THE SEED KEEPER(S), with DIANE WILSON (BEST OF)
IN honor of both seed sowing season and women’s history month – this week we revisit a favorite - focusing on seeding our imaginations in conversation with Diane Wilson – gardener, advocate and writer, speaking with us in early 2022 about her 2021 novel, The Seed Keeper.
To welcome the new year, we stay with the theme of seeds – this time focusing on seeding our imaginations in conversation with Diane Wilson – gardener, emeritus executive director of Dream of Wild Health and, more recently, emeritus executive director of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance.
A fierce advocate for Indigenous land-based cultural recovery, Diane has long interwoven her gardening and her advocacy work with her writing. She has several award-winning works of non-fiction, including the memoir, Spirit Car, Journey to a Dakota Past (2006), and Beloved Child, A Dakota Way of Life (2011). Her first novel, The Seed Keeper, was published by Milkweed Editions in 2021.
"A library book showed me that the tiny seeds I had taken for granted were actually unique living beings with their own history, story, and family. Each seed was made of an embryo, a seed coat, and something nutritious, almost like a packed lunch. The Mother Plant, like me, wanted only the best for her babies. ....Everywhere I looked, I saw how seeds were holding the world together. They planted forests, covered meadows with wildflowers, sprouted in the cracks of sidewalks, or lay dormant until the long-awaited moment came, signaled by fire or rain or warmth...Seeds breathed and spoke in a language all their own. Each one was a miniature time capsule, capturing years of stories in its tender flesh. How ignorant I felt compared to the brilliance contained in a single seed."
Diane Wilson, The Seed Keeper
You can follow Diane's work online at DianeWilsonWords.com
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JOIN US again next week, when we head to Tacoma, Washington to learn about the Tacoma Park’s Department’s historic W.W. Seymour Conservatory in conversation with plantswoman Tyra Shenaurlt, Horticulture Resource Supervisor who, along with her team of plant people, is growing the way Tacoma gardens and thinks about gardening and plants.
Cultivating Place is made possible in part by listeners like you and by generous support from
supporting initiatives that empower women and help preserve the planet through the intersection of environmental advocacy, social justice, and creativity.
Cultivating Place is also made possible through support from
In 2021, the Conservancy launched the Garden Futures Grants initiative, through which general operating grants typically ranging from $5,000 - $10,000 are awarded to small public gardens and nonprofit organizations making a significant impact in their communities through garden-based programming. Visit the Garden Conservancy's website to learn more about this application process; this year's application is now live through April 15!
Thinking out loud this week:
I love how Diane Wilson refers to her first work directly with the legacy seeds of her people after she hears about them as “volunteering with the seeds”. Not with the organization of Dream of Wild Health, but with the seeds. It reminds me of our conversation in the spring of 2021 with the Refugia team out of Philadelphia and the woman Esther being given advice to find work on behalf or in service to plants. It’s nice to remember that not only do the plants – the flowers, the foliage, the seeds and the structures of our plants provide so much in our days, but that we as gardeners also work for them.
Can you believe we are almost here again at the vernal equinox? The one constant of always changing – it's one of the greatest gifts of the garden in my life and in my mind it's asking us and equipping us with a certain comfort, and familiarity, with this truth of life. Always changing, always cycling, and new lessons to learn or old lessons to relearn in every new cycle….
enjoy the on-going
journey my friends.
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