Saturday, April 25, 2015

SeedBroadcasting from the International Seed Library Forum

SeedBroadcasting with the Pima Country Seed Library, 2013

SeedBroadcast will be at the International Seed Library Forum recording seed stories and sharing creative resources from the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station. We will be parked on the Joel D. Valdez Library Plaza during the entire event.

Come by and share your seed stories and seed library inspiration!

We will also be participating in the following panels:
"Oral Histories & Cultural Memory-Banking Documentation for Seed Libraries"
"Publicizing Seed Libraries and Their Missions in Your Community"

International Seed Library Forum
May 3 - 6, 2015
Joel D. valdez Main Library
Tucson, Arizona

See here for more information


SeedBroadcast//Food Justice at Santa Fe Art Institute

Saturday, May 16, 2015
Santa Fe Art Institute
1600 St Michael’s Drive
Santa Fe, NM
9:30 am - 6:30 pm

|UN|silo|ED|Seeds will include a seed-saving workshop, potluck, seed music and performance, seed swap, and the interactive SeedBroadcast hub featuring Food Justice projects from local and national farmers and artists.

10:00 am - 4:00 pm Seed Saving Workshop led by seed-saver Rowen White (Mohawk)
This workshop is an introduction to the holistic, Permaculture based approach to seed stewardship. A beautiful approach to working with seeds that brings the culture back into agri-culture, that infuses our gardens, kitchens, tables and families with beautiful stories of connection between humans and plants. Come learn how you can revitalize your human connection to these sacred heritage seeds, and honor their cultural and practical context within your daily life. Increase your seed literacy, and come away with a few essential practical skills that will help you on your path as an Earth Steward and Seed Keeper. Join this grand lineage of humans who have kept the seeds alive for the sake of future generations!

Bring some food to share for a lunch-time potluck. Lunch time performance with violinist Karina Wilson and dancer Echo Gustafson. Curated by Rulan Tangen

Seed Steward Workshop is RSVP Limited to 40 participants, so please email to reserve your space.
Suggested donation at the door $10
(No one will be turned away because of lack of funds).

Public Performance Event and Seed Swap

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm Response Performance
Curated by Dancing Earth's Director /Choreographer Rulan Tangen
Artists from New Mexico, Alaska and Guatemala bring their responses to seed stewardship with music, visual art, dance film, and movement. Artists include:
visual artist Israel F Haros Lopez; Filmmaker Marion Claire Wasserman, flutist Suzanne Teng, singer and sound healer Madi Sato, dance artists Molly Rose, Julie Brette Adams, Trey Pickett (Tsalagi), Anne Pesata (Jicarilla Apache basket weaver/dancer), musician/writer/Northern Plains Tradish dancer Teklu Hogan (Tahatln), Hoop dancer Talavai Denipah-Cook ( Dine, Hopi, and Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo) and interdisciplinary artists Tohil Fidel Brito Bernal (Ixil Maya) and Maria Regina Firmino Castillo (Mestiza)

5:30 pm - 6:30 pm Seed Blessing and Seed Swap
Bring your open-pollinated seeds to share with other seed keepers

All welcome
Suggested donation at the door $10. (No one will be turned away because of lack of funds).

Organized by Seedbroadcast, Sierra Seeds, Dancing Earth, Littleglobe, Santa Fe Art Institute
Funded in part by the McCune Charitable Foundation

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

SeedBroadcasting from the Mancos Seed Swap and Montezuma School to Farm Spring Hoedown

Expanding our April visit across the Four Corners region, we partnered up for the second year in a row with the Mancos Seed Library. This year we made it to their spring Seed Swap and the yearly celebration of Montezuma School to Farm Project called the “Spring Hoedown.”

Mancos is a small town in southwestern Colorado with high-range grasslands, subalpine foothills and canyon bottoms. It is a region with a long history of agriculture reaching back thousands of years into Ancestral Puebloan hands. This land of old seeds still speaks through traces of the past and gives promise for a present movement emphasizing community care through healthy food from seed to seed.

The Seed Swap was held at the Mancos Public Library in the Community Room. The public library is also where the Mancos Seed Library is housed. The seed library has been at it for the last 5 years, providing a place where local seeds can be organized, distributed, and stored. It is a hub of educational resources and community networks based in freedom to know and access to all. Gretchen Groenke, Ingrid Lincoln, and Shaine Gans are the local facilitators and librarians for the seed library and also organizers for the swap.

