Seeds and stories are passed down between generations. Traditionally, gardeners saved much of their own seed and shared it with friends, families and neighbours. The names of some varieties reflect the story behind the seed. For example, Wild Goose beans were found in the gullet of a goose. Mortgage Lifter tomatoes sold so well they allowed the farmer who developed them to pay off his mortgage. What about the stories from our region?
Atlantic Seed Stories is an inter-generational project that connects people to their past, children to their elders, and a community to their food supply. We would like to collect stories about heirloom seeds, grow out these seeds at community gardens, and then share the seeds.
If you have seeds or stories to share, or suggestions of people I should contact, please email Janet Wallace at email@example.com
- Collecting stories about the seeds/tubers from the original settlers and First Nations. Some stories will be collected by students talking to their elders.
- Growing the plants at the community gardens at schools, museums and nursing homes in Albert County, NB (in partnership with the Our Food Project of Foods of Fundy Valley). Specifically, we will grow these at Riverside Consolidated School, Forest Dale Nursing Home and the Albert County Museum gardens.
- Saving and sharing seed.
- Educating people about the value of heirloom seeds and teaching people how to garden and save seeds.
Imagine... A child visits a nursing home and hears his great-grandmother explain how the bean growing outside her window is the same type her grandmother grew. The child harvests that variety in his school garden, cooks and eats it, and also threshes the ones left for seed. We hope that student, along with his classmates, has developed a taste and a passion for heirloom vegetables, organic gardening and seedsaving. At the same time, the youth are connecting with their elders and appreciating the value of volunteer work and community.
Janet Wallace. Janet is an organic grower, seedsaver and freelancer writer. www.JanetWallace.ca