Thursday, May 29, 2014

Mancos Seed Library.

Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station at the Mancos Public Library.

A few weeks ago SeedBroadcast received this email  "We would LOVE to host you in the southwest Colorado. I help organize a Seed Library in Mancos and am connected with Seed Savers in Durango and Cortez as well. We just hosted a series of seed saving workshops and a seed swap in Mancos with great support from our community. Please let me know if you all can stop through our area! We would love to have you!!"   How could we refuse this invitation?  So on the evening of May 21st we rolled in to Mancos for the beginning of the SeedBroadcast Rocky Mountain tour.

Seed Library area

The Mancos Seed Library  was started three years ago by Margaret (Midge) Kirk. At that time Midge was the librarian at the small town library and a friend mentioned an NPR program she had heard about the sprouting of seed libraries around the nation.  Midge jumped at the opportunity and quickly took on learning as much as she could to put this into action. It started small and eventually Midge moved on from her position at the library.  It is now run by two young dedicated women, Gretchen Groenke and Ingrid Lincoln.  Gretchen is a Promtora de Salud, Community Health Organizer, (it was Gretchen who sent the email) and Ingrid is a seed lover who was inspired by working with a seed company a few years back.  They have revitalized the seed library with their passionate commitment, donations of local seeds and by holding a series of workshops to educate the community on the importance of local seed saving practices. The workshops have filled to capacity which indicates a growing interest in seed saving in the Mancos community.

 The Mancos area has always been an agricultural area and provided food and timber for the mining camps.  The population has been changing and growing with the influx of young families moving to the area to investigate and experiment in the growing organic food. At an altitude of 7,000 ft it is a short growing season and the gardeners and farmers we met mentioned searching for high altitude strains of seeds.  Ingrid saves and is growing out a variety of bean called the Rio Zape

Mancos Public Library bee hive with bear protection!
In these times of change it is inspiring to be in the presence of such dedicated, thoughtful, caring young people who are living their dreams to protect our planet.  Thank you all for hosting us in Mancos and for leading the way to new future.
Please take a little time and listen to their seeds stories 
and if you are in the area support the Seed Library!

Sunday, May 25, 2014

SeedBroadcasting from Ridgway Seed Library

SeedBroadcast heard the local dig that there was a new Seed Library open in Ridgway, Colorado. During our Rocky Mountain Tour we took this as a sign to reach out and make a stop at the Ridgway Public Library to celebrate the newly opened Seed Library.

On Route along the San Juan Skyway with snow packed peaks in the background.
The Ridgway Seed Library was initiated by Kristen Moberg, Driector of Rigdway Public Library. She became excited about the idea when she heard about seed libraries and thought this would add an important program to serve the local community.

Kirsten gathered and organized information about seed libraries, ordered books and journals on seed saving, and put together a very simple system for the actual seed library. The seeds are currently in small 10” x 10” box and include a few donations of vegetable seeds from Botanical Interest and a very interesting stone fruit, Hermosa Golden Spotted Apricot from Durango.

The check out system is very simple: a big 3-ring binder with membership forms that patrons fill out with their information and note the seeds they are “borrowing.” On this form there is also notation space for the grower to include information about how the seed variety grew, what type of soil, pests, etc.

This form of record keeping could be great way to share information about these varieties as they adapt to local econiches and help the whole community build a viable living seed collection. This is a huge conversation among the high-altitude growers: what will grow here and how can gardeners and farmers produce food for the whole region.

While SeedBroadcast was visiting the library, the local community garden coordinator along with community gardeners stopped by to see the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station and talk seeds.

Chris Lance the Ridgway community garden coordinator showing us the “To Do List and General Communication” binder.

The Ridgway Community Garden hopes to continue promoting and growing community and rental plots. While we were visiting conversations emerged about developing partnerships with the seed library and developing educational programming to enable seed to seed gardens in Ridgway.

Ridgway was lush and green with many marvelous dandelions feeding the bees and accumulating minerals for the topsoil. While we were there we met Danny Powers, head of the city parks maintenance. He was proud to tell us that they have been running their parks organically, with no herbicides or pesticides, for quite some time….and trying to demonstrate this for neighboring communities.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Dolores School Garden SeedBroadcasting

On May 22nd, SeedBroadcast swung by the Dolores Elementary school for their year end picnic and celebration of their school garden.

Supported through the Montezuma School to Farm Project the garden is used for integrative education to supplement the learning environment of students, while also teaching kids the importance of gardens, seeds, and healthy food. Here are some images from the garden...

The Garden project is facilitated by Megan Tallmadge, along with Americorp interns and community volunteers who help run the garden and its outreach programs. Even though the Garden project is discrete, it is a part of a much larger movement in the region which has deep and historic agricultural roots, from Ancestral Puebloans to current market growers and producers.

During the afternoon students stopped by the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station to pick up seeds, listen to seed stories, and tell us why they loved their school garden. The enthusiasm for growing a garden was evident when these kids selected what seeds they wanted to take home for summer break to make their own garden.

The students had worked hard along with Garden project to save seeds, start seeds, transplant, paint pots, make tea blends, and draw the best original art seed packs ever! These items were all for sale with proceeds returning to the Garden project to support next years programming.

The Dolores School Garden project has dreams to grow and keep growing. Networked through the local Montezuma School to Farm Project, it and others like it, will continue to inspire more schools in the region to develop gardens and encourage hands-on learning, creativity, and the cultivation of vital skills to keep this local community healthy and nourished.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Rocky Mountain SeedBroadcasting

Join us for SeedBroadcasting from Rocky Mountains!

Here is our Rocky Mountain Tour schedule to date, with more events TBA soon. Please check our event schedule for updated dates, times, and places.

