rowenwhite rowenwhite

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Rowen White  Indigenous seed steward •Mohawk• Haudenosaunee • I weave stories of ancestral foods, culture and indigenous seed stewardship on my blog Seed Songs.

So proud of Maizie, as she helped support, prep and plate as part of the Sioux Chef and indigenous chefs collective at a historic popup dinner here in Turin Italy, which celebrated the flavors of resilience of Native North America. What an incredible experience for her, I'm eternally grateful for the depth of spirit and the gifts that each of her mentors and kitchen uncles and aunties offer her. The meal featured foods lovingly prepared by Sean Sherman ( Lakota) , Brian Yazzie ( Diné) , Vincent Medina and Louis Trevino ( Ohlone) , Mackee Bancroft and Shiloh Maples. 200 people enjoyed a five course meal of all pre-colonial native North American foods in the center of this old Piedmont city. It was a night to remember! #homeschool #learning #in #action #nativehearth #indigenous #resilience #torino #italy @native_hearth

From sharing reindeer meat and organ meat with Sami people, to a gloriously happy dancing Algerian chef, to truffles, decades old cured balsamic vinegar, fried risotto balls, and native chefs and farmers working together to share our unique stories of seeds and foods, it has been another delicious and exquisite feast for the senses. We have one more day of the Slow Food Terra Madre convening tomorrow, and then our family is onward to Venice for a few days before coming home. My heart is overflowing with renewed hope, to see so many expressions of resilience and generosity here....my prayers go out tonight to all the people keeping beautifully unique and obscure food traditions alive, this is a deep embodied prayer for all the ancestors have passed down from generation to generation. #terramadre #torino #italy #earthschool

Day two of Terra Madre was another full sensory experience! We found breakfast at the farmers market ( focaccia, olives, fruit) and then hopped on a bus to the event, where even more people came to celebrate the unique biodiversity of food cultures worldwide. Imagine 4 spaces the size of this large expo room pictured, full of food, and you will begin to imagine the immensity of this event. I came home to our apartment with a bag full of foods featured on the Slow Food ark of Taste; artisanal salt, Eygpytian Siwa dates, Gigante Vercelli risotto rice, organic Piedmont honey, the most fragrant wild strawberry jam, olives, paprika and more....I had the honor of sharing my thoughts on an international panel of indigenous women called " Women as change agents against Climate Change" with strong sisters from Sami people of Sweden, Mexico, the Philippines and the Masai of Kenya. It gives me great hope to come together in such a convening with people who are passionate about loving Earth stewardship, resilient culture, and celebrating delicious unique food traditions. Feeling satiated and happily tired. The children are loving it.Moss webt exploring while I spoke on tjr panel and he met Sami people who fed him reindeer....we are all going to dream well and head back for more learning and tasting tomorrow. #terramadre #torino #italy #earthschool

The first day of exploring the incredible Slow Food Salon Del Gusto and Terra Madre exhibition, what another feast for the senses! We only made it a tiny portion through the huge international food market, featuring delicious treasures from Italy and beyond. We've been eating so many treasured foods! More to share tomorrow! #terramadre #salondelgusto #italy

The open air food market at Piazza Della Republicca in Torino was a feast for the senses! What a beautiful way to start the day! #torino #italy #food #market #earthschool

We had an inspiring whirlwind of a day; beginning early eating delicious pastries in Milan, navigating by high speed rail ( 300 km/hr) to Torino...winding ourselves through Torino's largest open air market to find our flat for the week, which turned out to be a gorgeous apartment with a veranda overlooking the market at Piazza Della Republicca. It was quite a feat to find the building amidst the hustle and bustle of market, in the midday heat, with us speaking very little Italian and the city folk speaking no English! Thankful for good universal body language and that Spanish and Italian are closely related! We then took a bus across town and met up with dear friends to find dinner and get set up for the Terra Madre event which begins tomorrow. We had the most beautiful meal in this delightful Piazza Castella, sharing mussels, a variety of pasta dishes and antipasti. Thankful for a comfortable bed to come back to! My inner clock is still way off, and I am up at an odd hour watching predawn setting up of the market, where we will shop this morning with the @siouxchef crew for ingredients for the indigenous pop up dinner hosted here in Torino this coming weekend. This is such a rich homeschool experience for the children, I can't wait to see what the next week brings for opening up their minds, as tens of thousands of people gather from all over the world to celebrate their unique food traditions. Maizie and Moss are incredible travel companions! #torino #italy #earthschool

Landed in Milan after 24 hours en route ..after a long and restless red eye flight, we were happy to find a warm meal...we found a little cafe and ate a beautiful meal, including this incredible risotto. We rest here for the night, and then onward to Torino by train tomorrow. #italy

Rosie the cat reminding me to pack her up and take her with us to Italy! Haha! Wish we could, baby girl. One more short night of sleep and we're off! Kids are so excited! #ontheroad #italy #bound #workingvacation #catsofinstagram

