seeds are meant to disperse

seeds are meant to disperse
an ongoing project, 2015 –>
[the project formerly known as seeds for the end of the world]

seeds are meant to disperse (2015-ongoing) is an ongoing project where I grow, save and share seeds. Seeds take time to grow, to harvest, to prepare, and to share—an act that I see as gift as much as necessity and survival. As such, the seeds are offered as trade or gift, in an attempt to encourage and support alternative systems of exchange. As the seeds are gifted and grown they are meant to help others imagine building a world different from the trajectory it is currently on.

As an ongoing and forever growing project, I continue to adapt and rethink strategies as the work strives to be more aware of itself: of the ways in which it might help draw attention to food security & sustainability, species diversification, seed copyright, climate change, urban renewal, and anti-capitalist forms of exchange…Seeds are meant to disperse.

Through seeds and their dispersal, seeds are meant to disperse actively thinks about both time and space differently, considering ecological change from the scale of the geologic and political change from the scale of the micro gesture. Preparing seed packs each year to be traded and shared, the project is documented and archived on social media as a way to meet and engage with others interested in plants and alternate forms of exchange. To date, I have received a number of trades for the seed packs including artist books, sculptures, jewelry, photographs, as well as other seeds.

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HEX seed packs contain anywhere from 1 or more seeds saved from organically grown produce from my garden*.

If you’d like a seed pack get in touch, they are offered through trade only. Send me your seeds, zine, book, sticker, 7″ record, MP3 download, DIY electronic project,  knitted goods, drawing, canned or baked goods**, produce, etc in exchange.

All trades must be mutually agreed upon before exchange can take place.

–>Pictures of my gardening adventures + experiments here<–

* I’m pretty casual in my approach — cross pollination across varieties may occur and seeds are not guaranteed to produce.
**vegan food stuffs only, please

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My seedling starter guide from 2014 (for the Park Hill Community Garden in Denver) is here as a PDF.

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Zine:
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New Zine made for the i believe in living exhibition curated by Ellyn Walker (April-June 2018) is available for trade. Same trade infos apply as above. get in touch if you’d like to make an exchange!

A pdf of the zine is available online here.

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I think a lot about the choice to include Latin names when I refer to my seed saving and gardening; it signals a perspective of classification shaped by a particular cultural history, while a big part of my learning from the process considers how we might shape such cultural perspectives anew. Devised in the eighteenth century by Carl Linnaeus, the binomial nomenclature system often includes naming practices quite distanced from the local specificities of plants themselves. At times named after naturalists or expedition sponsors with horrific legacies and relationships with the Indigenous lands they were exploring, sometimes even incorporating racial slurs, there is much discussion among scientific researchers for the need to revisit the binomial system. In “Restoring Indigenous Names in Taxonomy,” Len Norman Gillman and Shane Donald Wright advocate for a re-evaluation of the practice within the context of Indigenous knowledge systems where “the name in its vernacular form may also embody history, a sense of place and a right to belong.” Still, the reality remains that much of the information surrounding plants in our Western society is overwhelmingly classified using the formal nomenclature which can also lessen confusion compared to relying on a plant’s common name, and so I continue to reference the names as a resource for others interested in learning more about specific plants and seeds. [Source: Len Norman Gillman and Shane Donald Wright, “Restoring Indigenous Names in Taxonomy,” Communications Biology 3, 609 (2020)taken from an upcoming essay to be published through ArtSpeak, 2022].

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The Seeds (2021 for the summer of 2022*)
Fruit & Veg:
Radish Mix – Raphanus sativus
Rattail Radish – Raphanus caudatus (limited)
Pumpkin (Sugar Pie) – Cucurbita pepo
Cantaloupe – Cucumis melo
Sugar Baby Watermelon – Citrullus lanatus
Beans Mix – Fabaceae
Heirloom Green Beans
Pea Mix – Pisum sativum (limited)
Blue Hubbard Squash
Cucumber (various – limited)

Peppers:
Hot Pepper – Capsicum annuum (limited)
Thai Hot Pepper – Capsicum annuum
Tesuque Pepper
Habanero Pepper
Black Hungarian Pepper
Sweet Pepper – Capsicum annuum
Red Hot Pepper – Capsicum annuum 

Tomatoes:
Morden Yellow Tomatoes (limited) – Solanum lycopersicum
Miscellaneous Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Black Krim Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Italian Heirloom Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum

