For those of us who read of protected seed repositories in remote areas of Norway with anxious concerns about global warming, Moray may be the top stop in the Sacred Valley Tour. Yes, even more compelling than Machu Picchu!
Those prescient Incas…
Moray- Inca Bioengineering Station
Moray was the Inca’s bio-engineering laboratory. Unlike the Monsantos of today whose bio-engineering projects eye proprietary seed profits, the Inca were instead pre-occupied with feeding the people in their ever expanding empire. Consider that this empire reached from top to bottom of South America, from sea level to high altitudes where flora has to adapt to oxygen scarcity as humans do, from deserts to jungle, and more.
To find out which potatoes grew best in which climates—or corn or grains, etc.--- the Inca’s created Moray. You arrive and see before you three areas of concentric circles with terraces at different heights. These terraces vary in their exposure to winds, temperatures, moisture/water. They were precisely engineered micro-climates which could be tested for how well or poorly they sustained different varieties of vegetables.
At Moray you are able to walk paths winding a bit up and down through these agricultural terrace laboratories. Then, back in the San Pedro Market of Cuzco be prepared to appreciate anew that you are not seeing one thing called potato, but rather 100+ through the year. Similarly, there is not one thing called corn/maiz.
Considering this Moray marvel, you too might walk away thinking that Mendel and Monsanto were actually quite a bit late to the dance.