“It is not enough to save heritage seeds.
The culture of those people to whom each seed belongs must be kept alive along with seeds and their cultivation.
Not in freezers or museums
But in their own soil and our daily lives.”
- Martín Prechtel. The Unlikely Peace at Cuchumaquic
People and seeds have long been intertwined in a complex field of relations. Throughout history plants have cycled from seed to seed and humans have interjected their desire to be a part of this process, selecting, storing, and growing out these plants year after year for millennia. This relationship was fed with an intention towards care and resiliency, to nurture not only people, but also a polyculture community of the familiar and an intentional community of plants, animals, humans, among the earth. Relatively recently this intention has shifted towards engineering botanical processes to build mono-agricultural empires, create populations of dependent passivity, and dominate the more than human.
|Compartiendo Semillas en Anton Chico Program and prayers for rain|
Since 2011, SeedBroadcast has been examining these territories through performative engagements as artists, farmers, gardeners, teachers, and collective operatives, while rethinking the term agri-Culture. Project concepts and methodologies are founded in a space of the grassroots, where culture, creativity, collaboration, and agency are coupled with open/free-source processes, seeds, agro-ecology, rhizomatic networks, and most importantly the relationships and stories that bring these all together.
During 2014 programming, SeedBroadcast initiated Seed Story Workshops and SWAP. These two new projects grew with local, regional, and national partners to extend the reach of Seed Story Broadcasting potential, while facilitating the active participation of communities from the inside out. SeedBroadcast also continued to engage local and regional agri-Culture and seeds through the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station (MSSBS) as it traveled across New Mexico and Southern Colorado. The SeedBroadcast agri-Culture Journal grew tremendously in 2014, with Spring and Autumn editions which brought together seed wisdom from backyards, gardens, and farms locally and globally. It was a year of wisdom, support, and action, globa-locally!
The Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station (MSSBS) spent 2014 in partnership with regional seed libraries, farmers, gardeners, schools, and at public events recording and broadcasting seed stories, sharing resources, pollinating open-source seed networks, and blogging from the field. The blogging is instrumental in reporting these events and honoring the efforts of these communities and individuals in their food and seed sovereignty efforts. This is also the first platform for broadcasting Seed Stories. Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station (MSSBS) Blog can be found at: http://seedbroadcast.blogspot.com
|Anton Chico seed keepers, Marianita and Pat, share seeds and stories at the 2014 Compartiendo las Semillas en Anton Chico, which Fodder Project Collaborative Research Farm, SeedBroadcast, and Pearl Maestas co-founded in 2013.|
|Smuggling tactics for sharing tomato seeds internationally: stash them inside a vellum tablet for architects and ship via postal service to nourish a global/grassroots seed network.|
The 2014 regional MSSBS tour took us to seed exchanges, seed libraries, agri-Cultural gatherings, and out to peoples’ farms and gardens across New Mexico and Southern Colorado. We partnered with organizations and individuals to present the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station where we distributed open-pollinated seeds, recorded seed stories, and broadcast seed stories. Locations included, our home base of Anton Chico, as well as, Mora, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Tucson, Mancos, Dolores, Ridgway, Telluride, and Westcliff. Throughout these travels, we met people from all walks of life and all ages excited about the creative capacity of seed stories and interested in cultivating seed stories in their own lives and communities. Here are some images and seed stories from our 2014 Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station Tour.
|SeedBroadcasting at the Albuquerque Premiere of Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds, a feature film that we are in.|
|MSSBS at University of New Mexico Earth Day Celebration and Sustainability Expo, broadcasting and recording Seed Stories. Albuquerque, NM.|
|MSSBS at the Montezuma School to Farm at Dolores Elementary School sharing seeds, seed stories, and seed saving inspiration. Dolores, CO.|
Here are some selected Seed Stories from the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting 2014 Tour. You can also find more Seed Stories online at:
In early 2014, we were invited to present SeedBroadcast at Luna Community College in Las Vegas, NM. This opportunity allowed us to explore yet another collaborative and generative Seed Story process where we cultivated group conversations around seeds and seed stories. This led to the fruition of Seed Story Workshops. We were invited by New Mexico Land Office and Santa Fe Public Schools, the Santa Fe Children’s Museum, Institute of American Indian Arts, and Native Seed/SEARCH to lead Seed Story Workshops with their students and programs.
Seed Story workshops are an expansive frame for building capacity through collaboration and solidarity, while enabling others to learn how to reach out into their communities to support seed stories. During these workshops we share the SeedBroadcast video, Letter from a SeedBroadcaster, and Seed Stories we have recorded. We then circle round for conversations about Seed Stories. After this, we have participants go through a series of creative exercises, writing, drawing, and telling stories. Then at the end, participants record each others’ stories and share them back with the group. This very simple, yet profound work has led to several expansive collaborations across the country and world, from New Mexico to Arizona, and Cleveland, Ohio to India. It has also opened up a deep partnership with the Institute of American Indian Arts to assist in the creation of their community Seed Story Library.
