Seeds As Storytellers

Posted 6th Apr, 2015 in On Our Mind
by Robin Kelson

Welcome to the Good Seed Company's new blog. We thought we'd start with our thoughts about seeds as storytellers. It's one of the things we love about them and why we are still in business.

All seeds have a story to tell. Their story is about where they like to grow, when they like to grow, what they offer the world, and what they need in return. They keep their story in their genetics, and they LOVE to share that story with others, by growing and making more seeds. Every time they produce a plant and make more seeds, they add more stories to their genetics of how to grow in a changing climate. Every viable plant seed we hold in our hand is a record keeper holding a treasure trove of information.

Humans have been listening to and cultivating these seed stories for probably ten thousand years. By sowing seeds of wild plants and continually selecting, saving and sharing seeds from the plants that make tasty fruit, leaves or tubers; that produce quality string or dye our cloths pretty colors; that heal our cuts, settle our stomachs, and satisfy our bodies’ needs for nourishment, communities have developed tens of thousands of varieties of agriculturally and medicinally important crops and helped build a veritable Library of Congress of information in each and every seed we use today.

In the last 100 years or so, the breadth of those stories has narrowed alarmingly. As humans have come to rely on the industrial farming practice of monocultures, many varieties and their stories of how to grow in different climates and conditions have been lost. The good news is that we can get the stories back. All we have to do is repeat our ancestors’ community practice of selecting, saving and sharing seeds, and we can rebuild the library. The seeds already know how to write the stories. It's in their DNA.

Our mission at the Good Seed Company is simple: We are dedicated to supporting re-establishing the community practice of selecting, saving and sharing locally‑adapted, biodiverse and genetically vibrant non‑GMO open‑pollinated heirloom seeds for common use.

In short, we are dedicated to rebuilding the library by giving seeds a forum for re-writing their stories.

Our intention is to provide a model that works for any community wanting to participate in rebuilding seed biodiversity.

We do this through:

  • seed sales
  • education
  • community outreach

And, of course, an actual seed library. Check out our website for details and send us an email ( if you'd like to participate. We are looking for friends, growers and librarians. Happy planting!

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