Yellow Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Roma Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Tomatillo – Solanum lycopersicum
Purple Calabash – Solanum lycopersicum
Redfield – Solanum lycopersicum
Marizol Gold – Solanum lycopersicum
 (limited)
Japanese Black Tomato
Mennonite Orange Tomato (limited)
Pink Grapefruit Tomato
Sweet Millions Tomato

Herbs & Greens:
Lettuce Mix – Lactuca sativa
Red Basil – Ocimum basilicum
Thai Basil – Ocimum basilicum
Sweet Basil – Ocimum basilicum
(limited)
Basil Mix – Ocimum basilicum
Cilantro – Coriandrum sativum
Chives (mix) – Allium tuberosum
Dill – Anethum graveolens
Fennel – Foeniculum vulgare
Mustard Greens – Brassica juncea
Arugula – Eruca sativa
Mustard/Arugula Mix
Borage (limited)
Chamomile (Roman + German mix)
Lavender (limited)
Hyssop

Flowers:
Aster/Larkspur/Columbine/Mallow Flower – flower mix – Aster + Delphinium + Aquilegia + Malvaceae
Yarrow/Mallow/Wild Carrot Flower Mix – Achillea / Malvaceae / Daucus
Wild Flower mix (limited)
Wild Carrot Flower – Daucus
Hibiscus – Malvaceae (limited)
Red Hot Poker Flower – Kniphofia uvaria
Coneflower – Asteraceae (limited)
Poppy – Papaveroideae
Allium Flower
Common Sunflower – Helianthus annuus (edible)
Sunflower – Helianthus (ornamental)
Black Hollyhock – Alcea
Miscella Flowers (drought tolerant)
Zinnia + Marigold Mix
Harebell Flower
Amaranth (grain)
Coppertina Ninebark (shrub – limited)

Grasses:
Oat Grass – Avena sativa (limited)
Miscella Grasses (ornamental – tall + bunch)
Japanese Silvergrass
Sweet Grass
connecting thru grasses mix: Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scopariu) , Canada Wild Rye (Elymus canadensis), Side Oats Grama (Bouteloua curtipendula) (limited)

NEW THIS YEAR: COMPANION COLLECTIONS
There are lots of reasons to grow certain plants together: as pests deterrent, to attract beneficial insects; to help regulate shade;  to improve plant health; to increase yields; to improve soil fertility; to provide natural supports; and to suppress weeds. I’m trying something new this year with some of the seeds I have in large quantity. Companion collections are meant to help you get going with planting while anticipating how certain plants might support one another in the garden (whether growing in ground or in pots).

Companion Collection #1 (no pests)
Chives
Dill
Radish
Lavender

Companion Collection #2 (increase yield, better flavour, no pests)
Tomato (Black Krim, Redfield, or Purple Calabash)
Basil mix
Lettuce mix

Companion Collection #3 (no pests, better flavour)
Pepper (Sweet, Red Hot, Black Hungarian, Habanero, Hot, Tesuque, or Thai Hot)
Basil mix
Tomato (Black Krim, Redfield, or Purple Calabash)
Zinnia/Marigold mix

Companion Collection #4 (no pests, fix nitrogen)
Lettuce mix
Beans mix
Radish
Zinnia/Marigold Mix

[*some of these packs also contain seeds saved after the summers of 2016/2017/2018/2019/2020 – see the seed life chart in my seed saving zine for info on seed storing and longevity]

**previous years list of seeds at the bottom of this page **

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A number of projects have been tied to & inspired by seeds are meant to disperse (in reverse chronological order):

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seeds are meant to disperse (video installation, 2022)

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IT’S ALL ABOUT LETTUCE

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FORECAST

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THE COMMUNITY IS NOT A HAPHAZARD COLLECTION OF INDIVIDUALS

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connecting thru grasses

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Grasping at the Roots

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Across the summer of 2020, and in response to the covid-19 crisis, seeds are meant to disperse will be part of Ishtar’s International Network of Feral Gardens – a playful, experimental food sovereignty initiative by SAVAC (Toronto). Dedicated to encouraging the cultivation of feral gardens and building an international artists network of out-of-the-box food systems, I’ll be sharing seed packs with participants, generating a publication across the summer and coming up with participatory happenings for us to do together at a distance.

Here are the first and second publications made for the Ishtar garden network (both pdfs).

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Here’s the final publication made for the end of Ishtar’s garden 2020 – a seeds saving guide with tips (as pdf).

