The seeds continue to create the powerful call to action; this past month I was welcomed into four diverse communities to share my love of seed with many others of good mind and heart.
It seems as though the medicine of the seeds is deeply needed across Turtle Island, as we awaken to the power of connections during this time that may be known in the future as the Great Healing.
Yes, I know; it seems like every time we read the news or listen to the radio that there is yet another destructive environmental catastrophe or troubling soundbite of this industrial storm.
But there is a stirring deep inside, and my heart is reassured once again that this seed movement is at the foundation of this Great Healing we are all dreaming of for our precious Mother Earth. In these last weeks, I have sat in circles, offices, greenhouses, root cellars, seed-houses, and community gardens, bearing witness to the diverse work of a dedicated delegation of peaceful guardians of the seeds.
During my recent visit to their Heritage Farm in Decorah, IA, I was completely in awe of all that dedicated staff at Seed Savers Exchange does towards heirloom seed preservation and organic seed distribution. They are maintaining over 20,000 accessions ( varieties) of seed in a public access seed bank, while also honoring the cultural memory that seeds carry with them. What a valuable contribution towards the ethical stewardship of our precious collective inheritance of seeds. I have followed their work on preservation of heirloom seeds with great admiration over these many years. I now have the great honor of serving as a Director of the Board for SSE, and I am looking forward to sit in circle with the board and staff and lend my voice to the conversation in meaningful ways,
I had the great fortune to sit in circle with many mentors while in Corvallis, OR. at the Organic Seed Growers’ Conference.
( Photo taken by Broken Banjo Photography)
I was chatting with Frank Morton of Wild Garden Seeds, about the powerful young faces that are showing up to this growing organic seed movement. He said jokingly to me, ” When we were your age, we didn’t know a darn thing.” To which I reminded him that the only reason why this next generation of us had the knowledge we did was because of the foresight and hard work of him and others of his generation.
Seed work is slow work, and the work of each generation builds upon the generation before. As Frank reminds us, ” The work of seeds is never done, we grow old maintaining these seeds.” The amazing inter-generational exchange and the collaborative relationships within this seed movement will forever inspire me to respond with action, prayer, and dedication. It is such a Divine honor to be one of many vessels for this collective knowledge, handed down through all the generations.
This work we do with the seeds is service to the highest order. Nourishing the very primal energy of life, the creative force within each seed holds infinite potential and the capacity to heal and feed so many. We do not own these seeds, but we borrow them from our children. May we have the continued strength and vision to keep them healthy, vibrant and diverse while they are in our keeping.
I had the great honor to visit and pay my respects to a wise seed-keeper while in Corvallis; a man who has helped shape my understanding of the intrinsic beauty and utter delight within the plant kin-dom. Dr, Alan Kapular, (affectionately known as Mushroom) is a national treasure, and has been the vessel of stewardship of an incredible wealth of biodiversity and knowledge.
“Change is inexorable. No matter what we think, do or figure out, it is always in process. Genomes and organisms are not frozen. Heirlooms change. Gardeners and seed collectors are part of the evolutionary mix. And whether change or not, selection is inexorable. Adaption is the result.” —Dr. Alan Kapuler
I walked into his seed room, my eyes delighted to see the walls lined with jars and boxes of seed. In addition, his paintings were propped up in stacks around the space, along with shelves of books and a bed right in the middle of it all. Oh, the dreams that were to be had while sleeping in that delightful space.
As we entered the seed room, “Mushroom” was emphatically stating that the survival of biodiversity was to persist in the hands of the gardeners of the world. That all these little pockets of diversity would be how the diverse expressions of life would weather over during this era of extreme mono-culture.
And my mind and heart decided that this space was an apothecary for all that ailed our precious earth. This was just one of so many “Apothecaries of Seeds,” and truly held more promise for healing than anything else I could bring to my mind.
All of the caches of living seeds around the globe, from Mushroom’s seed room, to the seed rooms at Seed Savers Exchange, to the cold storage room at Native Seed SEARCH, to even the carefully labeled packets of seed tucked into a shoebox of an elderly garden enthusiast, and the canning jars of seed in the adobe seed houses at the Tesuque Pueblo in New Mexico. I have had the great fortune to sit and visit with many seed-keepers over these past many months, and it fills my heart with an abundance of hope when I think of this network of “Seed Apothecaries” of all shapes and sizes. There is nothing more hopeful than a diverse collection of seeds that are being well maintained.
Just as we need diversity in our seeds and plant populations, we also need diversity in the ways that we collect, steward and distribute these seeds. It is in our diversity that we find our strength and resilience.
The spirit of these ancient seeds continue to awaken newfound joy in the hearts of our seed students. New beautiful circles of Seed-Keepers are being initiated in this time of great need. We had the great pleasure of hosting 2 potent Seed Schools this past moon; one in Massachusetts and the other in Los Angeles.
This last long drive home yesterday gave me the quiet time to digest and integrate all the beauty I witnessed this past month, as our circle of over 60 new peaceful guardians of the seed have rekindled this sacred relationship and now carry seeds of hope in their heart. Every time we circle up and share together with seeds at the center, I am re-arranged by the experience in the most positive way.
I send my Love to each one of you, as you contribute to the work for Greater Good. Your daily loving actions do not go unnoticed, as we all work together towards this Great Healing. Many blessings to you as we meander into Spring. May your hands feel the blessing of the Earth, and may your heart be captivated by the magic of seeds sprouting from the soil.