November. Outside, marigolds, echinacea, milk-thistle, evening-primrose, and fragrant tobacco plants are abandoned – old and colourless, skeletal, stripped of their summer glory. Foraging from plant to plant, bundled up against the cold, we gather their dried seeds, taking care to note their origin, their name, and the year of each harvest. Our minds are just as busy as our hands: what information is contained in these plants? How can they be preserved and propagated; how can the cycle be perpetuated? What potential do they hold? At the heart of the collecting process – and that of the development of the seed itself – is the desire to conserve but also to reactivate something, a store of dormant knowledge that will germinate at the right moment, like a promise of abundance upon the return of the warm season.

Notes and samples, Annie France Leclerc, 2020–21.

Family archives, Zoé Fortier.

Botanical specimens documented during a residency in Trinidad, Erika DeFreitas, 2017.

Jumana Manna, Wild Relatives, 2018, 64 min.

Gathering and sharing of seeds, Laura Demers, 2021.