Here is a Seed Story of Listening and Thanks by Elizabeth Pantoha from our Seed Story Workshop at Native Seed/SEARCH:
Another of SeedBroadcast’s various dispersal, broadcasting, and collaborative tactics is the bi-annual SeedBroadcast agri-Culture Journal, a newspaper we cultivate, print, and distribute throughout the year. The intention of this journal is to activate a forum of exchange to intensify the discourse around seeds, food, and grassroots action. Contributors include farmers, gardeners, activists, artists, cooks, educators, and others concerned with the state of seeds and food. In 2014 we printed 7000 copies of the Spring and Autumn editions and distributed these freely around New Mexico through the MSSBS and through contributors. We also share these as downloadable pdf’s on our website at:
Finding ways to build collaborative partnerships beyond our region has led us to a new experimental platform called SWAP. The kick-off for this project occurred in the heart of corn country, in Iowa. It was in partnership with an organization called Exuberant Politics and directed by local farmer and artist, Carolyn Scherf. SWAP shared the technological Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station structure as an experimental pop-up “grow-kit” to interrogate agri-Culture and local issues. Local community members used it to record seed stories, bring awareness to issues of GMO, pesticide drift, seed saving, and help inspire local open-source networks. Events took place in Iowa City, Decorah, Ely, and Cedar Rapids. Carolyn blogged from the SeedBroadcast social media network and she sent raw Seed Story recordings back to us in New Mexico to edit and broadcast.
Here is one of the Seed Stories from Laura Krause talking about the challenges of producing open-pollinated, organic corn seed in GMO laden cornbelt.
SeedBroadcast Media Platforms:
We had tremendous growth in 2014. Here is a list of our 2014 Partners...and many apologies if we forgot anyone! Please let us know!
ABC Seed Library, Juan Tabo Public Library, Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque BioPark, Albuquerque, NM
Earth Day Santa Fe, NM
Fodder Project Collaborative Research Farm, Anton Chico, NM
Gaia Gardens, Santa Fe, NM
Guadalupe County Extension Service, NM
Guild Cinema, Albuquerque, NM
Homegrown Santa Fe, NM
Institute of American Indian Arts, NM
Luna Community College, Las Vegas, NM
Mora Seed Library, Mora, NM
New Mexico Acequia Association, NM
New Mexico Land Office, Santa Fe, NM
Santa Fe Children’s Museum, NM
Santa Fe Public Schools, NM
Santa Rosa NRCS, NM
University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM
UNM Sustainabilities Program, Albuquerque, NM
Mancos Seed Library, Mancos, CO
Montezuma School to Farm, Dolores, CO
Ridgway Seed Library, Ridgeway, CO
Southwest Institute for ResiLience (SWIRL), Telluride, CO
Telluride Institute, CO
Telluride MountainFilm, CO
Westcliff Seed Library, Westcliff, CO
Hummingbird Project, Cleveland, Ohio
Native Seed/SEARCH, Tucson, AZ
Carolyn Scherf, Iowa
Exuberant Politics, Iowa City, Iowa
Legion Arts, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
Public Space One, Iowa City, Iowa
Seed Savers Exchange, Decorah, Iowa
Cindy Conner, Seed Libraries and other means of keeping seeds in the HANDS of the PEOPLE, New Society Publishers, BC, Canada, 2014
Elizabeth Shores, “Art and Ecology,” Edible – Food as Art, Issue 36, Feb/March 2015.
Jeanette Hart-Mann, “SeedBroadcast Featured at MountainFilm Ice Cream Social,” TellurideInside.
May 17, 2014.
Jeanette Hart-Mann and Chrissie Orr, “SeedBroadcast,” Here, La Frontera/Borderlands, 2014.
Open Sesame: The Story of Seeds. Sean Kaminsky. Open Pollinated Productions, 2014. Feature
Renata Christen, “Seed Libraries in Iowa,” The Heritage Farm Companion, Summer 2014.
Seth Cagin. “The SeedBroadcast Project Promotes Deeper Awareness of Seeds.” The
Watch, Vol. 18 No. 21, May 22, 2014.
Tom Yoder, The Zine, KSJD Dryland Community Radio. May 22, 2014. Radio Interview.
We thank everyone we work with and met for this amazing year of SeedBroadcasting....stay tuned for our 2015 Schedule coming very very soon!
“Seeds are the memory of life. They have their own stories and those stories have to be told every year so they do not get forgotten.” - Isaura Andaluz.