by Fiona Ruddy
The Gift chronicles Canadian farmer and seed pioneer Dan Janson. Poetically filmed and directed by Jean-Marc Abela, this short film is a poignant reminder of beauty hidden in the smallest places.
With Valentine’s Day nipping at our heels, surrounded by temptations of far-flung diamonds or flowers, this film is a Zen-like prompt to slow down and focus on the gifts all around us. The diminutive nature of seeds masks their power: As Janson recounts with awe, one Amaranth plant can house a quarter of a million seeds.
Janson asks viewers to pause and think of the humble seed grower, the individuals quietly keeping biodiversity alive. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, just twelve seed varieties supply three quarters of the food that nourishes the planet—a scary sign of biodiversity loss. Janson and his comrades around the world—these heroic seed savers—are trying to reverse this troubling trend.
Instead of that box of chocolate or a dangly delight, we advocate for giving the gift of seeds to your loved ones this February, and passing on the gift of life. For some great ideas, visit Janson’s website saltspringseeds.com.
This piece is part of a series in partnership with Food & Wine Magazine.
Photo by Jean Marc-Abela