The ecological center of San Juan Capistrano takes a look at corn

SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO, CA – We know a few things about corn: It’s usually yellow, it’s great fire-roasted, and it’s hard to digest in its natural form. Well, the Ecological Center of San Juan Capistrano wishes to offer community members the chance to learn even more about this historically rich culture.

The San Juan Capistrano Ecological Center will offer residents a deep dive into the history and variations of corn.

© Gonzalo Arroyo Moreno / Getty Images File Photo 2014
The San Juan Capistrano Ecological Center will offer residents a deep dive into the history and variations of corn.

The Ecological Center organized a series of workshop dates for TASTE: Milpa, giving residents the chance not only to learn about the variations and history of corn, but also to learn how to grind corn into masa. to make fresh tortillas.

According to a statement released Thursday by the Ecology Center, TASTE: Milpa is “dedicated to the many unique and beautiful varieties of corn grown on the farm.”

During the workshop, residents will learn how to use traditional tools and techniques for making fresh, hand-pressed corn tortillas. The corn will be ground into a masa, mixed with water and salt, decorated with edible flowers before being pressed and baked into tortillas for everyone to enjoy. They will also learn about milpa, which is the traditional cropping system of growing corn.

According to the Ecology Center website, the history of corn began when humans began to cultivate Californian land.

“These plants do more than nourish our bodies. They provide a model for the growth of strong crops and healthy communities,” the website said. “By aligning our village life with the patterns of nature – structure, nourishment, protection – we can maintain the legacy of our ancestors to ensure an abundant future for all.”

The first TASTE: Milpa date is set for October 23, with workshop dates running through November. To claim your place for the first workshop, the Ecological Center asks you to register via its website.

If you want to familiarize yourself with the milpa ahead of time, the Ecological Center suggests you follow a homemade tortilla recipe written by their award-winning James Beard resident chef, Tim Byres.

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