Listen here to Gretchen’s Seed Story, Feed the Future which she shared at the Mancos Seed Swap:

This poem was originally published in the 2014 Autumn SeedBroadcast agri-Culture Journal, see page 18:

During the swap several tables were set up where folks dropped off their seeds and looked through others to take home. With the mantra of take a few and pass them on, people took a few seeds and repacked them in envelopes, while talking to other seed keepers and gardeners about seed culture and the season to come. Over the course of three hours the bags, envelopes, and jars of seeds continued to grow, covering the surfaces of all the tables. Seeds came from around the region to participate in the swap and during this time many discovered the Mancos Seed Library which they had not yet learned about.

Good Mother Stallard Beans from Buckhorn Farm, CO
Beans, Peas, Corn, Onions, and Native Grape seeds

A group of farmers and seed savers from the Southwest Seed Library, based out of Durango came to show their support and participate in the exchange. A huge assortment of beans and peas came from a young grower who had farmed in Mississipi and Montrose, CO. Many other domestic vegetables were also available, as were many collections of native wild edible, medicinal, and habitat plants, trees, and vines.

Turtle Farm seed saver with her special box of seeds
Farm Hopscotch out front of the Spring Hoedown

While in Mancos we had the good fortune to also spend time with a large portion of the community during the biggest event of the year, the Montezuma School to Farm Project: Spring Hoedown! People came from all over the area to usher in spring and celebrate this nationally recognized program that employs agriculture, gardens, and farming to enrich learning and hands on curriculum at public schools. The Spring Hoedown is a chance for all these students, parents, and supporters across the county to gather together, have a party, and generate funds for the coming year’s School to Farm programming.

Everyone was encouraged to come out in their best “Western” attire and woop it up at the historic Mancos Opera House. Local bluegrass bands, comedy skits, spoken word, and announcements filled the evening while party goers ate local food and played their hand at a silent auction a’la local services and goods. Many of these were rural in nature such as ”4 hours of Tractor Work” or “5 lbs of tomatoes.”

Here is a Seed Story performed at the Spring Hoedown by Kayla Tallmadge, Hazel Smith, and Taylor LaRose:

The School to Farm Program is wide reaching, serving public schools in Dolores, Cortez, and Mancos. Sarah Syverson started the program and currently directs it, but it would never be what it is today without massive community involvement, many local volunteers, grants, fundraising, and yearly Americorp Vista Volunteers. By the end of the Spring Hoedown over 300 people had attended and Montezuma School to Farm had generated over $9000 to support 2015-16 programming.

During the event the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station was parked curbside in front of the Opera House door. All night people popped in to check out the van and listen to Seed Stories. On several occasions the space became a hub to make connections, network, meet new people, and generate ideas around local seeds.

Here are Seed Stories from the Spring Hoedown:

Kelli Meeker shares a Seed Story about fun, seeds, and public education from the garden:

Tyler Hoyt shares a Seed Story about teaching and learning with amaranth:

Mari Mackenbach shares a seed story about her grandmothers zinnias

Thank you for joining us in Mancos and sharing your Seed Stories!

SeedBroadcasting with the Aztec Seedsavers from Aztec, New Mexico

Open Sesame film screening in Aztec, NM

In mid April 2015, SeedBroadcast took a drive northward to meet seed keepers in the Four Corners region of New Mexico and learn more about the state of seeds and food. The Four Corners is an area of the Southwest where New Mexico, Colorado, Utah, and Arizona converge on the Colorado Plateau. It is a rugged place of high desert plains, mesas, canyonlands, and mountain foothills, with sparse riparian corridors flowing throughout. It is also a confluence of culturally diverse communities including the Navajo, Hopi, Ute, Spanish, and more recent Americana melting pot. Some old orchards and pastures still line the two local rivers, the San Juan and the Animas, but the majority of activity is now centered around extraction industries of petroleum, natural gas, and coal, along with the relatively recent Navajo Agricultural Products Industry (NAPI/NIIP) which has put 72,000+ acres of high plateau into agricultural production.

