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In my previous post, I mentioned that I was going to talk about the choice of the sunflower as my brand image.
It all started organically, and for the new folks, I listen to nature, my intuition and I look for the elements that appear in my life that can be considered content of a larger story. I feel we write the story of our life everyday, and when you look at life that way, some really cool things happen.
Back to the sunflower. This year, I had a whole bunch of sunflowers volunteer in my garden. They sprouted early, and were growing like they were on a mission. I let them grow, and as it turns out, they became the inspiration for my art and my brand.
You see, the old guard sunflowers are at risk of becoming tomatoized. Since sunflowers have become such a popular cut flower, the plant breeders are responding with varieties that are commercially in demand, while the old guard gets forgotten. Much like what happened with the tomato and the tomato industry.
As it was, some of the sunflower volunteers in my garden were the Hopi Dye variety. I had grown them the year before, and some reseeded. The Hopi Dye are an ancient variety grown by the Hopi Indians as a food source and a dye source. The seeds are a deep, polished black, and they produce a dark purplish blue dye. The stalks and leaves produce a green dye. The Hopi would use this dye for yarn and baskets, and would also use the seeds for food and oil. A big difference from using a plant for only a cut flower. I believe there is room in the garden for both.
My aim is to raise awareness of threatened heirloom varieties of plants, and to encourage people to view them as family heirlooms. The Hopi Indians cherished these plants for all the gifts that Mother Nature gave these plants, a true heirloom to share with future generations. All of that would be enough to warrant a brand image for a project such as this. There is more though. The sunflower provides a feast for pollinators, birds, animals and humans. It’s a feast for all to share. That’s powerful, and for me, it’s a honor to use this as the symbol of my work.
Had they not volunteered in my garden this year, and had I not recognized them for the content they were providing to my story, this post wouldn’t have the interest that is has. And, that sums up a lot of what Vanishing Feast, An Heirloom solution is about.