Friday, August 14, 2015

Truth or Consequences with Seed

Charlotte Jared tending her corn circles in Truth or Consequences

Charlotte Jared contacted us back in the spring about partnering for some seed action in her town of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico. It took us a while to wrangle a date that worked amongst the chaos of spring and summer planting and SeedBroadcast tours already planned. But we agreed on the date of July 25 in partnership with the Sierra County Farmers Market, which was planned for that Saturday. It was going to be hot, hot, hot. But it would also be prime summer harvest season with farmers sharing their generosity through their labor of love and food.

Driving into Truth or Consequences (or TrC as it is locally known) does not seem extraordinary. It seemingly inhabits a barrenesque low desert shrub terrain until your car pops around the bluff and travels down into a small marshy shelf along the Rio Grande where hot mineral springs bubble up and share their healing waters with all manner of creatures.

Along this route I had my first encounter with TrC in a very local and global sense. As I was driving down the street a man sitting by the curbside with kayak on one side of him and inflatable raft on the other began pointing at the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station van driving past and laughing hysterically. Actually it was a little beyond hysterical… But this struck me as a moment not to be underestimated, a thoughtful, emotional, and critical expression, which we may all need to embrace in our times of solidarity, crisis, and seed. A lot of laughter and a little madness might go a long way.

During the Saturday Farmers’ Market a good number of vendors arrived to set up tables under the shade of big canopy trees in a local city park along the Rio Grande. The shade lifted the heat and cooled the park making it a pleasant space to hang out with friends and family. Unfortunately there was very little produce available. Three weeks earlier the entire region had been hit with an unseasonable hailstorm that damaged and destroyed much of the summer harvest. That which survived was random and in little quantity. So, making it to the market this Saturday were small peaches, green apples which had begun shedding from trees, a few squash and melons, figs, onions, and greens.

Small, delicious peaches from Truth or Consequences

One farmer came bearing seeds and a farm to sell. It was just too much for her. But she laughed heartily and rejoiced in the fact that some young energetic farmer could take over her life-long work and move it forward. This was not a failure. It was the cycle of generations passing on their seeds and responsibility to labor, love, and live in a blessing of these cycles. Again there was a lot of laughter and a release from the burdens of worry. The seeds must go on.

And then the seeds began arriving in baskets, bags, bundles, and pockets. Local gardeners and farmers arrived bringing their generosity and care for community and a grand ceremony for every kind of seed they could share. There were medicinal herbs, indigenous annuals, flowers, vegetables, and careful selections of resilient varieties that folks have been working with for years. This is the family of agri-Culture here, a combination of people, plants, land, and animals working together for the joy of life and the need to be sustained. This crew was also quite jovial, with a laugh and twinkle in the eye, with kids jumping in to help with seeds and Seed Story drawings.

With this group of seeds also came a recognition that some folks were connected and many were not. The question arose, how do we stay in touch and how can we build this seed sharing network? By the end of the day everyone was talking about getting together again and organizing around the common interest in seed, and the needs we all have (seeds and people alike) to cross-pollinate, learn, and grow from one another. And of course share.

By the end of the Market the laughter and jovial madness had been sung and all the seeds had been passed among hard working hands. Rosalita a local farmer came by to give us a parting gift of quelitas, the best spinach ever. Thank you Rosalita and thank you to all those farmers and gardeners that give us sustenance.

Rosalita with her gift of quelitas

But the maddness was not over yet. Something unusual was still to happen involving an unbelievable story and something of a Zen Koan of Dadaist anti-matter….something that one cannot explain with the linear/rational mind. Take a gander and see where this story takes you…

a rada dada Sunflower

rada dada shares a Seed Story about the saloon he is transforming into a farm and the spare change that keeps growing from his vegetables.

Yet, madness and the deep arts of laughter are not really the anti-social of our times. They are the normalcy that we should embrace in our everyday lives allowing each of us to question our thoughts and actions and qualify them within our beliefs of beauty, spirit, and generosity. To stretch our laughter together through our many hiccups and laugh together for our many accomplishments. Maybe something the seed can guide us through to be asked, “what would a seed do?”

Charlotte Jared corn variation from Glass Gem Rainbow Corn

This is the path forward that two other generous spirits shared with SeedBroadcast as their Seed Stories. They were both inspired by Flordemayo and the Seed Temple in Estancia, New Mexico. Listen together and let us listen closely to our seeds.

Jia Apple tells her Seed Story about discovering seeds with the Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers and the path this has led her on to remember kinships and work towards a future sharing seeds.

Charlotte Jared shares her Seed Story about discovering a familial connection with corn and the magic and depth it has brought to her life and her relations.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Contribute to the Autumn 2015 SeedBroadcast Journal DEADLINE AUGUST 31st 2015

 SeedBroadcast agri-Culture Journal is a bi-annual collection of poetry, inspired thoughts, essays, photographs, drawings, recipes, How-to’s and wisdom gathered together from a national call out to lovers of local food and seeds.  This journal supports collaboration and the sharing of seeds, stories, resources, and inspiration within local communities and between individuals, while also providing pollination through diversified regional, national, and international internet-media networks.