Mancos Seed Library,
Mancos, Colorado
May 22,  9 - 11am

Montezuma School to Farm Project,
Dolores, Colorado
May 22, 11 - 2pm

Ridgway Seed Library
Ridgway, Colorado
May 23, 10 - 2pm

Telluride MoutainFilm Ice Cream Social and Farmers Market
Telluride, Colorado
May 24 from 1 - 5pm

Telluride Strong House Parking Lot
Telluride, Colorado
May 25

Telluride MountainFilm Kidz Kino at the Palm
Telluride, Colorado
May 26, 9 - 1pm

We invite you to join us in SeedBroadcasting and celebrate the local genius of seeds.

Share and listen to stories about seed saving, gardening, farming, and local food desires. Explore the Seed Resources bulletin board, copy center, library, and interactive multi-media workstation, free and open for everyone to use.

Bring SEEDS To SWAP and share YOUR Seed stories

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-how-to resources.

Keep posted to our blogsite for a schedule of upcoming events and resources:

Seed Stories:



Phone: 505-718-4511

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Home/ Earth Day Santa Fe.

Wise Fool Parade

The Day of HOME Earth Day in Santa Fe the Mobile SeedBroadcasting Station decided that it wanted to stay at home.  We had some trouble with the truck on the way to Native Seed/SEARCH in Tucson, had the starter motor replaced by some amazingly kind mechanics in Las Cruces, struggled for the rest of the journey when sometimes it would start and sometimes it would not and realized the mechanical gremlins had invaded.  It was a mystery.  We did make it home but on April 26th the truck decided it was not going to leave.   Websters Dictionary defines home as: "An environment offering security and happiness. A valued place regarded as a refuge or place of origin." So it is understandable!

Earth Day Pageant

 However many others did leave the security of their home base to join in the  Earth Day celebrations  at the Santa Fe Railyard park. This years event  considered the theme of Home in respect to our individual homes but also our collective home of the planet earth!  Grietje Laga from Arts of Nature,, Amy Christian of Wise Fool New Mexico and the Railyard Stewards  were the main visionaries and these intrepid believers in Earth Justice worked tirelessly for a year to activate this community gathering and exchange.
The day was launched with a Wise Fool inspired parade featuring giant puppets, stilt-walkers,  masked kids and samba band. The parade started at the Sambusco Center meandered its way through the Railyard and kicked off the events with a dramatic entry into the Railyard park.  This community day brought together over forty local organizations that provided information on anything from bee keeping  to radical home-making, from keeping ducks and chickens, to solar oven baking. There were workshops on environmental topics, demonstrations of practical sustainable practices to be implemented at home or the work place, seed saving and of course a Pete Seegar community sing-a-long and baby goats.

Sangre De Cristo Beekeepers.

Seeds from the Santa Fe Community College Culinary Arts garden

Poki from Gaia Gardens with his friend.

Luckily the predicted gale force winds held off until the middle of the afternoon and the wonderful Poki and Dominique of Gaia Gardens shared their home booth with  SeedBroadcast so we could still share our seed stories. (Scroll down to listen).
This was an inspiring day of exchange, creative conversation and provided practical examples of how we can live with a deeper reverance to our collective Home, the planet earth.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Seed Teachings! Native Seed/SEARCH Seed School.

 A collection of Native Seed/ SEARCH seeds

If you have not heard of Seed School then we encourage you to listen to what the seeds at Native Seed/ SEARCH have to share. 

"Seed School is a groundbreaking, six-day educational course that trains people from all walks of life to build local seed systems rooted in the ancient tradition of seed saving. Practiced by farmers and gardeners for thousands of years, seed saving strengthens food security at the community level, empowering people to reclaim control over their food supply. Students walk away from this innovative learning experience with the knowledge and inspiration to start their own independent seed initiatives, such as community seed libraries and exchanges, seed growers cooperatives, heirloom seed businesses, and participatory plant breeding projects."

 Seed School is a rare and wonderful experience where seeds are the teachers and guides that transport everyone into a shared sense of wonder, longing and seed action. Seed school is held at the Native Seed /SEARCH Conservation Center where over 2,000 varieties of arid-land adapted seeds are stored, packaged, held, honored, listened to and kept in circulation.

The seeds encase the learning. 

The recent gathering, held in April, brought people together from all over the world.  At the opening seed circle students spoke to the reasons for committing their time and energy to seed school, from feeling the necessity to change life styles, to the need to revive local food practices, wanting to pass on seed knowledge to grandchildren and a deep longing to find community.

Joy Hought, who has a  diverse background in public broadcasting, seed science, crop genetic conservation and food systems, and Rowen White, who is a seed saver, educator and co founder of Sierra Seed Cooperative  were the main facilitators during the six day intensive. Guided by the seeds that surrounded the gathering space, Joy and Rowen introduced the seed school investigators to the magic of seeds, the science and genetics, pollination and breeding, the practice of seed saving, how to take this information back to their communities and the importance of the story that is held in each seed.

Learning how to save tomato seeds

The following is a poem written by Joy during the SeedBroadcast workshop on Seed Story

                                     I offer a string of seed word beads.

 Peel   treasure   secret   stowaway   traveler   message   solace   pocket
 Held close intimacy min

 Small sweaty hands                    
 A record of places, memory
 My private memory of times spent with earth.
 Messages   totems   gems   clatter   click   tumble 
 Pocket lint
 I shaped this                   
We made this 
We send this into the future
Words from then contained in now                 
To another then and then and then
Traveler   message   pocket   private
 Move across distances across time
 The seed is the traveler and I am the stowaway
 I am the donkey the seed on my back.

Rowen White sharing with students :

Listen to the seed stories shared during this years seed school: