Wednesday, March 2, 2016

SeedBroadcast Report for 2015

Every year since our founding in 2011, SeedBroadcast grows bigger and digs deeper and 2015 was no exception. It was our busiest year yet. We continue to be a collaborative and creative community project working with extremely diverse partners and individuals throughout the bioregion, the continent, and the globe. We continue to function as a collective cohort whose focus is to engage agency and open-source practices in support of agri-Cultural resilience and do so through encouraging diversity and subjectivity both internally within the collective and externally in the world around us. Finally, we continue to create this work wherever the calling takes us: to gardens, farms, on the street, at museums and galleries, farmers markets, government agencies, parks, parking lots, schools, festivals, and much more. For there is no place where seeds do not inspire and transform relationships, empowerment, and radicle action as agri-Culture.

2015 was a fruitful year where we established deeper connections with familiar partners and cultivated new relationships around the region. What we noticed this year in particular is that seeds are growing in many creative and exciting ways and people are challenging themselves to establish community connections, build solidarity, and make their voices heard. Many more people are trying their hands at gardening and seed saving, the Seed Library movement is continuing to grow regardless of being threatened by industrial-ag and government regulatory commissions, and seeds are bringing together interdisciplinary collaborators, across farming, art, gardening, science, performance, health, and education.

SeedBroadcast was founded on the mission of “agri-Culture.” As one word that sums it all up, we are committed to returning the culture to agriculture and hearing the voices, honoring the hands, and germinating the life of local resilience in food, seed, and empowerment. During the last year we continued this work through our major yearly programming of the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station, Seed Story Workshops, and the bi-annual agri-Culture Journal. We were also thrilled to be partners with Santa Fe Art Institute Food Justice Residency with our project |UN|silo|ED|. In 2015 we began a SeedBroadcast donation campaign with our fiscal sponsor Little Globe and located funding sources to support programming with partnering organizations and individuals. Finally we worked with Native Seed/SEARCH (NS/S) to write a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Climate Change Solutions Fund Grant, which we were awarded in partnership with NS/S for 2015 – 2017.

SeedBroadcast at Barrio Logan Seed Bank and Chicano Art Gallery, San Diego, CA

Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station

In 2015, the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station toured New Mexico, Colorado, and across Southern Arizona and California. During these tours we partnered with Seed Libraries, organizations hosting Seed Exchanges, schools, community garden groups, marches and festivals, and at museums and galleries. At each of these locations we had the incredible opportunity to meet people from all-over and record Seed Stories, from older rural farmers, to indigenous seed stewards, to homeless guerilla gardeners, to refugee gleaners, to young garden hipsters…. And this to name only a few. Connecting with this wide array of people concerned with open-pollinated seed and the state of local food is an incredible opportunity to redefine agri-Culture and hear in it the many voices it demands. At each event we broadcasted and recorded Seed Stories, shared seed saving resources, set up art stations for drawing, and gave away seeds. All the seeds we gifted went with a commitment, a promise that the recipients would feed their families and communities and grow/save some seeds to pass on to others.

In May 2015, we were honored to be invited to perform at the International Seed Library Forum in Tucson, AZ where we met Seed Librarians from around the globe, recorded seed stories, distributed resources, and participated in policy action against shutting down community seed libraries and seed exchanges. We were also panelists on two public forum panels, “Oral Histories and Cultural Memory-Banking Documentation for Seed Libraries,” and “Publicizing Seed Libraries and Their Missions in Your Community.”

In 2015, we recorded over 100 new Seed Stories. We broadcast these through the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station and online via social media, through our blog and on our Soundcloud page. Here is a link to all of the Seed Stories recorded year-by-year:

After completing projects and participating in events we publish SeedBroadcast blogs online. Here are blog posts from each of the 2015 events:

ABC Seed Exchange, Albuquerque Public Library, Albuquerque, NM

Anton Chico Seed Exchange, Anton Chico, NM

Santa Fe Seed Exchange, Homegrown New Mexico, Santa Fe, NM

Silver City Garden Expo, Silver City Coop, Silver City, NM

Owingeh Ta Pueblos Seed Exchange, Peñasco, NM

Aztec Seed Savers and screening of Open Sesame, Aztec, NM

Bees and Seeds Festival, GMO Free New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Community Day, Albuquerque Museum of Art and History, Albuquerque, NM

Urban Refuge A.R.T.S., Valle de Oro, Albuquerque, NM

Sierra Farmers Market, Truth or Consequences, NM

Habitat: Exploring Climate Change through the Arts, 516 Arts, Albuquerque, NM

Celebración de Cultural Familia y Tradiciones, Peñasco, NM

Seed Keepers of the Gila, Gila, NM

Mancos Seed Exchange and Spring Hoedown, Mancos, CO

Balboa Park, City of San Diego, San Diego, CA

Patagonia Seed Library, Patagonia, AZ

Wild Willows Farm and Education Center, San Diego, CA

A Thousand Plates, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA

Barrio Logan Seed Bank, Chicano Art Gallery, San Diego, CA

International Seed Library Forum, Tucson, AZ

Ishkashitaa Refuge Network, Tucson, AZ

Seed Story Workshops

Along with MSSBS tours, we have been conducting Seed Story Workshops for several years. These involve gatherings where we screen Letter From a SeedBroadcaster ( then circle round to talk about Seed Stories and how food, seeds, and agri-Culture are a part of each person’s life. We then have everyone spend about 10 minutes writing down thoughts and ideas after which each shares this with a partner. Everyone then returns to writing and finishing a Seed Story. Finally each person records his/her Seed Story with a partner and then assists in the recording of someone else’s story. After these initial workshops some groups head out to record Seed Stories in their neighborhoods.

