In early summer, my partner Alex gathered his family together to plant a garden in the raised beds behind his childhood home. Over a few days they cleared the wild plants that had taken roots, spread fresh soil, and planted a bevy of summer produce and herbs.
The summer drew on, and Alex and I left and returned over the coming months. With each visit to the garden, we marveled at the plants’ speedy growth in the hot California sun. We made tomato salads, grilled squash, and snipped chives to stir into sour cream.
As the summer came to a close, the plants seemed to give out. The burst of energy they exerted to produce rapidly in the heat of July and August seemed to have used up their own life force, and green turned to brown by mid September.
To comfort Alex as he mourned the end of the season, I gathered seeds from each plant so we could safeguard them until next spring. We were grateful to the plants and their seeds for bringing the family together in a meaningful shared project, and for nourishing us all summer long. To express this caring, nourishing reciprocity I felt with these seeds, I crafted this seed saving reliquary to protect and display the seeds over the winter.
The seed saving vessel I created is knitted from blood-red, fingering weight cashmere. I adapted the pattern from the Catherine Shawl by Patti Waters, and snuggled each seed in a nook in the pattern. The seeds will stay warm, safe, and loved until next spring, when we will plant them for another season.