Seed Swap in the Ozarks

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Seed Swap follows Dr. Campbell, an anthropologist living in the Ozarks, as he helps to organize a seed swap to be held March 1st 2008 in Mountain View, Arkansas. Hundreds of people and seed varieties attend the first Swap. Over a period of four years we watch as that first Seed Swap in 2008 sprouts seven new Swaps by 2010: six in the Ozarks and one in the Arkansas Delta. This documentary film uses the development of a seed exchange and agricultural biodiversity conservation project in the Ozark Mountains as an ethnographic lens to explore the seed saving subculture of the region. The Ozarks continue to be uniquely agrarian and rural, and throughout the film we meet diverse Ozarkers who maintain the agricultural traditions of saving and trading seeds. Many documentary films expose and emphasize problems with the industrial food system, but too few present practical solutions. The film showcases the utility of applied anthropology to get the public involved in more localized food systems, presents a wide range of open-pollinated, heirloom seeds of the Ozarks, and teaches the steps necessary to establish a community seed bank and host seed swaps.

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