Marlon Gil, a HSU wildlife graduate and self-proclaimed “permie,” poses at the annual Seed and Plant Exchange hosted by the Humboldt Permaculture Guild. Photo by Emily Owen.

Sharing abundance at the seed exchange


Everyone eats. You’re either buying food or you’re growing it. This past weekend, the Humboldt Permaculture Guild hosted their annual Seed and Plant Exchange, a collaborative event that brings together students and members of the community over a share gardening knowledge, materials and resources.

Organizations on and off campus are working to make growing food more accessible for students and community members.

Student volunteers at the Humboldt Permaculture Guild’s booth during the Seed and Plant Exchange on March 31. Photo by Emily Owen.

WRRAP and CCAT tabled at the event, providing information on composting and Humboldt State University’s other zero waste initiatives.

Isabel Sanchez, a Humboldt State senior and a co-director at CCAT, the Campus Center for Appropriate Technology, recognizes the need for coalition building in gardening and food justice. She thinks this event offers a chance to cultivate an open space for everyone to learn.

“CCAT is a place to pass down ancestral knowledge,” Sanchez said. “[The seed exchange] creates a space to engage with that information and the community.”

Karina Coronado, a HSU environmental studies major and librarian at CCAT, wants to provide access to seeds and make gardening available to all people.

“CCAT is an always active, continuous space to learn, follow up and further knowledge,” Coronado said. “It is the forever seed exchange.”

Isabelle Sanchez and Karina Coronado explaining CCAT’s mission to community members at the Humboldt Permaculture Guild’s annual Seed Exchange. Photo by Emily Owen.

Permaculture comes from the concept of permanent agriculture and is based on the belief that we can align ourselves with nature’s own rules.

It is the idea that we can build sustainable, regenerative human settlements that benefit people and the natural world. Permaculture works to minimize our impact on earth and maximize the efficiency of how we consume natural resources.

Marlon Gil is a HSU wildlife graduate, gardener, natural builder and self-proclaimed “permie.” He believes permaculture concepts can be applied to all situations.

“We have a moral obligation to share the excess we have,” Gil said. “Permaculture is a way to do that. It’s about balance. Take the time now to learn it and then live it.”

Every April, HSU’s Oh Snap! offers a series of gardening workshops hosted in association with WRRAP and CCAT. Irán Ortiz is the sustainability coordinator for Oh Snap! and she has organized the programs to prepare even the most inexperienced gardener to take back their power.

“It is empowering to grow your own food,” Ortiz said. “There is a big problem with our current food system, mainly in distribution, and this really affects students. So this is a way to take advantage of the resources provided.”

The gardening workshops will culminate on April 19 from 5-9:30 p.m., with a seed bank on campus.

The event will feature a banquet and showing of Seed: The Untold Story. It will provide students with almost all of the resources they need to start their own personal gardens.

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