Seed Savers Exchange was recently awarded a $9,500 grant from Humanities Iowa, a state-based independent humanities council, in support of the project “Humanities Presentations at the 2023 Virtual Conference.”
The statewide grant program supports public humanities projects and educational programs that encourage contemplation, spark conversation, and invite communities to explore the human experience.
“The support of Humanities Iowa made access to meaningful conversations around seeds and their cultural significance possible by sponsoring 100 scholarship-level tickets,” said Kristin Eggen, SSE gift officer, who authored the grant. “This grant helped spark conversations and engagement through humanities-focused presentations for Iowans and made the event affordable and accessible.”
The 43rd annual Seed Savers Exchange conference, “Seed the Change: Grow Something Good,” took place virtually July 21-22, 2023, and featured four keynote presentations that represented diverse cultural perspectives on the meaning of seeds in communities across the globe. The following speakers told seed stories from across time and cultures: Dr. Vandana Shiva, world-renowned activist; Diane Wilson, author of The Seed Keeper; Rafael Mier, founder and director of Fundación Tortilla; and Sean Brock, chef and author, and his longtime collaborator, Sam Jett. In addition to keynote speakers, the conference hosted five presentations that further explored the meaning of seeds across cultures:
● Imagining a Romani Future Through Seeds
● Little-Known Seeds from Palestine
● Growing, Saving, and Eating Heirloom Collards
● Importance of Place, Power, and Purpose in Pollinator Conservation and Seed Saving
● It Sounds Like Love
The program also featured 15 additional presentations on a wide range of topics. Attendees explored one urban community’s innovative plan to help fight food insecurity, discovered how to make gardening and cooking fun for kids of all ages, learned how to make beautiful cut-flower arrangements, took a deep dive into how seeds can bolster recovery and overall wellness—and much more!
For more information about Humanities Iowa or to find a list of funded programs across the state, go to humanitiesiowa.org. For more information about Seed Savers Exchange, go to seedsavers.org.