Thursday, July 12, 2012

Seed Story Broadcast from Chicago

On July 12th, Seed Broadcast stopped by the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum, at the University of Illinois, Chicago to collaborate on a Seed Story Broadcasting event with the museum, the Hull-House urban farm, and a local farm, Raise the Roof.

While the Hull-House educator and seed librarian, Christian Alfaro discussed the Hull-House seed library and Breanne Heath, of Raise the Roof farm, conducted a seed cleaning workshop, we invited visitors to explore the broadcasting station, copy information from the bulletin board, help wheat paste seeds on the van, and share seed stories. We met a handful of people who were bold characters grounded in an urban uprising of seed saving, community organizing, and broadcast actions. 

Christian Alfaro shows us the seed library which is housed in the Museum gift shop.

The Jane Addams Hull-House seed library includes a catalog of historical seed stories.

These seed stories present multiple perspectives surrounding motivations and desires for seed and food access across a desertified landscape called Chicago. With intentions to rejuvenate the ecology of place and encourage the growth of edible landscapes, each person describes how seeds play a central role in making all this possible. But with one does not happen by simply talking about it. It only happens through the process of action, learning, and experimentation -  through a commitment to the cycles of seed sharing, planting, growing, eating, collection, and dispersal.  

Potatoes growing at the Hull-House Urban Farm.

Chicago-based garden blogger and seed saver Ramon Gonzalez (aka Mr Brown Thumb) with seeds from his collection which he shares with others via the internet. Pictured here are Nasturtium and Poppy seeds. Ramon is also involved with One Seed Chicago, a not-for-profit project of NeighborSpace, Chicago's land trust for community gardens.

Entangled in these personal perspectives are questions about how to engage in the process of the social - that is a social which is ecological and realized as an ongoing praxis, a process of people, seeds, and place.

We talked to Nancy Klhem, urban forager, freelance seed archivist and ecological systems designer about the importance of education and practical, hands-on seed action.

Nancy's Kentucky Coffee Tree seeds and American Persimmon seeds.

Bellow, you will find all the personal seed stories shared by folks from Chicago:

See all seed stories here.

1 comment:

  1. Jeanette and Nina,

    It was great to meet you two and to see what you're doing with the Seed Broadcast Station. It was really inspirational. Hope that you have a great trip back home.