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:

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