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To accompany the Grasping at the Roots exhibition at the Mitchell Art Gallery in Edmonton, I grew a mycorrhizal Inoculant to share with visitors to the gallery.

Mycorrhizae refers to the symbiotic association between plant roots and fungi; a mutualistic relationship beneficial to both. Fungi benefit from the carbohydrates and other compounds excreted from plant roots; in exchange they assist plants by increasing nutrient and water uptake (especially phosphorus). Plants with mycorrhizae often grow bigger and faster as a result of this increased nutrient uptake.

This inoculant is made of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), grown from Purple Prairie Clover and Chive plants. AMF form symbioses with 80% of plant species [a few plant families do not form mycorrhizas: Brassicaceae, Amaranthaceae, Caryophyllaceae and Chenopodiaceae].

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After the Reclaiming the Invisible event, I wanted to think more deeply about some of the ideas and concerns raised during the evening. A few artists who were at the talk joined me for an evening of thinking and making together – the night is documented here.<>

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New Zine! [Limited edition of 25, each with instruction set and 5 Common Sunflower Seeds – to be planted spring/summer 2020 in & around various neighbourhoods in Edmonton]

Reclaiming the Invisible (2019)
Zine & participatory project made for the Mitchell Art Gallery (Edmonton) for an event I organized as part of the programming for Leanne Olson’s exhibition – With all Things Considered. Special thanks to Carolyn Jervis!

Reclaiming the invisible considers waste that is primarily invisible to us, waste that is entrenched in the soil and unidentifiable to the naked eye: contaminates offset from industry and methods of extraction. That we have built our waste management sites outside of daily view is by design and this participatory event wonders how it is that we might see waste differently, and how our relationship to waste might shift if we had some way to see it anew.

Starting with seeds from the seeds for the end of the world seed-saving project (2015, ongoing), participants will consider how hyperaccumulators—plants that have the ability to take up more metals than normal—are utilized in phytoremediation projects to help rid toxins from the earth. Interested in how it is that together we might think through issues of invisible waste, Reclaiming the invisible looks to how plants might help guide us in this effort.

The event is split into two parts: Nicholas Brown will present examples of bioremediation and phytoremediation strategies currently in practice around Edmonton, followed by a participatory action inspired by the event scores of the FLUXUS movement. This action will extend responsibility for land reclamation on to participants, providing them the tools they need to reclaim toxic land in their own neighbourhoods and communities.

Nick Brown is primarily interested in enhancing land reclamation techniques through the application of native plant-microbe interactions. He earned his BSc in Land Reclamation through the University of Alberta, and has developed field and lab experience as a lab technician in grassland and forest ecology. Nick is investigating how we can use native plant species to enhance degradation of hydrocarbons in soils, and is assessing the effects these species and the soils have on the composition and function of soil microbial communities. He is currently pursuing an MSc in Land Reclamation and Remediation from the University of Alberta.

fb event page.

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In the Garden [summer 2018].
The In the Garden series consisted of two events where community members were invited to sit in the garden and get to know one another while engaging with plants grown from the seeds for the end of the world project. Together we pressed flowers, made sun prints, documented the garden in water colours, made hand sewn lavender sachets and considered the ways in which plants might help bring us together.

link to invitations.

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New Zine!
in the garden (one) summer 2018
Available for trade. Same trade infos apply as above. get in touch if you’d like to make an exchange!
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Documentation from the i believe in living exhibition – curated by Ellyn Walker at Untitled Art Society, April 21 – June 30, 2018. All images: Katy Whitt.
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Some interesting articles on the importance of saving seeds and such:
Planet Hunger: Inside the Global Food Crisis
Our food system isn’t ready for the climate crisis
Scientists Add 50,000 Seeds to Arctic Doomsday Vault Because Everything Is Awful
How “open source” seed producers from the US to India are changing global food production – VOX
Salsa Primeval: 52-Million-Year-Old Tomatillo Found
The Nectar Garden: The Importance of Planting a Haven for Pollinators
Bee Plants – Attracting More Bees And Pollinators to Your Garden
Seeding the future? ‘Ark’ preserves rare, threatened plants
Seed Saving is the Original Sharing Economy
Together we can save the monarch butterfly
Let’s get seasonal! [from the Farm Project]
As Climate Change Threatens Food Supplies, Seed Saving is an Ancient Act of Resilience
Gardening is Important, But Seed Saving is Crucial
How Peru’s potato museum could stave off world food crisis
Don’t be bitter: how to avoid toxic plants
Seed banks: the last line of defense against a threatening global food crisis

