Seed: The Untold Story — Earth Day Film and Panel

Asheville, NC: Organic Growers School (OGS) is teaming up with Bountiful Cities, Green Opportunities, Asheville GreenWorks, Sow True Seed and Lenoir Rhyne University, Asheville Campus, to host a screening of the recent film, “Seed: The Untold Story,” featuring seed savers and activists from around the world. “Seed: The Untold Story” will screen on Earth Day, Saturday, April 22, 2016 in the Lenoir-Rhyne University Boardroom (2nd floor) , Asheville Campus, 36 Montford Avenue, in Asheville NC. The doors will open at 5:30pm with the film starting at 6:15 pm. There will be a community discussion after the screening. Cost is by donation at the door and there are no advanced sales.

The film focuses on the rise of industrial agriculture and the effects of commercialism on seed diversity. In this David and Goliath tale, viewers follow the heroes of a worldwide seed saving movement and their mission to ensure our survival on this planet.  

From 544 varieties of cabbage, we have just 28; from 158 varieties of cauliflower, we now have 9, and the list goes on. “We have lost 94% of vegetable seed varieties in the 20th century,” we are told at the start of the film. It is truly enough to make you weep…and to inspire action to save our heritage for a sustainable future.

The Earth Day film event is intended to inspire the community to grow at home with seed saving in mind. Additionally, event partnerships will provide an opportunity to introduce non-profits, and a local business, that are involved in eco-agriculture and a locally sustainable food system.

Seed saving is not only necessary in these contentious times, but it’s become a worldwide obsession with the preservation of varieties that are suitable for particular regions and, naturally, taste good. There are rich and locally-relevant stories as well as Western NC varieties. In April 2015, an article in the Mountain Xpress, authored by Carla Seidl, told about a local favorite: greasy beans.  “A cotton sack arrived at Sow True Seed in Asheville, tied with cotton twine and labeled on brown paper as “Glenwood Greaseys…Product of Cannery Springs Farm, a Century farm in the village of Glenwood, County McDowell, NC, USA.” Greasy beans are a Southern Appalachian specialty, not known much beyond these mountains. They’re called greasy beans because their skins are hairless and waxy. And the way they taste is “sweet and creamy,” just “beautiful.”4

Jillian Wolf, OGS Program and Outreach Coordinator and Project Conserve AmeriCorps Service Member explains her inspiration for showing “Seed: The Untold Story.” “In my AmeriCorps service with OGS, I am pursuing a longtime interest in food as related to the sustainability of our environment. Each component serves the other when considered holistically.  For example, the industrial practice of monoculture crops that has whittled down the diversity of our seed. These practices reap huge profits but do not serve humankind or the planet long term.”

Organic Growers School has offered an Earth Day Film and panel discussion for the past three years, starting with GMO OMG in 2014. This fourth annual Earth Day event is offered in conjunction with allies and partners Bountiful Cities, Green Opportunities, Asheville GreenWorks and Sow True Seed, who all work to address the complex issues facing regional food and farming and stand for regional food sovereignty, food democracy, food justice, and food security for all. Attendees of the event will gather on Earth Day for an exploration of seed and seed saving, possibly the most critical focus of the 21st Century.

For more information about the Earth Day Film contact Jillian Wolf at outreach@organicgrowersschool.org or visit Organic Growers School’s website: www.organicgrowersschool.org.

#####

Organic Growers School is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization with a mission to inspire, educate, and support people to farm, garden, and live organically. Organic Growers School is the premier provider of practical organic education in the Southern Appalachians. OGS envisions a mutually supportive network of prosperous farmers, productive gardeners and informed consumers engaged in creating healthy communities.

Jillian Wolf

Jillian Wolf

Jillian is the 2016-17′ Home Grower Program and Outreach Coordinator and AmeriCorps Service Member at Organic Growers School. Jillian grew up in Los Angeles County, later moving to Tampa, Chicago, and Asheville iin pursuit of her passions. She developed a strong bond to the land early on, and remembers fondly the time spent with her naturalist father and on her grandfather’s farm. These experiences led to professional interests in zoo exhibit landscapes, organic gardening and permaculture as Jillian learned to live with the land, rather than on it.