SeedBroadcast agri-Culture Journal 

It is also available in print at various locations and directly from the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station. If you contribute you will receive a stack of printed copies.

                                           Contribute! Participate! Propose!

Send us your seed inspired poems, images, photographs, recipes, articles about your work, provocative essays, calls for seed action!
The deadline for the next edition is August 31st 2015.  
Please send your inquiries, proposals, and contributions to
Images should be at least 300 dpi, 4" X 6" if needed include captions and a short bio.

We are looking forward to your contributions.

Monday, July 20, 2015

SeedBroadcasting from UrbanRefuge A.R.T.S and Valle de Oro

Cuidad Soil & Water Conservation District watershed diorama

The Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge invited SeedBroadcast to participate in the UrbanRefuge A.R.T.S. event which brought together artists, advocacy organizations, food trucks, and a fun public crowd to explore transportation and movement across the landscape as well as investigate the movement of change occurring at the refuge as it transitions from the largest farm in proximity to the city of Albuquerque into a Wildlife Refuge.

During the day buses, bikes, kayaks, walkers, and dancers explored the open terrain heading out on bird watching treks and performing dances in response to the ground, clouds, and the sense of place across the green open fields and cottonwood banks of the Rio Grande. At the Valley de Oro, walking, biking, jogging, driving, and horseback riding are common, especially along the irrigation and drainage ditches that run across the fields. But what is more challenging transportation wise is how to get there in the first place. It is in far south Albuquerque and it is not the easiest area to get to if you do not have a car. Yet, local efforts are under way to create viable public transportation such as a bus stop and Railrunner stop.

Panorama of the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge

This perfectly level landscape has been a working farm for over a hundred years. For a long time it was known as the Valley Gold Dairies, one of the largest historic dairies in the region. It is still being partially farmed, producing grass and alfalfa hay. During the event we hoped to meet some of the local farmers who have worked this farm and others in proximity to record stories. Many were busy on the farm and suggested meeting up in the fall to talk stories (so stay posted for more to come).

Here is a story that was shared from Chris Skiba, whose family has been farming in the South Valley for a long time.

The transition to a Wildlife Refuge has many people wondering how this space will be transformed as one of the few urban refuges in the country. Its potential lies in its proximity to a major metropolitan area, its location in a dymanic riparian zone and sited on a major migratory flyway with access to water. With all these cues in place its value will be told in how it creates an urban educational opportunity through expanding the notion of what a wildlife refuge can be when it serves animals, ecology, and people. One might also wonder if there is room in the refuge mission and planning for the co-mingling of regenerative agriculture, an ecologically based agricultural system much like permaculture.

The Valle de Oro is located in the Mountain View community. This area of Bernalillo Country is far enough away from major commercial zones to be likened a food desert. With few options for fresh food it might make sense to create space where local food can be both produced and used sustainably, while enabling a demonstration site for sustainable wholistic ecology and education to bring people and the environment together.

Ruben Olgiun, a local artist presented his project Songs of Our Fathers: Migrations

Ruben Olguin is a local artist who was sharing his work at UrbanRefuge. He spent the day presenting his project, Songs of Our Fathers: Migrations, which explores "how land, time, and people are divided by technology and modern transportation. You can read more here:

He kindly came by to gift SeedBroadcast a beautiful handmade seed pot he had made, its tiny mouth only large enough for the likes of very small seeds like lettuce, carrots, curly dock, and brassicas. Seed pots have been historically made and used by pueblo peoples to store seeds. These storage vessels keep seeds safe by providing a moisture free, self-wicking environment for seed preservation.

We hope to catch up with Ruben this fall for a Seed Story. And we will be Broadcasting soon with more local farmers.

Here are more Seed Stories from UrbanRefuge A.R.T.S.

Kayla Gmyr reads her poem "Vibrations" about connection and awakening to the earth and relationships from the Valle de Oro National Wildlife Refuge in Albuquerque, NM

Kym Loc shares her aspiring work to convey the relationship between people and trees, healing, strength, and roots.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

SeedBroadcasting from the Sierra County Farmers' Market

We will be SeedBroadcasting from the Sierra County Farmers' Market.
Come join us and share your Seed Story!

