Planting seeds of knowledge at Skye Zine

ATLAS Arts director Ainslie Roddick at one of the Skye Zine Library sites in Dunvegan.

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The ATLAS Arts team.

ATLAS Arts is organising a range of online and offline activities for the launch of The Skye Zine Library – a new Skye and Lochalsh-wide library of mini libraries.

Containing flyers, posters and publications from crofters, artists, poets and activists, activities to coincide with the launch will include exploring the sharing of stories, publications and knowledge of seed sovereignty and environmental justice on Skye.

A collection of the seed library deposit envelopes.

Balmacara-based artist Isabel McLeish opened the library in July with specially made zine tutorials and templates for children and families. This month it’s being used to share seeds and seed saving knowledge.

With more and more people learning how to grow their own food, this programme explores practical ways in which people can learn from other amateur growers about seed varieties to create networks of local growers, whilst also learning about the importance of seed sharing for food security, climate justice and other ways of knowing the world.

Ainslie Roddick, ATLAS Arts director, said: ‘With this programme we’re excited to explore the magic and power of seeds, both here on Skye, and around the globe.

‘Like the Palestine Heirloom Seed Library, it would be amazing if we were to find an old heritage seed variety and find a way to bring it back to life – or to find an unusual story in the zine library about histories of local cultivation.’

Connecting to Skye Climate Action’s new ‘Grow Skye! Dùisg an talamh!’ project,  members of the communities are being invited to share seeds and stories from their harvest produce via several different specially created Skye Zine Library sites scattered across Skye, Raasay and Lochalsh.

From October 1 and right through November, anyone can visit one of the library boxes and deposit their own seeds in specially created envelopes for sharing with other local growers. They can also help themselves to seeds that others have shared too as well as peruse the free zines – mini publications – in the library.

The remainder of the programme takes shape as a series of film, talks and publication sharings focused on seed sovereignty and global food security.

The Skye Zine Library and the seed saving programme is supported by Creative Scotland, Engage Scotland and the Climate Challenge Fund (CCF), a Scottish Government grant programme managed by environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful.

A full events programme can be found at atlasarts.org.uk where bookings can also be made.