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00:00:00 - Introductions

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Partial Transcript: "I'm here with Ira Wallace, Writer, Exposer, Seed Saver, and a driving force behind southern exposure seed savers."

Segment Synopsis: Amanda Seigel interviews Ira Wallace

00:00:55 - How did you get into saving seed?

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Partial Transcript: Well its a long story, I started out gardening with my grandmother in Florida. She saved mostly flower seeds and then when I was in college I took some taxonomy classes and so forth and just really after a while saved some seed from various wild plants to get a sense of how challenging that was.

Segment Synopsis: Ira talks about what got her into seed saving.

Keywords: Botanical Gardens; Seed Saving; Wild Seed

Subjects: Agriculture; Botanical Gardens; Seed Saving; Wild seed

00:05:01 - What types or varieties of seed do you save?

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Partial Transcript: About 800 varieties of heirloom vegetable, flowers, herb seed or plants. I personally kind of like to constitute on two things, one is family heirlooms whose varieties have been maintained throughout the days...I like weird things, that's it, lots of things that are different and in particular varieties that come from the African diaspora and are not necessarily well known in the US.

Segment Synopsis: Ira talks about the different plants that she personally saves the seeds for and the plants that her co-operatively run seed bank, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange protects.

Keywords: African Diaspora; Heirlooms; Herbs; Seed banks; Vegetables; flowers

Subjects: African Diaspora Agriculture; Agriculture; Seed banking; seed saving

00:06:57 - What are the pleasures that you get from Saving Seed?

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Partial Transcript: I like each seed, it is a little mystery. Plant it and see what it grows into and how it behaves and naturally fun. Particularly fun to get something where it has an intriguing description and you're waiting to see all of that unfold. It's kind of nice to have things when you get older you can look forward to them.

Segment Synopsis: Ira talks about the great things about gardening and watching the new generations of plants grow and develop as you age being a source of joy.

Keywords: Aging; Gardening; Seed Saving

Subjects: Agriculutre; Gardening; Seed Saving; Seed-Saving; SeedSaving

00:08:16 - The legacies of African Seeds, how are seeds important to maintaining black cultural legacies, how and why?

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Partial Transcript: I think a lot of the history of African People in the United States have not been maintained as a written legacy, and Michael Toddy says "our stories are hidden in these recipes, these flavors that we have, and sometimes that is all that connects us to the ancestors."

Segment Synopsis: Ira explains how her work in seed legacies is an important way to maintain the history and cultural legacy of the African Diaspora reminding us that cooking can be one of the only ways left connecting their heritage.

Keywords: African Diaspora; Ancestors; Cultural Memory; History; Legacy; Seed Saving

Subjects: African Agriculture; African Diaspora; Agriculture; Ancestors; Cooking; Cultural Memory; History; Legacy; Seed Saving; Sociology

00:11:51 - How much attention do you pay to keeping seed true? and what are your methods for preventing cross pollination?

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Partial Transcript: Well as a seed company that's a high priority. When you're doing preservation work you also find out from the people that have been stringing it along what level of isolation and selection they maintain. Some varieties, they're really a mix.

Segment Synopsis: Ira explains that a lot of varieties are a specific mix and for the ones that aren't you can usually rely on seed selection. Ultimately she relies on distance, barriers, and physical Isolation.

Keywords: Cross Pollination; Heirlooms; Seed Saving

Subjects: Cross Pollination; Heirlooms; Seed Saving; Seed preservation Methods; Seed-Saving; SeedSaving

00:13:50 - Do you have a special Seed Saving Story of a particular seed that you saved?

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Partial Transcript: I like this heirloom collards project. These two cultural geographers went around in the 90s collecting heirloom collards seeds. They collected about 90 additions. I happened to run into one of the authors of the book about that and then later be in Charleston when they were at the convention. I'd never seen so many collards, Yellow ones, Purple ones.

Segment Synopsis: Ira talks about her Favorite experience with preserving heirloom seeds.

Keywords: Collard greens; Cultural Geography; Heirloom seeds; Seed Saving

Subjects: Agriculture; Cultural Geography; Heirloom seeds; Seed Saving; Seed-Saving; SeedSaving

00:16:34 - What is your reasoning behind Saving Seed and working with the earth?

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Partial Transcript: I think the world is in a challenging position. I think that if we want to combat global warming and have a better future for our children and grand children then trying to live a life that is more nourishing to the earth and better for the environment that is a good thing. Black people have been separated from traditional food supply. Its kind of funny you can buy more kind of greasy soul food but as you read a book the kind of diet that black people on farms maintained was quite varieated and seasonal and it wasn't like that. You know you ate fried chicken but it wasn't like that every day. You ate a lot of mixed greens and vegetables.

Segment Synopsis: Ira talks about the importance of working with the earth to her as a black woman. She discuses the irony of "soul food" being more common but still much farther away from what historically the diet of the African Diaspora had been and advocates for working towards the black community to be more connected to their food chain and more in control of their own diets as a form of economic independence. She also advocates for economic co-operatives claiming "We're not going to get very far competing against each other. We will have to work together."

She later sites her grandfather being lucky enough to have enough money from working on the railroads to financially support the Civil Rights movement.

Keywords: African Diaspora; Environmentalism

Subjects: African Diaspora; Agriculture; Environmentalism

00:21:17 - What advice would you give young people to encourage them to save seed?

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Partial Transcript: If you take one seed that is important to you and take a little time to do it. It give you a little chance to create a living legacy to your children or your grandchildren. It can be something grown by one of your elders that you grew up with.

Segment Synopsis: Ira encourages the youth of today to save seed not only as a form of self sufficiency but as a way to stay closer to their family, their heritage, and their community to make it their own.

Keywords: Heritage; Saving Seed; Self Sufficency

Subjects: Agriculture; Cultural Geography; Saving Seed; Saving-Seed; SavingSeed; Sociology