Winnowed the first batch of potato beans, we still have lots to harvest, thresh and winnow. There was a nice wind today, perfect winnowing weather. It is in these repetitive daily actions of threshing and winnowing that I find deep satisfaction, reflection and inner peace.  While my hands gently work with wind and simple screens to winnow away the seed from the chaff, I find myself in my inner reflections doing similar processing.  Sifting out the things, thoughts, actions in my life worth keeping, and allowing all the rest of the “chaff” to blow away in the wind.  The plants and seed continue to be my teachers on so many levels. While this chaff represents parts of the plant that were fully supportive to the seed development and growth while living, once dry down, this dried plant material no longer is in service to the seed…the transformation of one mother plant who gives of her own self for the extended life of her thousands of children.

This is true from my own inner landscape;  when I take the presence to make my work my sadhana, or spiritual practice, it allows me the tools to identify aspects of my life that were once in place to support my own personal growth, but now need to be “winnowed” away to leave room for more expanded potential.  Fall is a potent time for this “inner winnowing,” to give ourselves the quiet, spacious reflection time to see what is worth carrying with us through the dark winter months, and what is ready to be released. It's been an intense last few days for me, with our car accident and getting things set for our trip to Italy, getting our farmmates set up for holding down the fall rhythm here while we travel. I am grateful to the chance to winnow and relax into letting go of tensions, stress and anything else not serving me right now. Forever grateful for these farm rhythms that hold me, keep me centered and remind me that we are always changing, guided by divine life cycles just like our beloved plants. #winnowing #meditation

Last year, my husband Gordon traveled to Spain with his band, and he found himself in a little farm to table restaurant in Toledo, eating a dish with a flavorful tomatoes. He asked the chef which variety they were, and he called them tomate de penjar, which means "hanging tomato". The chef gifted him a fresh tomato, and Gordon tucked it into a vitamin jar and carried it home to me. By the time it made it home to me, after journeys through Europe in his pack, the tomato was a squishy mess, but for those of you who have saved tomato seeds, they were perfectly fermented, and ready to dry out for next year's planting. I patiently waited through the winter, and tucked those seeds into welcoming soil in April, and now, months later, we have these beautiful clusters of fruits. The tomatoes are of Catalonian origins, and have been grown in dryland gardens for a couple centuries there. I love thinking about who these tomatoes were before they landed in Catalan, tracing the ancient memory of the tomatoes before they made their way from Mesoamerica centuries ago in the pocket of some conquistador, bringing back fruits to plant in Spanish soil. All the stories that are held in these fruits, a record of the intertwined plant human relationships since time immemorial. Today I will roast them and douse them with olive oil pressed just down the hill from our mountain farm, and sea salt gathered from the Mendocino coast. These seeds, by the kinship routes of the heart, have joined our family here, returning to the Americas, and nourish us with their bright flavor, their resilient nature, their tenacity to send roots down deep to endure the dry times, concentrating their sweetness to nourish us again and again. So grateful for gifts like these, living treasures that continue to give abundance each season. #seed #gifts #rematriation #indigenous #resilience #heirloom #tomato #seedsongs @salifbamakora

Today was a close call. As I was dropping my son Moss off this morning at his homeschool charter, someone drove too quickly through the crowded drop off lane and clipped the edge of our open car door as my son was about to step out. The door buckled and crunched and I was stunned. Mossy was freaked out, and we all didn't know what had even happened in that split second. Thankfully he is ok. Thankfully nobody was hurt. The door will be replaced, and we will move onward, mindful of how precious life is and how important it is to slow down. After a generous friend drove us all the way home from town, my nerves were shot, after holding it all together as best I could to get the reports filed, insurance dealt with, tow trucks and Auto body shops. And offering emotional support for my son who was very shook by this experience. I came immediately into the garden, where instead of pulling whole bean plants, I sat myself down in the browning leaves and plucked bean pods, one at a time. Slowing my breath, calming my nervous system, touching the Earth with my whole center. This is my sanctuary, my temple, my circle of trusted wise ones who help me relax and remember how precious life is. Thankful for this medicine, this meditation, one bean pod at a time, realigning with my self, coming home to this Earth to feel whole and held. Thankful to all the forces, seen and unseen who made sure that today my son was safe, and that no one was hurt. Deep exhale. #beanbybean #seed #meditation #thankful

More tulsi seeds ready for harvest this week. The bees are still gathering the last bits of nectar and blood red pollen from the last remaining purple flowers. Soon there will be windrows of fragrant plants piled around, just inviting us to lay down and be enveloped by her sweet blessings. Today was the first real feeling of fall in the air, and everything is coming full cycle back to seeds again. #tulsi #ma #homegrown #medicine #sacred #herbs #seed #divine #lifecycles #plant #allies

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