Heirloom Seed Keepers and their Stories: Growing community and sustainability through arts-based research: Year 2
Students in the Appalachian Studies Minor at the University of North Georgia seek to build social bridges that will improve the local food system by encouraging the exchange of seeds and stories between new and long-term residents through arts-based community research.
In Year 1 of the project, students located and interviewed seed savers, collected seeds, conducted seed swaps, and attended community celebrations. Their analysis of stories and images resulted in a visual representation of their research called a "communograph," a quilt-sized display that artistically characterized the seed savers' contributions of donated seeds and shared stories as well as the connections and conversations that led to locating the cultural tradition bearers.
In Year 2, students built on previous work to determine if the project is replicable, sustainable, and scalable for other areas of Southern Appalachia. In addition to creating policies and procedures for collecting and banking seeds and stories, they also generated another quilt-inspired installation based on the new research cycle. The new partner for the 2013-14 ATP was Loganberry Heritage Farm, an organic farm with a mission to recognize Appalachian history and embrace sustainability.
Dr. Rosann Kent
Director, Appalachian Studies
University of North Georgia
Histoic Vickery House
Dahlonega, GA 30597