Focusing on the idea that we are maintaining a network of living seed libraries around the Blue Hill peninsula, much of our work is in the field. These follow Seasonal Rhythms to learn in depth about creative stewardship practices we are cultivating as a community restoration framework.
SEED to SEED
In collaboration with the Blue Hill Garden Club, Downeast Gleaning Initiative and the Blue Hill Heritage Trust, we are establishing a library of heirloom seeds housed at the Blue Hill Heritage Trust, ensuring public access to the collection over the long term. Creative tools for public participation are being developed alongside regionally specific curriculum that includes native foodways, herbs and heirloom vegetables and fruits. Using the new Public Garden on Tenney Hill as a platform for social engagement, we are growing food for the community while developing tools to encourage seed saving.
After the granite structure of the alewife fish ladder was completed by the Penobscot Alewife Committee, we had the opportunity to establish native plants found in the local river and lakeshore plant communities to establish a cornerstone SEED library to use in the upcoming opening of three additional fish ladders. We are thinking about the movement of fish between the sea and fresh water ponds and the wildlife community that thrives from this migration through our local waterways.
Open Air Arts Initiative
The Open-Air Arts Initiative is a collaboration between the SEED Barn, Blue Hill Heritage Trust and Cynthia Winings Gallery. Its mission is to use nature to ignite creativity in the young people who live on or visit the Blue Hill Peninsula.
Furth Wildlife Sanctuary – Creative Trail Prompts
With a focus on the way non-human species MOVE through the landscape, this interactive map invites the public to get OUTSIDE and create in nature! A series of creative prompts offers ideas on how to recognize then translate movement through creative acts.
Part of the Great Maine Outdoors Weekend, we invited the public to collaborate on a habitat sculpture immersed in the landscape around the heirloom blueberry fields at Kingdom Woods Conservation Area. Participants learned how to integrate aesthetic forms while providing winter protection for the SEED dispersers in or spheres.
Tapley Farm Labyrinth: Mowing Meadows to support wildlife
Mowing in summer is a severe disruption to Maine’s ecologic cycles. Despite popular belief throughout the region, we should NOT mow in the summer. Best times to mow are in April or November, alternating areas that are mown. Join us on a walk across the historic Tapley Farm and explore the rich tapestry that is growing there as we learn about tending the landscape based on the relationships with the non human species therein.
The Pendleton House was originally inhabited by sailors during their time ashore. We are thinking about the movement of plants that were considered important enough by early European settlers to include in their ‘medicine chests’ that were brought here and cultivated alongside their food in the earliest gardens here. The Harbor House Cafe and Tea Room now occupies the first floor. We are establishing a collection of herbal teas and culinary herbs and will be setting up a SEED library of these plants that will be available to the public.
2019 Blue Hill Maritime Festival: Sea Shanteys & SEED Stories
The gardens also provide a platform to look at the foundations of a mobilities centered culture that were laid in place by early settlers.