SAVE YOUR SEEDS

Dear friends,

Join the collaborative siteWARE:Chicago in a seed saving venture that harvests everyday potential and explores what we want and need from our surroundings. In this moment of food scrutiny, your seeds and thoughts are crucial for gathering a valuable database and inventory. There are several ways to join the project.

1.    Save seeds
2.    Become part of virtual collection project by adding to the blog
3.    Contribute your seeds and become part of a distribution project

Participate in the obsessive joy of taxonomy at whatever scale you choose.  If you want to post notes and/or pictures and/or your recipes, become authors on this blog.  If you save seeds without any detailed information outside the plant type, your seeds can still become a part of this seed distribution and propagation project.  siteWARE:Chicago will send you or deliver a seed-saving kit to streamline your collecting.  Or you can simply start saving seeds in your own unique way.

Our target is 3,000 varieties of rescued seed from a number of households and individuals in the next six months.

“Eating is an agricultural act.”   — Wendell Berry
It is quite amazing to gather direct growing potential from what we eat, and in many cases, what we end up throwing away.  While scraping tomatoes and bell pepper for seeds, I wonder, will they be viable?  Many of the seeds we gather will be sterile or “not true to seed”, either from genetic engineering or from hybridizing.  Some seeds may not grow fruit, others may reproduce past genetic iterations long forgotten in the look and taste of what we ate for dinner.  As we save our seeds and ponder, we wonder, “What questions come up for you?”

Future of Our Seeds 1
All of the seeds collected will be embedded in the architecture of an exhibition at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and will be freely available for removal and propagation, either in your own gardens, window sills, or a vacant lot in Chicago.   The structure within the gallery space will be a distribution site as well as a meeting place for multiple events highlighting particular moments in Chicago history related to space, food cycles and the relationship of our needs to the built environment.

Future of Our Seeds 2
Moving out from the installation, siteWARE:Chicago will be extending the collective stewardship in seed saving into activating another under-utilized resource in Chicago – abandoned land.  We will analyze the potential these derelict spaces have in direct relationship to and in dialogue with the seed collection. We are investigating existing urban agriculture ventures to determine the current modi operandi and will be approaching the city for a vacant lot in the near future. Stay posted.

One response to “SAVE YOUR SEEDS

  1. Barbara Korbel

    Dear Barbara,

    Even if your garden is barren, you can still collect from what you eat in your daily life. I am currently eating many green, which don’t have seeds, but the fall squash yield many many seeds per meal. Also, my apples and pears have been good sources of seed in the last few weeks.

    Thank you for joining us. We look forward to seeing what your meals yield, in terms of seed.

    Amber

    Thank you so much for sending along your little drying kit. Unfortunately too late to save this year from my garden, but next year! I am very interested in your ideas about abandoned land and would like to be part of this activity.

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