But, there is something small and special happening here, in the roots of an older generation of gardeners and seed savers who love to grow and love to share; a sweetly sung promise, a conversation about seeds, Seed Stories, and growing a vibrant community of inter-generational knowledge around farming, gardening and eating healthy food.

Backyard permaculture garden, Aztec, NM
Strawberry Popcorn seeds are on their way to Aztec Seedsavers!

On Friday, SeedBroadcast facilitated a Seed Story Workshop with this group from the Aztec Seed Savers. The workshop began with an introduction to SeedBroadcast and our goal to pollinate cultural connections among seeds, food, and resilient communities. We sat around a large oblong table with corn cobs of every color and Paul Navrot’s ceramic pots filled with varieties of bean seeds. The 2015 Spring agri-Culture Journal was handed around and we watched a portion of the video, Letter from a SeedBroadcaster. We then talked about Seed Stories and what these could possibly be. After this discussion we spent about 15 minutes writing and brainstorming. Many memories from long ago were shared, while giving thanks to the gardens and seeds that feed us, keep us warm, and inspire us to grow more. We ended the evening with a wonderful blessing and potluck.

Here is Dan Dombrowski's Seed Story, written and shared during the workshop:

Since I started gardening about 10 years ago I enjoy watching the miracle of a tiny seed grow and produce wonderful fruits and vegetables.
My neighbors love that I share the bounty with them. I have been saving some of my seeds to preserve the most successful of the plants. Now I have begun to share seeds and add to mine with locally grown seeds that do well in our climate and soil conditions.
I enjoy producing healthy produce for my family.

Growing in the high desert can be extremely challenging. Our host’s gardens were filled with many different experiments to help build soil, retain moisture, keep rodents at bay, and also make gardening easier and less labor intensive.

Backyard permaculture garden, Aztec, NM
Samaritan Village Community Garden

Saturday morning SeedBroadcast visited the Samaritan Village Community Garden in Aztec, NM, which is directed by Joann a local Master Gardener. That morning a group of Master Gardeners, youth volunteers, and Teen/Grade Court youth were working together to clear the garden and begin cultivating beds for the new season. When asked what they would like to see grown in the gardens and what fresh veggies they love to eat, several youth shouted out tomatoes, onions, chile, melons, and potatoes. There were even memories of the three sisters, corn, beans, and squash. These young folks will continue with their service for as long as it lasts. But they can stay involved in the gardens helping out in exchange for fresh produce and more importantly pride that this has come from their hands. For many hands make light work and foster a community where working together is meaningful.

Samaritan Village Community Garden
WEEDING – Know Your Weeds
WATERING – Deeply Is Important
MULCHING – Conserves Water
HARVESTING – Be Careful Not To Damage Plants
We Use No Chemical Fertilizers or Pesticides
Close The Gate – The Rabbits Haven’t Learned To
Working the compost piles, watering, turning and adding the cleaned weeds for organic matter
Jug-band gopher control. It consists of a bottle buried in the ground. The bellowing sound is said to keep gophers away, as the wind blows over its lip.

During a quick break, all the garden volunteers came through the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station. They picked out seeds to take home and plant, they spent time listening to Seed Stories, and they picked up copies of the 2015 Spring agri-Culture Journal.

Our final stop was the City of Aztec Senior - Community Center for a public screening of the film Open Sesame, post film panel discussion, and seed exchange. This public event was also meant to cultivate wider local interest in seeds and gardening and to grow involvement in the local seed saving group. After the film, our discussion revolved around the big question, “What do we do now?” Meaning what is to be done for the seeds, the literal seeds we grow our gardens with and the seeds of potential in our communities? How do we build capacity for a healthy and resilient local foodshed where farmers, gardeners, schools, families, the retired, the young, the working, the poor, the rich, the median, the Indigenous, the Anglo, the Spanish, everyone and all gather energy around the beautiful and bountiful seeds of action in the power of growing and feeding community? This is the big question. In the film Open Sesame the same question is asked, but in a slightly different way, “What makes a seed grow?” And it is a wonderful way to begin answering this other big question. For these both have a lot to do with our potential to rise to the occasion. Can we learn from a seed how to begin this slow process of supporting the diverse regrowth of healthy life in our communities? This is what the Aztec Seedsavers are working on now... how to think and be more like a to sprout their wisdom through inter-generational work with education, with mentoring, with gardens, and most importantly with community. No seed can grow alone.

