MAYER – Some Indigenous farmers are trying to bring traditional food back to their communities.
Michael Kotutwa Johnson, a farmer from the Hopi Tribe, is focusing on bringing Hopi corn back to the dining table – not only for the health benefits but also to connect his people to their culture.
Johnson, who also is a faculty member at the University of Arizona’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment, refers to corn as “our mother.”
“Corn represents our mother, and we need to take care of her so she can take care of us,” Johnson said. “That’s one of the main reasons I do what I do – because I want to give back to the community more than I give back to myself.”
His mission is to grow thousands of ears of corn at Arcosanti, an experimental town in Mayer, about 70 miles north of metro Phoenix, and then make it accessible to the Hopi Tribe.