SEED: The Untold Story is a documentary that follows passionate seed keepers who are protecting a 12,000 year-old food legacy. In the last century, 94% of our seed diversity has disappeared. A cadre of 10 agrichemicals companies, including Syngenta, Bayer and Monsanto, control over two-thirds of the global seed market, reaping unprecedented profits. Farmers and others battle to defend the future of our food.
Following the film will be a discussion led by Lee Lee, founder of The SEED Barn in Blue Hill. Drawing inspiration from the Slow Food approach to activism expressed around a shared table, Lee Lee has initiated The SEED Barn as a platform for cultivating a local network of seed stewards that include trust lands, farms, regional schools, public libraries and private land holders. She is also instigating a parallel project in Haiti, which shares a dual focus of heirloom preservation and wildland restoration.
Free event. Donations accepted. Family friendly, all are welcome.
Demonstrating how to sow native plant seeds to grow pollinator pathways. Take home sown seeds for your own garden and help plant a few to establish a native plant nursery for the Blue Hill Heritage Trust. These gardens, along with a network of regional school gardens, will be used to restore wildland ecology across the Peninsula. http://bluehillheritagetrust.org
SEED matters :: Heirloom seed EXCHANGE
With seeds granted by the Seed Savers Exchange as part of the Seed Matters heirloom preservation program, we are building a foundation for a community seed library. Bring regional heirloom seeds you have been saving to contribute to the library as we gather varietals specifically of this area. Browse from a variety of crops to grow out over the next growing season. Get tips on saving vegetable and fruit seeds. Learn how we may use our land to augment pollinator habitats while sharing ideas on how we invite into our spheres the pollinators essential for growing food.
Seed Matters: “Seed is the first link in the food and fiber chain. And the chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The Clif Bar Family Foundation created Seed Matters to improve the viability and availability of organic seed to ensure healthy, nutritious and productive crops. Together with our partners and folks just like you, we’re making a noticeable difference – from seed to farm to table. Simply put, our three main goals are:
Conserve crop genetic diversity.
Promote farmers’ roles and rights as seed innovators and stewards.
Seed Savers Exchange: “We conserve and promote America’s culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants.” https://www.seedsavers.org
Drawing from the strong handworks movement maintained on the Blue Hill peninsula, makers are invited to participate in the creation of an open sourced set of educational tools. The SEED Sensorium is a multi-sensorial exploration of seeds. Bridging art and science, this series of activities engage the senses in learning about the remarkable world of seeds and their utmost importance in our lives. The activities draw inspiration from the Emilia Reggio philosophy of immersive education which promotes student led, experiential programs as the most engaging way to cultivate understanding of the world around us. Participants are encouraged to look through the lens of the seed to explore connections between art and science and their personal connections to the natural world. We would like for the material to be regionally specific, so invite creatives of all ages to contribute to the making of the works.
The SEED barn is open in winter by appointment: 207.374.2947 More information: Contact Lee Lee
Downeast Audubon’s director, Leslie Clapp gave a tour of her extensive gardens to show ways that we may support wildlife in our yards, from the ground up to the canopy.
Grow less lawn.
See what you have by growing out your lawn, and work with it.
Plant a variety of plant species with a succession of bloom and fruit time.
Layering: think about planting layers of perennials, shrubs trees and a canopy.
Keep dead trees if they are in a safe place to stand.
Keep woody trimmings and use them by building wood and brush piles to provide cover for small shy birds; you can make them beautiful and attract sparrows finches and cardinals.
Growing thickets like rose or forsythia attract catbirds
Use mulch! Maintains moisture in the ground, holds back weeds and it breaks down every year. Nothing organic leaves the property. If the material is diseased or weedy, it goes to the back.
Put up windbreaks, especially in winter around feeders.
Provide birdhouses and feeders.
Keep clean water available, especially in drought conditions. This can be done in birdbaths or as a recirculating stream.
Plant native plants and maintain an open field meadow of perennials. Wildlife has evolved with native plants. Some people complain about native plants getting ‘buggy’, but this is good because the bugs feed the birds!
Make and use compost
Leave plants standing through the winter. Stop deadheading in mid September at the latest so the plants can produce seed to feed the birds.
Keep your cats indoors.
Mowing is necessary to keep an open field in Maine. Don’t mow in the summer! It takes food away from wildlife. Mow late, in November and alternate parts of the meadow so that there are sections left standing. Goldenrod gauls, for example, are good winter food for woodpeckers.
The first season at the SEED barn involved a lot of work taking down invasive plants and folding them back into the earth in a Hugelkultur fashion. Mid way through the season, the Blue Hill and Brooklin Garden Clubs visited the grounds in a demonstration on how we are using available materials to build Hugelkultures. Conversation on why it is important to address invasive plants ensued since many invasives are initially introduced as decorative garden plants. Bringing attention to the fact that many nurseries, especially in the big box stores, continue to sell invasive plants is important to know for avid gardeners. Below, we see an example of a Hugelkultur bed in the second season as new plants become established. An introduction to the SEED Library offered members new ideas on what native plants could potentially be worked into the landscape. The tour ended with a description of how to tie in an aquaponic system into the small scale terracing approach developed by grandpa in the new greenhouse.