Aztec Seedsavers public film screening of Open Sesame by Sean Kaminsky

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Ówîngeh Tá, Pueblos Y Semillas Gathering and Seed Exchange

One never knows what the weather will bring at this time of year in the high desert of New Mexico but April 11th was a blessed day. Cool air, wispy clouds and the spring winds that can stir up emotions and dust to block ones vision held to a gentle breeze. The orchards of the Chimayo valley were full of fruit blossoms, acequias were running, farmers were out moving bales of alfalfa and gardeners were tending their sprouting seeds.
It was a time of renewal.
Traditional agriculture, and I stress the word culture, is so deeply rooted in here in Northern New Mexico. The act of planting, growing, sharing and eating locally grown food is embedded in the way of living and being. It is a spiritual act and one to be revered, carefully protected and held with a deep respect.

In 2006 a traditional agriculture conference was held in Alcalde in the Española Valley. Many people attended to participate in a seed blessing and exchange and to witness the signing of the Seed Sovereignty Declaration.
This important document was drafted by members of the Traditional Native American Farmers Association and the New Mexico Acequia Association.  Then this initial alliance was strengthened by the participation of Tewa Women United and Honor our Pueblo Existence.
These committed organizations have continued to make great strides to protect the native seeds, traditions and wisdom of the indigenous land-based communities of New Mexico.
The New Mexico Food and Seed Sovereignty Alliance, which is composed of the New Mexico Acequia Association, Honor our Pueblo Existence, Tewa Women United and the Traditional Native American Farmers Association, has held a traditional seed blessing and exchange every year since that first gathering. After Alcalde it moved to Española where it became so popular that it turned into "a seed frenzy” and the original idea of honoring and blessing the traditional seeds and farmers disappeared in the hubbub.
The organizers felt a need to regroup and bring this community seed event back to its essence, back to the dignity and spiritual land-based respect. And this they did.
Now the Ówîngeh Tá, Pueblos Y Semillas Gathering and Seed Exchange alternates between an acequia community one year and a pueblo the next.

 This year was the 10th Annual gathering  “Nuestra Madre, Nuestra Cuerpo”  was held at the community center in the small acequia community of Peñasco, which is located on the scenic road to Taos. At the entrance of the community center there was a poster which made it clear that by passing though this portal one would be entering into a sacred ceremonial space.

Please observe the ground rules: 
No political campaigns 
No soliciting
No surveys or petitions 
No issue campaigns except those approved by the alliance
No genetically modified (GMO) seeds
No photos during the ceremony
Yes to native, heirloom, land race and organic seeds! 
Yes to prayer and ceremony 
Yes to family and community connections 
Yes to sharing our food and seeds together and building relationships  

The day opened with a prayer, song, incantations to San Isidro, the patron saint of farmers, a special alabado to the departed by the Hermanos Penitentes and ceremony to honor the water, soil and seeds from the four directions. The south being anywhere south of Española, in case anyone was wondering.
We were asked to feel into the ceremony, to put our cameras, phones and electronic gadgets away, to bring all of ourselves, to be present for the seeds, the nourishment and life they bring to us and to our mother earth. It is best not to write about this ceremony, it is best to just to hold on to the feeling and energy that was evoked to the interconnection between all of us, the ground on which we were standing and the seeds we were holding.

"The leader of the ceremony will call forward the four land and water offerings. Afterwards the people who brought seeds will line up to make their offering. Each seed-saver should have a sampling of their seeds in a basket, which we will hand out. The participants will move through the line and walk around the ceremonial circle to offer their seeds for a blessing
 directed by the ceremony leader".
 From the Ówîngeh Tá, Pueblos Y Semillas program.

Grupo Coatlicue, Danza Azteca-Chichimeca
When the ceremony came to a close the seed swap began and the Grupo Coatlicue held space and continued ceremony with their drumming and dancing. People had brought many varieties of local seeds and were excited to share them and talk about them. Seed-savers are a passionate animated group that love to share their stories along with their seeds and this gathering was no exception. Soon the room was humming with conversation and the expectation of perhaps finding a new variety of seed.  Tewa Women United set up a station to make seed balls with the water, earth and seeds that were brought from the four directions. Kids played with these seeds, made images, got their hands in the soil, splashed in the water and brought a playfulness to us all.

