Meadow Mandala

Meadow Mandala at the SEED Barn Maine
Thatcher Gray basks above the completed Meadow Mandala in the wet meadow alongside the SEED Barn.

Broadening perceptions of HOME to include outdoor spaces helps cultivate an understanding of the interrelationships between humans and wildlife. As for humans, good homes for wildlife include plenty of food, safe access to water and shelter, and enough space to raise the next generation. In this outdoor workshop, participants are invited to create an on-site, mandala inspired sculpture woven through the meadow landscape that will provide winter habitat for seed dispersers.

In the process, we learn how to work with natural materials in our own gardens to augment habitat for wildlife through winter months.

This is the final installment of the 2019 Open Air Arts Initiative Field Works, a collaboration between the Blue Hill Heritage Trust, Cynthia Winings Gallery & the SEED Barn. The culmination exhibition will take place at Parker Point the weekend of September 27-29.
https://www.facebook.com/events/596899880842603/

The SEED Barn is located at 53 Falls Bridge Road in Blue Hill Falls www.virtualvoices.org
http://www.openairarts.org/
https://bluehillheritagetrust.org/

Meadow Mandala at the SEED Barn Maine
Exploring different methods of working with materials on site, participants share ideas as the spiral form of the mandala is established
leaf chain
A leaf chain is woven with yarn and Norway maple leaves from the eradication of the invasive tree on another part of the property.
Leaf chain for the Meadow Mandala
Assembling the Meadow Mandala at the SEED Barn Maine
Working together to assemble the Meadow Mandala
Meadow Mandala at the SEED Barn Maine
The finished mandala
Meadow Mandala in winter. The structure persists into the winter and highlight the animal passages through the underbrush.
Mandala in Winter

SEED the Untold Story at the Halcyon Grange

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.

www.seedthemovie.com

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.

 

SEED Sensorium
Bridging art and science, these activities engage all of the senses in learning about the remarkable world of seeds and their utmost importance in our lives. Participants are encouraged to look through the lens of the seed to explore their personal connections to the natural world.

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 based in the SEED Barn in Blue Hill. Bring seeds you have been saving to contribute to the library as we gather seeds that hold significance for this community. Browse from a variety of crops to take home and grow out over the next growing season. Get tips on saving vegetable and fruit seeds. http://seedmatters.org

SEED dispersal: Native grasses and spring sown wildflowers
Learn how we may use our land to enhance pollinator habitats while sharing ideas on how we invite into our spheres the pollinators essential for growing food. Take home seeds for your own garden and help augment pollinator habitat across the peninsula.

SEED Saving Workshop, Children’s activities & Film Screening

Thursday, February 22nd
4:30 pm: Family friendly seed sensorium and dispersal

Stories and hands-on activities for children inspired by the remarkable world of seeds.

5:30 pm: Soup’s on!
Family meal with soups, mac ‘n cheese & homemade breads

6:00 pm: Film screening of SEED the Untold Story

Followed by a discussion with Lee Lee, founder of the SEED Barn.

Halcyon Grange
1157 Pleasant St, North Blue Hill, Maine 04614,
www.halcyongrange.org
SEED :: disperse:
www.virtualvoices.org,
207.374.2947, lee-lee@virtualvoices.org

SEED Senorium at the grange
SEED Sensoiurm activities at the Grange
SEED Sensorium: Smell me
Smell me seeds made up of culinary spices as part of the SEED Sensorium
SEED dispersal
SEED Dispersal – wildflowers and native grasses to support pollinators
Pine Cone Bird Feeders
Supporting birds in winter with local lard mixed with peanut butter & seeds! Other festive seeds that may be used (and dispersed by the birds) are staghorn sumac and wild rose. These festive berries add a flash of red to the feeders.

SEED :: disperse | Haiti

2017 Ghetto Biennale

Two years after installing pocket gardens in the previous biennial, we examined the gardens of the Grand Rue to assess which plants thrived. We used what we learned in growing plants in a heavily populated area of the city to apply what worked to the areas that did not fare as well. We found that trees fared the best, and that joumou (the local pumpkin) can easily trail along rooftops. At our workshops, we share a meal with joumou, then plant seeds with the youth who in turn tend the seedlings and in time have a product to sell or trade which supports food security. In response to an aggressive program to hybridize Haitian heirloom seeds, we started weaving a network of SEED Stewards across the urban areas of Port Au Prince in order to preserve open source access to traditional seed stock while providing a continued connection to the natural world for urban youth. The Biennial installation included the development of a SEED Sensorium created in collaboration with local youth as well as a collaborative installation with Jean Claude Santillus curated from seed related art works created by members of the Atis Rezistans collective.

