Last week I taught a fermenting workshop and did some demonstrating and q-and-a, as part of the really brilliant Liverpool Food for Real Film Festival put on by Squash Nutrition and Liverpool Food People, “a network of food growers, composters, buyers, cooks and eaters passionate about a positive healthy food culture for lovely Liverpool.”  If you are working in your way towards food justice and urban growing, health and food sustainability and local responses to hunger– the whole shebang– it’s really worth looking up these groups and exploring what and how they do things.  They are energetic, creative people working hard in unique, inspired ways.  I fell in love with them, and with Liverpool. From my point of view, I was really glad as well to be sharing my knowledge with a truly multi-aged and multiethnic group of people, much more diverse than usual. This made for an especially interesting conversation about how people were going to go home and integrate these new food preparation techniques into their home cuisines.

I also had the opportunity to see a stunning film, Le Semeur,” the link to the trailer for which I’ve embedded above. “Le Semeur” is a lush and loving cinematic portrait of a Canadian artist and seed activist who “sows” meaning and hope, and gorgeous plant life, through his intertwined practices of performance, ritual and horticulture. The film watches Patrice Fortier and his community as they make seed saving spiritual and sacred, celebrating through processions of Blessed Sacrament Beans, for instance, and making headdresses of angelica seedheads that blow seeds to the wind.  You’ll get goosebumps, and be lost in the full seasons of rural Quebec.  You might be moved to start gardening skirrets and seek out knowledge of Buffalo Bird Woman and her writings.  Certainly you’ll feel how deeply beauty, and acts of beauty, can be political.

“Like” the film on Facebook and stay updated on screenings coming up in New Zealand, Korea, Spain, and the USA.  Or, contact the filmmaker and organise your own screening: this is a gorgeous, sensational, inspiring film.

Here’s a tidbit of Patrice pollinating squash blossoms.

If you haven’t done yet, find a way to see “Le Semeur.”