The Mystery of Seed
This was the goal of the leaf and the root.
For this did the blossom burn its hour.
This little grain is the ultimate fruit.
This is the awesome vessel of power.
For this is the source of the root and the bud….
World unto world unto world remolded.
This is the seed, compact of God,
Wherein all mystery is enfolded.
-George Starbuck Galbraith,
The New York Times, May 6, 1960
There is a beauty and wonder in seeds, an enigmatic captivation, a fascination full of hope and promise for the future. As I sit here, futilely trying to resist the urge to place “just one more” order for seeds online, having already just come home from Agway with a few packets tucked into my bag of seed potatoes, I am inspired to consider for the umpteenth time, what is the irresistible allure of seeds. What makes me scour page upon page of seed catalog after seed catalog, 30 or more in a season – what fuels my desire to collect, grow and possess seeds. Continually searching for new seedspeople, I travel across the country just to gather with fellow seed enthusiasts. My Instagram feed is riddled with seed savers, seed breeders, seed historians and seed librarians, my bookshelves safeguard a collection spanning 1000s of years of human connection to seed and the many uses of plants to nourish, cloth, protect, and enrich our lives.