Other things:
Guerilla Gardening – SEED BOMBS!
You Grow Girl – gardening resources
Black Girls With Gardens – gardening resources
Seeds of Diversity – resources for saving seeds
The Seed Garden – The Art & Practice of Seed Saving – I’ve learned so much from this book! published by seed savers exchange.
The Open Source Seed Initiative

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The Seeds (2020 for the summer of 2021*)
Fruit & Veg:
Radish Mix – Raphanus sativus
Rattail Radish – Raphanus caudatus
Pumpkin (Sugar Pie) – Cucurbita pepo
Hot Pepper – Capsicum annuum (limited)
Thai Hot Pepper – Capsicum annuum
Buran Peppers – Capsicum annum
Cantaloupe – Cucumis melo
Mouse Melon – Melothria scabra
Sugar Baby Watermelon – Citrullus lanatus
Beans Mix – Fabaceae
Pea Mix – Pisum sativum

Tomatoes:
Morden Yellow Tomatoes (limited) – Solanum lycopersicum
Miscellaneous Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Black Krim Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Italian Heirloom Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum

Yellow Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Roma Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Tomatillo – Solanum lycopersicum
Purple Calabash – Solanum lycopersicum
Redfield – Solanum lycopersicum
Marizol Gold – Solanum lycopersicum

Herbs & Greens:
Lettuce Mix – Lactuca sativa
Red Basil – Ocimum basilicum
Thai Basil – Ocimum basilicum
Sweet Basil – Ocimum basilicum
Basil Mix – Ocimum basilicum

Cilantro – Coriandrum sativum
Chives (mix) – Allium tuberosum
Dill – Anethum graveolens
Fennel – Foeniculum vulgare
Mustard Greens – Brassica juncea
Arugula – Eruca sativa

Flowers:
Aster/Larkspur flower mix – Aster + Delphinium
Yarrow/Mallow/Wild Carrot Flower Mix – Achillea / Malvaceae / Daucus
Wild Carrot Flower – Daucus
Yarrow Flower – Achillea millefolium
Hibiscus – Malvaceae (limited)
Red Hot Poker Flower – Kniphofia uvaria
Coneflower – Asteraceae
Columbine Flower – Aquilegia
Poppy – Papaveroideae
Allium Flower
Common Sunflower – Helianthus annuus (edible)
Sunflower – Helianthus (ornamental)
Hollyhock – Alcea
Miscella Flowers (drought tolerant)

Grasses:
Oat Grass – Avena sativa
Miscella Grasses (ornamental)
connecting thru grasses mix: Little Bluestem (Schizachyrium scopariu) , Canada Wild Rye (Elymus canadensis), Side Oats Grama (Bouteloua curtipendula)

[*some of these packs also contain seeds saved after the summers of 2016/2017/2018/2019 – see the seed life chart in my seed saving zine for info on seed storing and longevity]

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The Seeds (2019 for the summer of 2020*)
Dahlia Flowers – Asteraceae
Radish – various types – Raphanus sativus
Pumpkin (Sugar Pie) – Cucurbita pepo
Morden Yellow Tomatoes (limited) – Solanum lycopersicum
Lettuce Mix (limited) – Lactuca sativa
Rapini – Brassica rapa
Red Hot Pepper – Capsicum annuum
Miscellaneous Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Cayenne Peppers – Capsicum annum
Aster/Larkspur flower mix – Aster + Delphinium
Black Krim Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Yarrow/Mallow/Wild Carrot Flower Mix – Asteraceae / Malvaceae / Daucus
Wild Carrot Flower – Daucus
Yarrow Flower – Asteraceae
Hibiscus – Malvaceae
Red Basil – Ocimum basilicum
Mixed Basil (sweet/thai/red) – Ocimum basilicum
Italian Heirloom Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Yellow Hot Peppers – Capsicum annum
Yellow Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Jalapeño Peppers – Capsicum annuum
Roma Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Serrano Peppers – Capsicum annum
Cilantro – Coriandrum sativum
Red Hot Poker Flower – Kniphofia uvaria
Chives (mix) – Allium tuberosum
Coneflower – Asteraceae
Columbine Flower – Aquilegia
Dill – Anethum graveolens
Long Hot Peppers – Capsicum annuum
Long Sweet Peppers – Capsicum annuum
Sweet Peppers – Capsicum annuum
Fennel – Foeniculum vulgare
Mustard Greens – Brassica juncea
Buran Peppers – Capsicum annum
Arugula – Eruca sativa
Cantaloupe – Cucumis melo
[*some of these packs also contain seeds saved after the summers of 2016/2017/2018 – see the seed life chart in my seed saving zine for info on seed storing and longevity]

