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Rose High Bear

A Gift of Heirloom Seedlings is Arriving

In Oregon we say “April showers bring May showers!” I’m not trying to predict this Spring’s weather, but I do know we are excited about this month’s arrival of heirloom vegetable seedlings. These seedlings are being gifted to us by American Center for Sustainability.

We are planting some of the heirloom seedlings in several of our WISDOM gardens and plan to learn seed saving at our June 5 event at PSU’s Native American Student and Community Center. We welcome you to join us so you can learn too. A few seedlings will be gifted at this event. We are also gifting seedlings to our partners, Native American Rehabilitation Association, Native American Youth and Family Services, and the Native American Student and Community Center for their gardens and their community members.

I started a vegetable garden three years ago with the support of Growing Gardens. They came out one spring afternoon and built my first organic vegetable garden bed. They helped me plan the garden and gave me seeds, even including a worm ranch. (Worms are a little easier than buffalo or caribou to grow!)

My favorite thing was getting up in the morning and opening the curtains to the east so the sun could shine in on hundreds of seedlings that were sprouting. I just loved counting the pepper sprouts and began calling them my grandchildren. I developed a relationship with the plant world that spring that will hopefully stay with me for the rest of my seasons.

We want our Native community to develop a closer relationship with the plant nation. We’re suggesting that our families begin growing organic vegetable gardens for their families this spring if they have not already done so, and start to save the seeds. Most of us can’t usually afford to purchase organic vegetables, but with this gift from American Center for Sustainability, we can start to learn and grow them and enjoy them. The expertise and mentoring provided by PSU Graduate School of Education’s Capstone led by Judy Bluehorse Skelton and Learning Garden Labs is a treasure to us. Gardening is not problem free, but the more we practice, the more we learn to live sustainably.
I hope you will join us June 5 at PSU’s Native American Student and Community Center (NASCC) at 2 PM for this special event. See Reviving the Tradition of Seed Saving below for details.

The event is sponsored by Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. (WISDOM) which produces the Native American radio series, Wisdom of the Elders Radio, and PSU’s Institute for Sustainable Solutions, PSU’s hub for cross-disciplinary research, teaching and partnerships in sustainability. Contributions will be accepted at the door and there will be a silent auction and raffle of Native American arts and crafts throughout the evening.

This event is a WISDOM fundraiser for planning the fourth series of Wisdom of the Elders Radio Program. This upcoming oral history and cultural arts radio series will feature compelling messages and sustainability responses to climate change from eight Northwest tribes in Oregon, Alaska, Washington and Montana. WISDOM, whose mission is Native American cultural sustainability, education and cross-cultural communications, shares the previous three radio series at wisdomoftheelders.org. You can listen to 150+ Native American radio segments by visiting our radio series pages.

Dogidinh (“thank you” in Deg Hit’an Dine)
Rose High Bear
Executive Director / Executive ProducerWisdom of the Elders, Inc.

Reviving the Tradition of Seed Saving

Two prominent Portland agriculturalists will talk about the importance of sustainable food systems and seed saving on Sunday, June 5th, at 2pm at Portland State University’s Native American Student and Community Center. (710 SW Jackson Street, Portland OR 97201)

Ken Burrow will discuss urban farming and gardening in his presentation of “Coming Full Circle with Heirloom Seeds.” As the founder of the American Center for Sustainability, Ken has been an integral part of Portland’s urban agriculture movement, particularly through the Plant Project, which has distributed more than 150,000 plant seedlings to more than 100 nonprofit garden sites across Oregon.

Concluding the event will be Marisha Auerbach with her presentation of “Seed Saving as an Activist Practice.” Marisha has been practicing, studying, and teaching gardening in the Pacific Northwest for the past decade. She encourages sustainable futures through sharing knowledge with others on topics including: permaculture, polyculture gardening, local economics, community building, ethnobotany, herbalism, and edible landscape design. In this presentation, Marisha will be discussing the importance of seed saving as an act in support of genetic diversity and local food security.

The event is sponsored by Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. (WISDOM) which produces the Native American radio series, Wisdom of the Elders Radio, and the American Center for Sustainability, a Portland nonprofit which strives to nurture Humankind’s shift toward more sustainable living practices by creating and managing original projects while supporting and linking other like-minded organizations and their efforts. Contributions will be accepted at the door and there will be a silent auction of Native American books, arts, and crafts. Concluding the event will be an heirloom seedling give away to those in attendance.

This event is a fundraiser to plan the fourth series of Wisdom of the Elders Radio Program. This upcoming oral history and cultural arts radio series will feature compelling messages and sustainability responses to climate change from eight Northwest tribes in Oregon, Alaska Washington and Montana. WISDOM, whose mission is Native American cultural sustainability,education and cross-cultural communications, shares audio of the previous three radio series atwww.wisdomoftheelders.org where downloads of 150+ Native American radio segments areavailable at no charge.