Celebrating the new gardens designed and built by Lee Lee at the Pendleton House, they set the stage for a display of Haitian artworks and maritime paintings during first Blue Hill Maritime Heritage Festival. In consideration of the historic use of the building to house sailors who needed temporary housing between seafaring journeys, garden plants were chosen because they were considered important enough for early settlers to bring with them across the sea. The plant collection will comprise a collection of tea and medicinal plants tended in these early colonial ‘medicine chests’.
In tandem with exploring what plants arrived here, we are considering the severance of the landscape for the raw materials that became the foundations for colonialism. What systems were set in place that still exist today? What are the long term social impacts experienced by indigenous populations in the Penobscot region as well as the Caribbean and African regions? How is indigenous practice informing the healing of these lands?
Featuring custom painted Maritime Chests and Historical Signs by Robert Jarvis Leonard III, the garden installation included crafts from Indian Island by Penobscot linguist Carol Dana and a selection of Haitian sculptures that offer a poignant reflection of the backwaters of (im)mobilities. An interactive component will invite visitors to share stories of their own relationship with plants and migrations.
Through the festival, songs of the sea will be sung both in the gardens and along the sea across the street at Emerson park. Bring an instrument and join in this Cèilidh style gathering.
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.
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, firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
During the 3rd Ghetto Biennial, Lee Lee gathered recipes from the Grandmothers of the Grand Rue as they prepared a series of pop up dinners shared by the visiting artists and local Atis Rezistans community. As an initiation for the Gardens of the Grand Rue project in 2015, we prepared Tchaka to honor the patron of agriculture, Azaka. This particular recipe was also used as a framework for a narrative to explore the complexities of the relationships between Haiti and US food policy.
We continue to share meals as the foundation of creative workshops. Paying close attention to the seasons, we prepare what is ripe and save the seeds. Establishing small nurseries, we invite students to germinate the seeds and sell or trade the seedlings. Joumou, the local pumpkin, has a wonderful way of trailing across neighborhood rooftops in the neighborhood & is generally a welcome addition to local homes.