Worldwide Travelers: Transferring Crops from Similar Climates

By: Andrew Pick-Roth

When planting in the desert, getting your crop to thrive isn't always a guarantee, let alone getting it to survive. Plants that make their home here have adapted to the dry seasons and hot summer days and as such require less effort to keep growing when compared to un-acclimated crops. However, other arid deserts exist around the world with a variety of plants that will also grow well in New Mexico.


One of these similar environments is found in Kazakhstan, a country whose southern border is lined with arid shrublands. The landscape of areas like the Kazakh Desert would look very familiar to those living in New Mexico.


We planted several crops from this area in the DOT Garden, in the hopes that their traits that helped them survive elsewhere, like the ability to conserve water, will help them thrive in New Mexico as well. One of these plants is the Kazakhstan eggplant, which is already growing happily in our meadow beds.

When adopting crops from other areas, it is also worth looking into what sorts of techniques the farmers from these similar areas may have employed that you can adopt as well. New ways of growing our own crops may prove fruitful as well!


  1. Ellen Sherwood says:

    Great writing! What long way those seeds have come. Amazing to think that once they were once just seeds. I’m so glad a nice young man could make them thrive like God intended. You know it was Euripides who said. “Friends show their love in times of trouble, not in happiness.” It looks like you really did that for these young organisms. Reminds me of what Walt Whitman said, “I celebrate myself, and sing myself.” these young growing friends will be able to do this for a lifetime and maybe more. Great work! Love from Minnesota. (Proverbs 31:25)

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