i watched a program about beans yesterday. the whole program was about beans and how to grow them and prepare them. yeah, so? there was a segment on seed saving and the nice gentleman was explaining how he saves seeds for posterity. not terribly remarkable, or is it? the practice of seed saving went the way of backyard gardens- and this nice man in maine wants to bring both back to this generation. he believes that there is a disconnect between us and our food and so, he developed a program by which he educates kids and teens on gardening and seed saving. what struck me was when he was talking about some of the heirloom seeds- and they have some from the cherokee's trail of tears. he explained that the native folks were allowed to go inside and take what they could carry--- and many of them took their seeds.
mom and i were talking about it- and we wondered what folks today would take if they could only take what they could carry- pictures? bank book? whatever it would be- i doubt it would be seeds. we just assume that we will always be fed. what a presence of mind to take seeds to plant wherever you end up- a connection to where your food came from. many folks don't know that corn is indigenous to this hemisphere. it is a grass that native populations brought with them as they migrated from south america to north america. many folks don't realize that the lovely yellow ears we grab at the supermarket--- or even farmer's markets- are not the native varieties but hybrids invented within the last hundred years or so.
so, for this nice gentleman to have seeds saved from the original native populations is pretty important. it's a connection to our food and our roots as people and as a nation. backyard gardening is catching on again- and i hope that our 'heirloom' seeds do to.