In true Northern New Mexico spirit the sharing of food was an essential part of this gathering and local chef Margaret Garcia, from Taos Real Food and her helpers, provided everyone with a true feast of locally grown food. We all sat around communal tables to continue our stories and deepen our  new connections.

Listen to one of these stories:
Lorraine Kahneratokwas Gray

The day was completed by a panel of wise women who spoke from their hearts about health, environmental issues, and the importance of the reconnection to “la cultura” and to the ceremonies that have been part of this Northern New Mexico landscape for centuries. We were reminded to never forget the power of ceremony and that if held sacred these acts have the power to transform not only ourselves but the world around us.
As the day drew to a close Kathy Sanchez gathered us all in a circle where we held hands with new friends with whom we had shared lunch and had swapped seeds and stories. We all felt for that special moment connected and when we left that truly New Mexican ceremonial space we graciously held part of it in our hearts and in our hands.

A special thank you to the incredible Pilar Trujillo from the New Mexico Acequia Association,  all the women from Tewa Women United and Marian Naranjo, of Honor our Pueblo Existence. It is such an honor to be in your presence.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

More Art and Seeds or the Magic of Sprouting Up At Balboa Park!

A young artist we met at Balboa Park

Bringing together art and seeds….there is a wise saying that speaks to the profundity of holding just a few seeds and planting these into a cycle of relationships between humans and the earth. On the outside this looks simply as a human-centered opportunity, that is, seeds needing us to plant in order that we might harvest the bounty and nourish our practical bodies. But there is also another view, an embedded perception that opens up the magical and somewhat uncanny cycles of the world, bringing needs in touch with medicine, and inspiration in touch with hope. Seeds are the grounding for this as a journey. This journey was very much present in our SeedBroadcast travels from Anton Chico to San Diego and back again.

It began as a moment when, in Silver City, NM, we discovered inspirations of seed wisdom coupled with sheer generosity and good fortune…which seemed to continue throughout our journey.

The Tomato Guy, Rick Bohart, helping with the MSSBS in Silver City

The Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station has always been a persnickety beast, old, strong, and long winded. It always seems to get to where it needs to be by luck and a mysterious desire to wish our way there. In Silver City we broke down and a off-duty mechanic replaced the carburetor and sent us on our way. We made it to Gila and Patagonia with time to spare. But something was still wrong as we trudged westward and made a pit stop in El Centro to try our hand at very amateur SeedBroadcast-mechanic-try. So onward we chugged. I almost felt the need to recite the Little Engine That Could as we barely topped off the Laguna Mountains and puttered down to Chula Vista, San Diego.

 The next morning was looking like an utter disaster and a cancellation of the rest of our tour… but somehow we stumbled upon the most amazing mechanics who basically rebuilt the motor in a day and sent us on our way. As we met each of these people, small talk brought us to seeds, gardens, and hope. It was always the way.

That evening, while pulling into our host’s house, I turned off the van, stepped out, and saw someone I would never have expected. Michael!

Michael Ruiz lived right across the street and was out watering a plant when he saw the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station pull up to his neighbor’s house. Surprised and somewhat confused, he came over and said, “What are you doing here?”

Wow that’s uncanny! Michael was a fellow student at VCFA (Vermont College of Fine Arts) where I went to school when I built the SeedBroadcast van and drove it to Montpelier, VT for my final thesis “exhibition” in the summer of 2012. That was the last time we had seen each other or spoken. The moment was surreal and strangely seed-like. An amazing cycle bringing us together again to inspire some seedy art.

2012 MSSBS Tour at VCFA in Montpelier, Vermont

After catching up, Michael invited us to come to Balboa Park, San Diego’s gigantic urban cultural park in the heart of the city. So spontaneously, on March 26 from 12 – 2 we set up SeedBroadcast between the Spanish Village, the Museum of Natural History, and a SYSCO semi-truck. Like a seed, we sprouted to the occasion and had the joyous opportunity to meet people, share seeds, record seed stories, and learn more about the state of local food and the goal of Balboa Park to redefine “California Landscape” in the inevitable water crisis.

