SEEDS ARE LIFE

Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.
— Robert Louis Stevenson
sowing the seeds of love

There's a mass extinction happening.

Right now, a few corporations are trying to kill off nearly all the biodiversity that exists in the foods we eat. They want complete control of the few edible plants that they decide should remain. This is not hyperbole. This is not Dr. Evil's next plot to rule the world. This is not funny. We need food to survive. If someone or some company controls all you eat, they control your life.

Fortunately, there's an open rebellion occurring in quiet corners of the globe. From Norway to Arizona, a resistance is forming. People are fighting for our collective future by simply savings seeds.

At Native Seeds/SEARCH, located in the dusty and dry Sonoran desert of southern Arizona, a team of determined fighters are the face of this opposition. Workers tend the fields, travel from California to Oklahoma in search of refugee seeds, and help distribute this genetic diversity back out into the world. They're heavily backed by that most dangerous demographic: retired people. While the volunteers range in age from early twenty-somethings to octogenarians, it's the AARP members that come and help in scores. They recognize the importance of protecting a future that they may not even be around to experience. Delicately cleaning, winnowing, sorting, and packaging seeds, they spend much of their free time sharing stories about their ever-more-distant past, while simultaneously ensuring a legacy that is encapsulated in seed.

Native Seeds/SEARCH is an organization committed to finding, protecting, and preserving the seeds of the indigenous people of the Greater Southwest. Ancient corn, squash, beans, and so much more are being rescued. Available for free to Native Americans, and able to be purchased by all others, these seeds are waiting for their partners of light, water, and soil to engage in the wondrous alchemy that will see these very different elements become nutritious life-giving food.

Seeds that would otherwise be forgotten or relegated to a footnote in a complicated and often tragic history, are located, planted, grown, and shared by Native Seeds/SEARCH.

They're also given a new, safe, and communal home in the facilities seed vault. Walking into the vault, which is stocked by the labors of so many, kernels of corn in every color of the rainbow greet you. Beans that look like painted Easter eggs line the shelves. A gorgeous panoply of life giving seeds stares back at you, showing its gratitude in its beauty.  These arid adapted crops represent thousands of years of co-adaptation with the native people of the southwest. They also represent its future. And, quite possibly, the future of us all as we learn to adapt to a changing world.