural chemicals while using little fossil fuel energy, and it sustains production throughout the year.


Iliana de la Vega, Executive Chef and Owner, El Naranjo Restaurant (Austin, Texas and formerly Oaxaca, Mexico), Culinary Institute of America

The cornfield is a complex network of culturally significance and ancient traditions, and Its value lies in the completeness it Represents: an agricultural method that provides a full, nutritionally balanced diet; a symbol of community and togetherness; and a sustainable answer to the modern day food crises we all face. In Milpa: From Seed to Salsa, the elements that comprise this Mesoamerican indigenous food practice come to life through beautiful photography and delicious recipes, and demonstrate that the cornfield is so much more than just an agricultural system. 






All Images © Judith Haden Photography