Occupied! Artists At Work in Balboa Park, San Diego, CA

Here are Seed Stories shared from Balboa Park and also some thoughts about the words “Food Justice”

Michael Ruiz shares a Seed Story about making tortillas with his mother:

Michael Ruiz shares several Seed Stories from and of Balboa Park:

Jerry Phelps talks about what food justice means and why saving seeds is so important:

Ryan Rosette talks about what food justice means to him:

Did I mention the stories that seeds have to share?

SeedBroadcasting from Barrio Logan, San Diego, California!

On March 27, 2015, SeedBroadcast partnered with Barrio Seed Bank, Chicano Art Gallery, Radio Pulso del Barrio, and SEEDS at City Urban Farm to conduct Seed Story shout-outs from Barrio Logan, San Diego, California. During the evening, these local organizations worked together to organize a spontaneous sidewalk pop-up and free film screening of Food Inc. to bring greater attention to the health risks of the industrial food system and rethink the neighborhood capacity to creatively organize a grassroots food hub through seeds. SeedBroadcast stopped by to celebrate and support their efforts through Seed Story recordings and open-resource seed sharing.

We pay homage to Chicano Park and to all those who have struggled to make it so.
Here is a section of the pylon mural titled Death of a Farmworker, by Michael Schnorr.

Barrio Logan has historically been referred to as el ombligo or the center of the world. It is a renowned Chicano community that has continually fought for equal rights, equal access, and more than the status quo. Chicano Park, just north of where the Barrio Seed Library event took place is both a visual canvas for Chicano culture and a public green space. During the evening’s event several eyes turned towards the park as the perfect future site for a Barrio Logan Community Garden of edible native plantings to feed people and empower indigenous roots.

Barrio Seed Bank launched their seed project in early 2015 through the united efforts of local community members and creative organizations like, The Roots Factory, Chicano Art Gallery, Radio Pulso del Barrio, and Seeds at City Urban Farm. Their mission is first and primarily to give out free seeds and inspire folks to grow food in their backyards, front yards, everywhere, and anywhere; to make space for an expansive sense of what a community garden might look like. With no land available in this urban area, they are beginning with what is here, private gardens and the knowledge of each anonymous gardener. They hope the seeds will inspire this network to develop through an informal process of sharing seeds, healthy food, and resources.

Another initiative of the group is to continue being active in the community through pop-up events like the free, side-walk screening of Food Inc. Pop-up events engage diverse populations in Barrio Logan through organizing interactive, fun, and family oriented activities. The creative process also plays a significant role in this work, where participatory arts events encourage kids, families, and adults to work together to make art and make a positive mark in their community. During the evening chairs, a big tv, and a sound system played the film as passer-by’s walked up and down the sidewalk catching snippets of the film with Spanish subtitles.

Here are Seed Stories shared from Barrio Logan and also some thoughts about the words “FOOD JUSTICE”

Bob Green talks about the Barrio Seed Bank in Barrio Logan, San Diego, CA:

Sergio Garcia JR shares his story about the Barrio Seed Bank:

Damian Valdez shares his story about the importance of connecting to our food system:

Stephanie Bernal talks about what Food Justice means and how growing can be challenging:

Bob Green talks about what Food Justice means to him:

Many thanks to Cesar Casteñeda and Dulce Martinez who run the Chicano Art Gallery and hosted this event at their location. Please check out their Facebook page for upcoming events and information: ¡AND! Their Chicano Art Gallery Proclamation is worth a read! It really sums up the energy we were blessed to be part of for the evening. Mucho Gracias!


Galería de arte Chicano es un hábitat para pensadores creativos a venir junto con otras personas afines para formar un ambiente de libertad de expresión y el ejercicio de nuestra imaginación de formas innovadoras. También queremos mantener y seguir promoviendo el amor propio, sanación y orgullo de nuestra Raza y comunidad mientras que educar a las próximas generaciones de artistas. Menos de una cuadra de Parque Chicano histórico en el Barrio Logan de San Diego, California, es una nueva galería que abrió sus puertas en fines de 2013 con la esperanza de traer más vida, belleza, arte y cultura a la comunidad. Sensibilización, empoderamiento y reconocimiento de muchos grandes chicanos que vinieron antes que nosotros y lucharon por un futuro mejor. Y para toda la gente que luchó contra las injusticias. Aquellos que desafiaron el systemand todos sus defectos. Por nuestros camaradas que iniciaron las revoluciones. Para aquellos que estaban parados contra la discriminación y maltrato de trabajo duro muchos los seres humanos. Galería de arte Chicano es una plataforma para los individuos y grupos que tienen algo que decir. Le invitamos a muchos hábitats variaties diferentes formas de arte como poesía y palabra hablada, fotografía y muchas otras artes visuales y musicales. Este dominio está aquí para demostrar que muchas cosas buenas vienen de Barrio, no sólo las etiquetas estéreo-típico negativas que han sido presionadas a muchos. Este centro es una prueba que es posible el cambio positivo y la gente ya no está dispuesta a ajustarse a la corrupción, trato injusto, la opresión y la desigualdad. Compartimos una visión común de un futuro donde podemos introducir nuevos niveles de pensamiento apasionado donde cualquier acto de creación potencialmente puede ser una poderosa herramienta para hacer de este mundo un lugar mejor para todos.