Sierra County Farmers' Market
July 25, 2015
830 am - 11:30 am

Ralph Edwards Park
Riverside, between Birch and Cedar St
Truth or Consequences, NM

SeedBroadcast and the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station is a collaborative
project exploring grassroots food action and seed sovereignty. We travel near
and far to pollinate the culture of agri-Culture by broadcasting local seed stories
through audio interviews, while networking and distributing do-it-together-howto

Bring SEEDS To SWAP and SHARE YOUR Seed Stories

We will be recording local seed stories from TorC area

Visit our blog site for a schedule of upcoming events and resources:
Seed Stories:


In partnership with:
Sierra County Farmer’s Market

Monday, July 13, 2015

Food Justice Celebration at Santa Fe Art Institute

“The interpretations of food justice can be complex and nuanced, but the concept is simple and direct: justice for all in the food system, whether producers, farmworkers, processors, workers, eaters, or communities. Integral to food justice is also respect for the systems that support how and where the food is grown— an ethic of place regarding the land, the air, the water, the planet, the animals and the environment. The groups that embrace food justice vary in agendas, constituencies and focus, but all share a commitment to the definition we originally provided: to achieve equality and fairness in relation to food system impacts and a different more just and sustainable way for food to be grown, produced, made accessible and eaten.” 
  From Food Justice by Robert Gottlieb and Anupama Joshi
The sharing of food and ideas.

This past year the Santa Fe Art Institute with the guidance of director Sanjit Sethi has brought it's artist-residency program into a deep inquiry into the notion of Food Justice. This was the first in a planned annual theme-based residency program and it brought over forty artists, from all over the world, together with local activists, farmers and lovers of home grown food to creatively investigate the idea of Food Justice as it relates to New Mexico.

 “ From July 2014 through June 2015, SFAI encourages creative minds to come together and examine the territory of food justice. Together, we will ask how can we use diverse creative practices to confront inherent social, cultural and economic problems in our food system? Further, how can we bring together insights from creative fields, environmental sciences, sustainable agriculture, critical theory, and food studies to have local, national, and international impact?” 

Alexis Elton and Brett Ellison of Jubilee farms with SeedBroadcaster Chloe
When Sanjit first came to Santa Fe he reached out to the community to explore what might be a fitting theme to kick off this initiative. The economic disparities, the lack of water and access to land, the difficulties for our native  communities to have adequate access to fresh food and the food desert of Cerrillos Road were issues many locals talked about. However there are also the long-standing traditional agricultural practices that are still tightly held in Northern New Mexico. It was this juxtaposition that Sanjit felt could be explored so the Food Justice theme emerged.
Desert by Street Food Institute.
The artists were selected through an application process where they were asked to create a proposal that would address food inadequacies in New Mexico and how they might engage with community partners. It was a rigorous selection process based on the impact of the proposal as much as the individual artistic practice. As part of this theme-based year SFAI partnered with the communities along the Española Valley and many of the artists-in-resident’s created projects in collaboration with those communities. They worked closely with cultural advisers such as Roger Montoya and Todd Lopez. Artists such as Holly Schmidt, Christie Green, Yoko Inoue, and Alexis Elton created projects with students at the La Tierra Montessori School that animated discussions and actions that were far reaching into the community at large.
Installation by Christie Green addressing issues of accessibility to healthy food

 On June 20th SFAI held a celebration and culminating event to highlight the creative projects that have emerged through out this year. The community was invited to a free lunch catered by Street Food Institute. SFI works with young adults and emerging culinary students and practitioners to develop the business and technical skills to realize their entrepreneurial dreams. The students begin with hands-on training at SFI Food Trucks, where they learn how to make delicious and healthy food using sustainable business practices. The event featured artists, open studios, organizations and workshops by:
 SeedBroadcast with Grow
Alexis Elton 
Christie Green Radicle
Rodrigo Guzmán de San Martín 
Hakim Bellamy 
Jessica Frelinghuysen 
Erik Banjamins
FICTILIS:Andrea Steves & Timothy Furstnau 
Marie Dorsey 
Tina Rapp
Hye Young Kim Currents New Media Fellow
Amy Malbeouf Canada Council for the Arts Fellow

UN|silo|ED Hub at Santa Fe Art Institute
 The SeedBroadcast UN|silo|ED hub was active with our food justice soundscape, a mapping of various food justice projects, including the Grow Your Own Story installation created by students from Catherine Harris’s class in the Arts and Ecology department at the University of New Mexico, interactive work station and seed exchange.

“Working together as a class and in collaboration with SeedBroadcast has been a wonderful experience! Grow has been both a gratifying and challenging project. We are honored to have made such a positive impact on our communities in Albuquerque at UNM and Barcelona Elementary and in Santa Fe at the Santa Fe Art Institute and Monte Del Sol Charter School. Thank you to everyone who took time to participate and allow us to GROW their story. Even bigger thanks to SeedBroadcast for sharing your space and giving us a platform for Grow!” 
Catherine Harris' Intermediate Art and Ecology Class of Spring 2015 
The Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station was parked at the entrance of the building to broadcast seed stories, loud and clear, around the event.

This was a time to share locally sourced food and conversation in a dignified atmosphere of mutual understanding and concerns over the contemporary state of our agricultural practices the inadequacies of access to healthy food. We shared stories and concerns; we discussed each others projects, and made commitments to keep this theme alive and vibrant in the optimist hope of eventually making change.

 The following are some thoughts on Food Justice from the SFAI residents:
Listen to Alexis Elton 
Listen to Yoko Inoue
Listen to Nikki Pike