Seed Growing at the Hudson Valley Farm Hub
Seeds are living beings that form the foundation of agriculture. Knowing where seeds come from and how they are grown is the root of seed literacy. This can lead to a deeper understand of our global seed system and its impacts on local agriculture. Through seed awareness, infrastructure, growing, and sharing, we can engage in plant relationships that help create a diverse and truly local food system.
In the Farm Hub’s Seed Growing program, we seek to respect seeds as living beings, increase seed literacy in our region, investigate conventional seed relationships, offer local solutions, and diversify the genetic, agricultural, and cultural presence of seeds in our region.
In the Farm Hub’s Seed Growing program we nurture plants through their full lifecycles from seed to seed. The heartbeat of our seed work lives in our seed garden. This hand-scale growing space is a place of biodiversity. The soils host many species of plants all with their own specific seed cycles and connections to community partners. Throughout the season we seek to respect seeds as living beings, increase seed literacy in our region, question conventional seed relationships, support our community partners, and diversify the genetic, agricultural, and cultural presence of seeds in our region.
Seed rematriation means the seeds are returning home. It’s a process of growing, saving and sharing seeds that have been separated from their home communities. Seeds are relatives with cultural resonance that can heal pieces of the historical traumas of separation from home and erasure of Indigenous presence.
The word “rematriation”, instead of “repatriation”, acknowledges that in many Native cultures, it is the women who hold the seeds. Seed rematriation represents a diversity of pathways that can lead to reunions between seeds and the hands and lands that held them. Creating seed abundance supports Indigenous organizations growing towards seed sovereignty. Currently, the Farm Hub is engaged in two seed rematriation partnerships; one with the Akwesasne Seed Hub and the other with the Lenape Center. These relationships, expressed through the seeds, are continually emergent steps led by the seeds and their people.
Akwesasne Seed Hub
“Our seeds are our medicine. The seeds carry the mind, spirit and stories of our wisdom keepers. Through our own Akwesasne Seed Hub and long-standing partnership with the Farm Hub, we are preserving all that wisdom that comes from the seeds.”
Kenny Perkins, Mohawk Seed Keeper, Akwesasne Seed Hub
Now it its eighth season, our partnership with the Mohawk Community in Akwesasne continues to grow. Leadership for this seed rematriation work is centered within the Akwesasne Seed Hub. Rowen White and Kenny Perkins guide the growing of beans, corn, and squash at the Farm Hub. Seeds and food produced here are grown in support of seed and food sovereignty efforts in Akwesasne. Harvests return home to nourish their people and provide seed to plant the next season.
Lenape Center Seeds
“The return of seeds to Lenapehoking amplifies community presence in the homeland after four hundred of erasure. Lenape Center is grateful for the expanding partnership with the Farm Hub family. As internally displaced peoples, seeds were critical to the Lenape survival in the diaspora. The return of those seeds to their ancestral soil has been the culmination of generations of love and care.”
Joe Baker, The Lenape Center Executive Director
Now in its third season, our partnership with the Lenape Center continues to support the reconnection of seeds, their people, and original homelands. Joe Baker, Curtis Zunigha, and Hadrien Coumans of the Lenape Center lead the partnership. Endangered varieties of Lenape beans and corn are cared for, brought back into abundance, and will be shared out to Lenapehoking through the Lenape Center’s programs.