Chicano Art Gallery is a habitat for creative thinkers to come together with other likeminded people to form an environment of freedom of expression and exercise our imagination in innovative ways. We also want to maintain and continue to promote self love, healing, and pride in our Raza and community while educating the next generations of artists. Less than a block away from Historical Chicano Park in the Barrio Logan are of San Diego, California, is a new gallery that opened its doors in late 2013 with hopes to bring more life, beauty, Art and Culture to the community. Awareness, empowerment and acknowledgement of many great Chicanos that came before us and fought for a better tomorrow. And for all of the people who battled the injustices. Those who challenged the system and all of its flaws. For our comrades who started Revolutions. For those who stood up against the discrimination and maltreatment of many hard working human beings. Chicano Art Gallery is a platform for individuals and groups who have something to say. We welcome many different varieties of art forms such as poetry and spoken word, photography and many other visual arts, and musical performances. This domain is here to prove that many good things come from the Barrio, not just the negative stereo-typical labels that have been pressed upon many. This center is proof that positive change is possible and people are no longer willing to conform to corruption, unfair treatment, oppression and inequality. We share a common vision of a future where we can introduce new levels of passionate thinking where any Act of cReaTion can potentially be a powerful tool to make this world a better place for everyone.

Monday, April 13, 2015

SDSU Food and Art Panel Discussion and closing of A Thousand Plates

On March 26, 2015, we partnered up with San Diego State University and local artists, faculty, students and the public to begin a conversation about the state of art today and how it provokes a deeper investigation of important cultural subjects like food and seeds. This panel discussion was held in conjunction with A Thousand Plates/An art exhibition about food and culture organized by Arzu Ozkal and Eva Strubal. The exhibition press states:

“A Thousand Plates explores the topic of food as a means to question society by examining traditions across cultures and throughout the centuries. The exhibition will examine food as a fundamental need, modern food production and its relationship to the environment, the culture of eating and its relationship to memory.

Our exhibition title refers to Deleuze and Guattari’s “A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia"—a philosophical text written with a rhizomatic structure—where connections between ideas and references defy linear, structural, or casual relations. Every point can conceptually link to somewhere else. In our view, our relationship to food is similar. The production, consumption, distribution and marketing of food is connected to tradition, culture, individual and social taste as well as health care, environmental issues, and global politics that shape the contemporary society.”

The exhibition was filled with representations of not only food but also the materials and ideas that we ingest daily as forms of sustenance, folly, and disgust.

A Thousand Plates

Eating Disorder, Still from digital video, 00:01:57, 2006

Arzu Ozkal’s work titled, Eating Disorder, digital video, 01.57 minutes, 2006 was the first work encountered on a large flat screen, where from beginning to end a mouth, hands, and a freshly opened tube of lipstick are shown consuming the red of lips of the body. Only half the face can be seen cringing as the lipstick is literally eaten.

