This body of work was created in response to time spent in a Seed Seva Immersion Program on the Sierra Seeds Cooperative and Research Farm with Rowen White. Through this work, I seek to describe and hold space for the long co-evolution between people and plants, and to celebrate the immense wonderment that surrounds and composes us. I seek to share the beauty of these prints as an honoring song of the diverse Indigenous peoples of Turtle Island, and want to acknowledge the attempted genocide of Indigenous communities across this continent.
The attempted erasure of Indigenous peoples is simultaneously tied to the undermining of bio-cultural knowledge and thriving ecologies. The lab-based genetic modification of corn, among other crops, and the ongoing chemical inputs standard in industrial agriculture is a colonial practice that threatens and attempts to undermine thousands of years of traditional ecological knowledge that has nourished generations of people. Witnessing Rowen’s life work unfold, my mind opened to the profound possibility of healing generations of trauma, and to rebuild the foundation of a diverse food system through reciprocity and care for seeds.
“Every seed we plant is a tiny loving prayer in action.” --Rowen White
With each carved mark, I release a tiny prayer for the protection and restoration of our sacred seeds, waterways, and collective spirit. I join these prayers so that we may continue to deepen our connection to each other, the wisdom of our elders, and to place. As a student, teacher, and beginning seed saver, I am deeply moved by the intergenerational healing, and vision for Indigenous Seed Sovereignty that is building through Rowen and others’ collective work. Touched by the way of plants and seeds, this series is a reflection on all that supports our tenuous existence, and a celebration of the resurgence of Indigenous life ways in spite of ongoing attempts at colonization, erasure, extraction and exploitation.
These woodcut prints are further informed by contemplative conversations with dear friend, Xicana-Bisayan Indígena scholar and seed librarian (emeritus), Krisha Hernández, who holds a vision for connecting seeds, stewards, beings and things through the concept of seed-communities. You can join the conversation by sharing your seed stories @semillastories on Instagram. To learn more about this project visit www.semillastories.com.