This year we conducted three Seed Story workshops. One month long workshop with students from the Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA), an evening workshop with the Aztec Seed Savers, and an informal workshop gathering with seed keepers in Gila, NM. The IAIA students worked through four sessions, at the end heading out into their communities to record one Seed Story and bring it back for final post-production editing to be included in a new Seed Library initiative at IAIA. The Seed Story Workshops with the Aztec and Gila gatherings were informal and more intimate leading to critical discussion, free form story sharing, and plans to repeat these gatherings in the future. Here is a Seed Story writing from Dan Dombrowski of Aztec, NM.

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.

SeedBroadcast agri-Culture Journal

The bi-annual SeedBroadcast agri-Culture Journal has been in print since the autumn of 2013. It is a collection of printable materials about resilient seed, food, and community health. It includes essays, poetry, photos, drawings, recipes, and more. Like all SeedBroadcast projects it is a free, open-source project that involves the creative agency of all who participate. Contributors of these materials are from around the globe and each receives a stack of journals at their doorstep to share with their community. The majority of the journals are distributed through the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station, dropped off at locations around New Mexico, and additional stacks are sent to partners across the nation. All editions are also available on-line via free downloadable pdf.

Here are links to the 2015 editions:

SeedBroadcast agri-Culture Journal, Spring 2015

SeedBroadcast agri-Culture Journal, Cultivating Diverse Varieties of Resilience #5


Our partnership with Santa Fe Art Institute (SFAI) and their Food Justice Residency was the highlight of our 2015 programming bringing together residents, indigenous performance artists, UNM Art and Ecology students, Rowen White’s Seed Sevas, New Mexico farmers and gardeners, and the central New Mexico arts community to ask, “What is Food Justice” and map these answers out through a presentation of curated objects, audio soundscape, and public events. This project was titled |UN|silo|ED| and it was presented at SFAI from April 27 – June 27, 2015 in the Lumpkin Room.

During these two months of our residency, we worked both outside and inside our project space to bring together all of the Food Justice materials, record and edit Food Justice audio from interviews, and facilitate discussions and |UN|silo|ED| events. On May 16th we organized a daylong public event at SFAI, which included a seed saving workshop by Rowen White, immersive dance responses by Dancing Earth and collaborators, a pot-luck lunch of local homemade food, and an evening Seed Swap.

Then on June 20th we helped SFAI celebrate the end of their Food Justice Programming at their public Lunch@SFAI event where we presented |UN|silo|ED| and also performed with the Mobile Seed Story Broadcasting Station.

Here is the blog post from our project |UN|silo|ED|:

Upcoming 2016 Projects

Partnership with Native Seed/SEARCH: Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Climate Change Solutions Fund Grant titled, “Capacity-Building for Climate Change Resilience in the Southwest’s Food Systems”

Finally in the spring of 2015, we worked with Native Seed/SEARCH to partner on a Robert Rauschenberg Foundation Climate Change Solutions Fund Grant titled, Capacity-Building for Climate Change Resilience in the Southwest’s Food Systems.” In early summer we received news that it was awarded to Native Seed/SEARCH as the recipient and SeedBroadcast as a co-pi/partner. With this funding SeedBroadcast will be working with Native Seed/SEARCH and farmers across New Mexico to creatively document bioregional seeds and climate appropriate agri-Culture. Through seasonal photo essays and interviews, SeedBroadcast will work with farmers to share their stories about growing food in a changing climate while cultivating eco-resiliency. These will be published via our SeedBroadcast blog. Over the next year, we hope to seek more funds for this project to publish a book.

Articles and Press

Campbell, Brian and Veteto, James. “Free seeds and food sovereignty: anthropology and grassroots agrobiodiversity conservation strategies in the US South.” The Journal of Political Ecology 22. 2015: 458-459. Online.

Esperanza, Jennifer. “Green Planet.” THE Magazine May 2015: 59. Magazine.

Fasimpaur, Karen. “Forum Sows Big Ideas About Tiny Seeds.” The Daily Yonder 10 May 2015. Online. 17 February 2016.

Kinkaid, Eden. “What is Your Seed Story? 13 June 2015. Online. 14 June 2015.

Lamberton, Ken. “Seed Saviors.” Edible Baja May/June 2015: 132. Magazine.

Roffman, Seth. “|UN|silo|ED| SeedBroadcast.” Greenfire Times June 2015: 21. Newspaper.

Shores, Elizabeth. “Art & Ecology: Exploring the Origin of Food Through Art.” Edible Santa Fe February/March 2015: 44-45. Magazine.

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