The Seeds (2018 for the summer of 2019*)
Cayenne Peppers – Capsicum annum
Aster/Larkspur flower mix – Aster + Delphinium
Black Krim Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Yarrow/Mallow/Wild Carrot Flower Mix – Asteraceae / Malvaceae / Daucus
Wild Carrot Flower – Daucus
Mallow Flower – Malvaceae
Yarrow Flower – Asteraceae
Hibiscus – Malvaceae
Mixed Basil (sweet/thai/red) – Ocimum basilicum
Italian Heirloom Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Redfield Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum

Yellow Hot Peppers – Capsicum annum
Yellow Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Jalapeño Peppers – Capsicum annuum
Black Krim Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Roma Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum

Serrano Peppers – Capsicum annum
Cilantro – Coriandrum sativum
Common Sunflower – Helianthus annuus
Red Hot Poker Flower – Kniphofia uvaria
Chives (mix) – Allium tuberosum
Coneflower – Asteraceae
Columbine Flower – Aquilegia
Dill – Anethum graveolens
Long Hot Peppers – Capsicum annuum
Long Sweet Peppers – Capsicum annuum
Sweet Peppers – Capsicum annuum
Fennel – Foeniculum vulgare
Mustard Greens – Brassica juncea
Habanero Peppers – Capsicum chinense
Buran Peppers – Capsicum annum
Cucumbers (mix) – Cucumis sativus
Arugula – Eruca sativa
Cantaloupe – Cucumis melo
[*some of these packs also contain seeds saved after the summer of 2017]

The Seeds (2017 for the summer of 2018):
Dill – Anethum graveolens
Sweet Basil – Ocimum basilicum
Cilantro – Coriandrum sativum
Flowers – various drought tolerant species
Mint – Mentha
Long Hot Peppers – Capsicum annuum
Long Sweet Peppers – Capsicum annuum
Sweet Peppers – Capsicum annuum
Hibiscus – Malvaceae
Fennel – Foeniculum vulgare
Mustard Greens – Brassica juncea
Coneflower – Asteraceae
Garlic Chives – Allium tuberosum
Jalapeño Peppers – Capsicum annuum
Black Krim Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Habanero Peppers – Capsicum chinense
Black Hungarian Peppers – Capsicum annuum
Thai Hot Peppers – Capsicum annum
Cayenne Peppers – Capsicum annum
Buran Peppers – Capsicum annum
Hot Pepper Long – Capsicum annum
Cucumbers – Cucumis sativus
Yellow Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Roma Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Arugula – Eruca sativa
Red Basil – Ocimum basilicum
Thai Basil – Ocimum basilicum
Lavender – Lavandula angustifolia

The Seeds (2016 for the summer of 2017):
[I was really bad at paying attention to varieties this year!]

Dill – Anethum graveolens
Sweet Basil – Ocimum basilicum
Cilantro – Coriandrum sativum
Wildflowers – various drought tolerant species
Mint – Mentha
Long Hot Peppers – Capsicum spp.
Long Sweet Peppers – Capsicum spp.
Watermelon (Sugar Baby) – Citrullus lanatus
Pumpkin (Sugar Pie) – Cucurbita pepo
Hibiscus – Malvaceae
Fennel – Foeniculum vulgare
Mustard Greens – Brassica juncea
Coneflower – Asteraceae
Garlic Chives – Allium tuberosum
Jalapeño Peppers – Capsicum annuum
Black Krim Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Habanero Peppers – Capsicum chinense
Cantaloupe – Cucumis melo

The Seeds (2015):
Dill – Anethum graveolens
Sweet Basil – Ocimum basilicum
Tomatoes – Solanum lycopersicum
Thai Hot Peppers – Capsicum annuum
Serrano Peppers – Capsicum annuum
Cilantro – Coriandrum sativum
Green Husk Tomatillo – Physalis philadelphica
Wildflowers – various drought tolerant species.

seed packs are limited — the varieties available at any given time is dependent on various factors.