Morgantown Seed Preservation Library opens April 12th, 2019
The opening of the Morgantown Seed Preservation Library will be celebrated in conjunction with 2019 WVU Food Justice Day. You can find the event details here: https://eberly.wvu.edu/news-events/events/041219morgantown-seed-preservation-library-launch
Schedule for the events afternoon
1:30-3:00 Seed Sovereignty Panel, WVU Downtown Library, Milano Reading Room
Panelists: Mike Costello; Chef-Farmer, Lost Creek Farm
Jonathan Hall; Assistant Professor, WVU Geography
Joshua Lohnes; Food Policy Director, WVU Food Justice Lab
Sarah Palfrey; Director, Morgantown Public Library
Moderator: Mehmet Oztan; Service Assistant Professor, WVU Geography
3:30-5:00 Community Seed Swap, Morgantown Public Library
Swap hosts: Mike Costello
Lewis Jett, Specialist, WVU Extension
Ira Wallace, Southern Exposure Seed Exchange
6:00-7:30 Seedy Talks, Morgantown Public Library
Keynote speaker: Ira Wallace
First session of the Seedy Talks will be held on April 12th, 2019, in the Morgantown Public Library from 6:00-7:30 p.m. Our keynote speaker will be Ira Wallace of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange.
About the speaker
Wallace was raised in Tampa, Florida, by her grandmother Estella Brown, growing up with an abundant homestead garden. She graduated from New College in Sarasota, Florida. She left Florida after college to travel around the world throughout the 1960s and 1970s, living on Kibbutz, a community settlement in Israel, and farming in Denmark and Canada.
In 1984, she returned to the U.S., and settled in the Twin Oaks Community of Louisa, Virginia. In 1993, she helped to found the Acorn Community, a 75-acre egalitarian farm in Louisa, Virginia, which is identified by Wallace as an “experiment for economic justice.” In 1999, Wallace and other members of the Acorn Community took over the stewardship of Southern Exposure Seed Exchange, a small heirloom seed company that has been cooperatively managed since then, and that specializes in southeastern heirloom seeds while commercially offering more than 700 seed varieties to home gardeners and small farmers.
Wallace has served on the boards of the Organic Seed Alliance, Open Source Seed Initiative and Virginia Association for Biological Farming, and she is an organizer of the Heritage Harvest Festival at Monticello, Virginia. She was one of the nine contributors to the Southern SARE-sponsored Saving Our Seeds Project that aimed to promote sustainable, ecological, organic vegetable seed production in the mid-Atlantic and South. She was one of the major collaborators in the Heirloom Collard Project that focused on historical documentation and preservation of the collard varieties grown since pre-civil war era in the southern U.S.
Wallace was the mid-Atlantic regional correspondent for the Mother Earth News gardening almanac in the 1990s and is the author of the "Timber Press Guide to Vegetable Gardening in the Southeast." She is the 2016 recipient of the Craig Claiborne Lifetime Achievement Award, 2019 recipient of the Organic Growers School’s Organic Educator Award and 2019 recipient of the American Horticultural Society’s Paul Ecke Jr. Commercial Award.
Wallace travels around the U.S. to tell seed stories and to teach communities about seed saving, seeds’ connection with economic and food justice as well as about southern culinary and farming traditions. She is one of the most prominent and inspirational seed advocates of our time.