Turning Toward the Taproot: Small, yet mighty indigenous seeds are restoring pueblo culture and health

Roxanne Swentzell’s kitchen does not have a refrigerator. Instead, books and large glass jars line wooden shelves. The jars are filled with dried beans, many varieties of corn, dried wild spinach, currants, pumpkin seeds, and grasshopper flour.

A bicycle flour grinder sits in the center of the large, open kitchen. Its chain connects to the mill’s flywheel that, once in motion, grinds corn or other grain. The mill rests on a small kitchen island, the hopper heaped with freshly ground cornmeal. Rows of small mason jars crowd the rest of the island, popping periodically as the jars seal.