The Seed Underground by Janisse Ray
A Growing Revolution to Save Food

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Synopsis

There is no despair in a seed. There's only life, waiting for the right conditions-sun and water, warmth and soil-to be set free. Everyday, millions upon millions of seeds lift their two green wings.



At no time in our history have Americans been more obsessed with food. Options- including those for local, sustainable, and organic food-seem limitless. And yet, our food supply is profoundly at risk. Farmers and gardeners a century ago had five times the possibilities of what to plant than farmers and gardeners do today; we are losing untold numbers of plant varieties to genetically modified industrial monocultures. In her latest work of literary nonfiction, award-winning author and activist Janisse Ray argues that if we are to secure the future of food, we first must understand where it all begins: the seed.



The Seed Underground is a journey to the frontier of seed-saving. It is driven by stories, both the author's own and those from people who are waging a lush and quiet revolution in thousands of gardens across America to preserve our traditional cornucopia of food by simply growing old varieties and eating them. The Seed Underground pays tribute to time-honored and threatened varieties, deconstructs the politics and genetics of seeds, and reveals the astonishing characters who grow, study, and save them.

 

About Janisse Ray

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Writer, naturalist, and activist Janisse Ray is a seed-saver, seed-exchanger, and seed-banker, and has gardened for twenty-five years. She is the author of several books, including The Seed Underground , Pinhook and Ecology of a Cracker Childhood , a New York Times Notable Book. Ray is on the faculty of Chatham University's low-residency MFA program, and is a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. She has won a Southern Booksellers Award for Poetry, a Southeastern Booksellers Award for Nonfiction, an American Book Award, the Southern Environmental Law Center Award for Outstanding Writing, and a Southern Book Critics Circle Award. She attempts to live a simple, sustainable life on a farm in southern Georgia with her husband, Raven Waters.
 
Published July 6, 2012 by Chelsea Green Publishing. 240 pages
Genres: Crafts, Hobbies & Home, Science & Math, Professional & Technical. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Seed Underground

Kirkus Reviews

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Ray (Drifting into Darien: A Personal and Natural History of the Altamaha River, 2011, etc.) unabashedly proclaims that seeds are "miracles in tiny packages.” Through accounts of her own journey in saving them, as well as facts and anecdotes, she urges readers to consider the practice, in order t...

Jun 12 2012 | Read Full Review of The Seed Underground: A Growi...

Publishers Weekly

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In the era of dying, it is all life.” Ray is inspired by the eccentric, impassioned, generous characters she visits and interviews, gardeners and farmers who populate the quietly radical world of seed savers, from Vermonter Sylvia Davatz, self-proclaimed ‘“Imelda Marcos of seeds,”’ to t...

Jun 04 2012 | Read Full Review of The Seed Underground: A Growi...

Story Circle Book Reviews

Most of The Seed Underground, a title I have to confess loving in part for its layers ("underground"—where seeds sprout and also a movement), is comprised of tales like those, the kind that readers relax into and enjoy hearing.

Sep 21 2012 | Read Full Review of The Seed Underground: A Growi...

ForeWord Reviews

She warmly recalls her grandmother giving her some Jack bean seeds one summer, and from that moment “I got crazy about seeds because I was crazy about plants because long ago I realized that the safest place I could be was in the plant kingdom—where things made sense … where nothing was going to ...

Aug 30 2012 | Read Full Review of The Seed Underground: A Growi...

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