Explore:
Jardin Katelyn

Lakou Basile

Lakou Claude

A visit to SAKALA

Jean Claude Santillus, Haiti
Lakou Jean Claude Santillus: Left – Claude plants a banana tree as part of the 2015 Ghetto Biennial, photo by Rossi Jaccques Casimir – right: a year later the tree is thriving, intertwined with his moringa. photo by Richard Arthur Flemming

Testing Grounds: SEED Dispersal

Seeds leave their parent plant in five ways.
Some seeds can be dispersed in more than one way!

The conceptual foundation of SEED was inspired by the book, Seeds: time capsules of life by Wolfgang Stuppy & Rob Kesseler. They focus on the ways rooted plants express mobility, “All seeds have the same purpose — to travel through time and space until they reach the right place at the right moment to create a new plant.”  This activity provides an opportunity to test the dispersal methods of seeds in the classroom by setting up testing grounds that mimic the natural environment. There are five ways that seeds disperse & some seeds disperse in more than one way. The prompts below are set up with testing stations: a small fan for wind dispersal, a basin of water to see if seeds float and an earthen bowl for gravity dispersal. For animal dispersal, a piece of wool can be set up to test grip and representations of birds or bears to suggest dispersal through digestion. In the autumn, it is possible to harvest berries and mimic bird digestion in plastic ziplock bags to prepare seeds for sowing while still fresh. Ballistic dispersal may be represented on a small mobile device showing a film clip of an exploding cucumber.

Classroom layout for dispersal activities includes tools for testing as well as images mounted on matte-board to suggest other means of travel.

WIND

The kind of seeds that are dispersed by wind are often smaller seeds that have wings or other hair-like or feather-like structures. Plants that produce wind blown seeds, like the dandelion or milkweed, often produce lots of seeds to ensure that some of the seeds are blown to areas where the seeds can germinate. Seeds with a honeycomb structure are very light and have increased surface area, making them ideal for being picked up and scattered by the wind.

Milkweed seeds are carried by wind

ANIMAL DISPERSAL

Animals disperse seeds in several ways. First, some plants like the burr, have barbs or other structures that get tangled in animal fur or feathers, and are then carried to new sites. Other plants produce their seeds inside fleshy fruits that then get eaten by an animal. The fruit is digested by the animal, but the seeds pass through the digestive tract, and are dropped in other locations. Some animals bury seeds, like squirrels with acorns, to save for later, but may not return to get the seed. It can grow into a new plant.

People are animals too! We plant seeds intentionally in our gardens. We also pick them up accidentally on our clothes, shoes, automobiles, airpanes and boats. When we eat seeds, we relocate them through our digestive tract. . . just like other animals.

A carved bird representation from the highlands of Guatemala acts as a vessel for bird dispersed berry seeds

GRAVITY

Gravity is a simple way for plants to disperse their seeds. The effect of gravity on heavier fruits and nuts causes them to fall from the plant when ripe plants that use this kind of dispersal include apples, coconuts and passion fruit. Those with harder shells, like almonds or coconuts often roll away from the plant to gain further distance. Gravity dispersal can also be followed by water or animal dispersal.

WATER DISPERSAL

The seeds that use water as a method of dispersal are usually quite light, buoyant, and some have hairs or fluff that allow them so stay afloat. Many of these types of seeds are protected by water proof coverings so they can float for long periods of time. The coconut is a great example of a seed that uses water dispersal; it can be transported by ocean currents to completely different continents!

A coconut can traverse oceans when dispersed by water | Photo: SEED Taos

BALLISTIC DISPERSAL

Self-dispersal, or autochory, is the explosive discharge of seeds from the fruit. The seeds are typically squirted from the fruit tissue by first being squeezed, then released. Often the fruits are shaped so that seeds are flung away from the parent plant as with “Touch me nots” and exploding cucumbers.

Exploding cucumber seeds | Photo: SEED Taos

An alternative to this activity may be performed in the field using indigenous plants that would augment the existing plant community found on site. In this case, it is very important to make sure the seeds being tested belong in the place they are being tested!

Concept developed by SEED Taos