Good mind is the creator of humankind, the twin brother of bad mind and the son of the first born in this world. He is grandson to sky woman. Good Mind’s mother’s body became the three sisters, and he went on to create many of the good plants we know today that cure disease and feed us.
On a 5.1 acre plot of used to be many more acres, used to have many more stars patch of Pennsylvania, I am attempting to revive a practice of growing food and keeping seeds in a way not unlike what my ancestors did here and a way more capable of being passed down to future generations. In recent years the destruction of the land here in Wexford, asphalt creeping onto the creeks and wetlands, a carpet of desert burying the memory of what used to be, has only reminded me more and more of the degradation of the seed that was once grown here. The loss of that memory, the corn whose colors cannot be separated. GMO’s, the loss of genetic diversity and inbreeding of crops through industrialization, the destruction of the land and native and agricultural communities, not to mention the impossibly interconnected corporate control of food, has nearly completely destroyed our ability to feed ourselves. How can we hope to pass on a future to our families when we cannot even give them seeds to eat from?
Looking to my environment in urban Pittsburgh, I realized the stark contrast between the city and the land that only lives now in my memory. Meeting people from the city who had never eaten a single thing they had seen grown, that they had seen in any other context than plastic wrappers, it made me remember the sun warmed fruits of Wexford when I was a kid, the clean food that tasted like what it was.
Human beings have an inalienable right to food. Food that is not polluted and poisonous, food that does not imply our dependence on the corporations who steal life from what feeds them. Food is medicine, so if it’s not medicine its not food. These crops and their many varieties depend on us for their survival. We depend on the crops we keep to survive the ways we were taught since time immemorial. If we do not make a collective effort to restore what seeds are left to prepare for future generations now, there will never be another time. We have less than 1% our original crop diversity. This is why I decided to preserve and restore the seeds of my ancestors, which is also part of my cultural survival, along with all seeds I’ve found from all around the world that may increase our potential for survival, and increase the potential for creation.
Vandana Shiva, a great inspiration of mine, states the abundant nature of the seed, how one seed can bring rise to thousands more. How nature is constantly abundant and how the seed is a great symbol of that abundance. I hope to be like a seed, or to have one inside of me, a small piece to work upon that might sprout and grow and shed a thousand more seeds, to be abundant like nature, to never give up or surrender.
Good Mind Seeds is 100% indigenous owned and operated, the online catalog is 100% wind powered, and 100% of the proceeds return to preservation and restoration of critically endangered crops indigenous to eastern Turtle Island.
Seed trade is a backbone of this effort, and all seed keeping. Please email me if you are interested in sharing your work with me, or if you are curious about the indigenous person’s discount. firstname.lastname@example.org