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Seeding: The End and the Beginning

Articles: Seeding: The End and the Beginning

Fall 2023 

This article is excerpted and reproduced from What We Sow by Jennifer Jewell with permission from the author and Timber Press © 2023.

December: Seedshed


The moon is bright and clear, rising through a precise notch in the canyon wall directly east of John’s house. It’s some 20 degrees north of its position just three months ago, at the autumnal equinox. An annual and seasonal reminder of our constant planetary journey.

The coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis) is still in such wide-open, bighearted, full-throated seed “bloom” that it glows by day and even more luminously by moonlight on the meadowy hillside at the top of the road. Torch-like branches are held high, positively resplendent with the white seed plumes … even a little breath of the cold night air sends them trembling and jostling and then …

hesitantly at first …



from their assigned places and …

shh …

phshh …


Down and up and off onto the air current—

into the world.

Little parachutes of life and hope, past and present.

Ripe …

rich …



Winter is a season of final seed dispersal here, a culmination of the celestial and seed year—a very literal ending-beginning line between not only seasons, but generations of life. Acorns in October, iris and Calochortus in November, and now alder catkins and coyote brush at the solstice.

Listen to Garden Futurist Episode XXXII: Great Expectations for Seed Keeping with Jennifer Jewell here.




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