Monday, April 13, 2015

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:

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