Endangered and Heirloom Crops – Species Preservation and Restoration
Good mind is the creator of humankind, the twin brother of bad mind and the son of the first born in this world. He is grandson to sky woman. Good Mind’s mother’s body became the three sisters, and he went on to create many of the good plants we know today that cure disease and feed us.
Good Mind Seeds is a work in progress with 2013 being their sixth year. On a 5.1 acre plot, they are attempting to revive a practice of growing food and keeping seeds in a way not unlike their ancestors did and a way more capable of being passed down to future generations. In recent years the destruction of the land in Wexford has only reminded them of the degradation of the seed that was once grown here. The loss of that memory, the corn whose colors cannot be separated, GMO’s, the loss of genetic diversity and inbreeding of crops through industrialization, the destruction of the land and native and agricultural communities, not to mention the impossibly interconnected corporate control of food, has nearly completely destroyed our ability to feed ourselves. How can we hope to pass on a future to our families when we cannot even give them seeds to eat from?
Looking to their environment in urban Pittsburgh, they realized the stark contrast between the city and the land that only lives now in their memory. Meeting people from the city who had never eaten a single thing they had seen grown, that they had seen in any other context than plastic wrappers, it made them remember the sun warmed fruits of Wexford from childhood, the clean food that tasted like what it was.
Human beings have an inalienable right to food. Food that is not polluted and poisonous, food that does not imply our dependence on the corporations who steal life from what feeds them. Food is medicine, so if it’s not medicine its not food. These crops and their many varieties depend on us for their survival. We depend on the crops we keep to survive the ways we were taught since time immemorial. If we do not make a collective effort to restore what seeds are left to prepare for future generations now, there will never be another time. We have less than 1% our original crop diversity. This is why they decided to preserve and restore the seeds of their ancestors, which is also part of my cultural survival, along with all seeds they have found from all around the world that may increase our potential for survival, increase our potential for co-creation with the earth and creation, and increase the potential for creation itself.
Vandana Shiva, states the abundant nature of the seed, how one seed can bring rise to thousands more. How nature is constantly abundant and how the seed is a great symbol of that abundance. They hope to be like a seed, or to have one inside of me, a small piece to work upon that might sprout and grow and shed a thousand more seeds, to be abundant like nature, to never give up or surrender.
Most of the original seed sources were attained either through trade, or as close to the source as possible through various commercial avenues. Most of the varieties are comprised of many samples collected from various sources, then selected for vigor and flavor in Wexford. Seed trade is a backbone of this effort, and all seed keeping.