Seed Weekend Kicks Off at Bennington College

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cmadigan@benningtonbanner.com

BENNINGTON — Bennington College is working to plant seeds of change within our local community, and save them too.

From Friday, April 21st through Sunday April 23rd the Bennington College Center for the Advancement of Public Action (CAPA) will host their inaugural Seed Weekend. This series of events is an outgrowth of the Seed Library at Bennington College, organized by students Joana Santos and Lauren Brady.

"We feel it's important to create a community around the Seed Library, and bring people together around the questions it asks of the world," said Santos. "The festival is all about creating regenerative power around seeds, around the library, and around our community and our food."

The Bennington Seed Library opened in December 2016 and is a collection of vegetable, herb, and flower seeds that can be borrowed by community members. The project aims to provide a shared space for the community and to educate the public on the topic of food sovereignty. The Seed Library is located in the Crossett Library on the Bennington College campus.

"This event is another way to really get people in town to interact with the Seed Library and gain a better understanding of what we're trying to do through this initiative," said Aila West, the Assistant Director of CAPA. "We hope to give people a better sense about how to save seeds and what that means, and at the same time create this shared community around seed saving."

Seed Weekend will begin on Friday April 21st with a screening of the documentary "Seeds: The Untold Story" at 7:00pm, followed by a group discussion with Sue Johnson of the non-profit organization Seeds for Peace.

On Earth Day, April 22nd, community members will be able to participate in a Seed Arts session at the Left Bank in North Bennington to craft jewelry, seed collages, and flower pots.

The weekend will conclude on Sunday, April 23rd, with a seed saving workshop taught by Sylvia Davatz from 10am to 12pm at Bennington College's Crossett Library. A potluck lunch will follow at the Left Bank from 12:30pm until 2:30pm.

"I think these are fun activities," said West. "It's inspiring this time of year to be outside and to think about planting and gardening."

Seed Saving has risen in popularity in recent years, though it is a practice that dates back to antiquity and is still popular among many indigenous communities around the world. Seed Saving is promoted as a way to save money (compared to buying pre-packaged seeds or transplants) while also promoting genetic biodiversity, enhancing flavor and quality, and promoting healthy bee populations.

"It's so important to understand food and where it comes from," said West. "This provides the community with a shared space to connect with others who share those interests."

Reach Cherise Madigan at 802-490-6471.

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