Local artist shares his collection of design artifacts from food labels, napkins, and other markations of the food industry
A Guide for Responsible Seasonal Consumption, detail
A Guide for Responsible Seasonal Consumption, detail
That evening we also met Cristal Chen who is a Graduate Alumni from SDSU in Graphic Design. She participated in the panel and discussed her conceptual and creative process for producing the project, Farmers and Me. Cristal explained that before taking this project on she worked for a major fast-food chain as a graphic designer and it sparked her interest and concern with food, eating, local farms, and healthy communities. During her thesis she realized that what she really wanted to do was use her skills as a designer to not only create visual information about relationships between farmers, food, and consumers, but also expand her process to include creative engagement through public interaction. She produced and gifted 4 different “visual recipes” called "A Guide for Responsible Seasonal Consumption" that showed how to cook with frill, cauliflower, kohlrabi, and beets. These also included pictures and quotes from local farmers and directions to the farm. Here is a link to the project Farmers and Me:

Listen, as Cristal shares her Seed Story:

Food and Art panelists (SeedBroadcasters, Jeanette Hart-Mann and Chrissie Orr far right)

Into the evening visitors checked out the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station and gathered to talk about the creative capacity of art to grow, feed, and nourish the mind and body. Like a seed.

We would like to thank Arzu Ozkal and SDSU for funding our travel to San Diego in order to participate in this panel discussion, which also enabled us to visit with many seed savers, farmers, gardeners, and mechanics en route. Mucho Gracias!

This event was also sponsored by San Diego State University School of Art + Design, SDSU Art Council, Common Experience SDSU, and Arts Alive SDSU

SeedBroadcasting from Patagonia Public Library/Semillotecas

When SeedBroadcast rolled into Patagonia late Sunday night, March 22, we had no idea that Spring was in full bloom. It was not until the early morning with bird songs and spring smells alight that we realized how far south into the Sonoran Desert we had come. We had landed in the heart of a place filled with life, a small community of ranches, public and private gardens, and two internationally renowned environmental conservation projects: Native Seed/SEARCH Conservation Farm, Borderlands Restoration Project, and now count that three with the newly formed Patagonia Public Library/Semillotecas!

On Monday at noon we gathered with local seed keepers at the Patagonia Public Library in partnership with Native Seed/SEARCH, Friends of Patagonia Library, Patagonia Public Library, and the newly formed Semillotecas, seed library. Folks from around town and as far away as Nogales/Mariposa, Mexico came out to share seeds and seed stories. We were especially blessed to see several NS/S Seed Schooler’s we had met in 2013, in Tucson, and who have gone on to organize deeply rooted community seed and garden projects, work with the Borderlands Restoration Project, and develop experimental dryland farming practices.

Many seeds were brought out from the Libraries collection and many more seeds arrived from surrounding growers to be added. Among these were lettuce, radishes, beans, corn, sunflowers, tomatoes, chard, epazote, chia, Sonoran Wheat, and havas. The library has a space dedicated to the seeds and all the seeds in the collection are cataloged in a series of file folders. Patrons have to sign up to participate and they are encouraged to save seeds and return them to the library. There are also a selection of reference books available near the Seed Library to help patrons discover the ease and complexity of saving seeds.

Abbie Zeltzer, the Director of the library and instigator of the Semillotecas organized the event and also spent time talking about another amazing project she developed called the Patagonia Library’s Legacy Garden. This project is a historical look at Patagonia through the stories of the people and plants who created this vibrant town. These special plants have not only been tended in place at the Library, they have also been propagated around town while spreading their stories across generations. Some of these plants include, Spirea, Rue, Rose, Iris, and Mulberry. Here is a link to more information about the Legacy Garden, along with a downloadable pdf of these stories.

Here is a link to Abbie Zeltzer as she shares some of the stories from the Patagonia Library’s Legacy Garden:

The old mulberry tree with stories to tell at the Patagonia Library's Legacy Garden

Here are Seed Stories from folks we met at the Patagonia Public Library/Semilloteca gathering. Thank you all for sharing your Seed Stories!

Inés Ramos, el grupo Mariposas Cosechando el Bienestar y enseñando jardinería orgánica (trans. Inés Ramos, the group Harvesting Wellbeing and educating for organic gardening):

Lilia Ruiz quiere que cada quien pudiera tener sus propios verduras para comer mas saludable (trans. Lilia Ruiz’s hope is that each and every person could grow their own food in order to heat more healthily):

José Ruiz habla de sembrar el chiltepín elusivo (trans. José Ruiz talks about growing the elusive chiltepín chile):

Andrea Stanley talks about the importance of seeds in her life:

Lynda Prim shares her story of the cultural significance of seeds:

Ron Pulliam shares a Seed Story about granivory, the relationship between seeds and animals:

Pete Rundlett talks about his love of seeds: