Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sustainable Seed Project

I received a notice announcing that the cash-strapped CNMI Government will start austerity measures that will reduce personnel spending up to 12.5% therefore the need to reduce working hours from 80 to 7o per pay period. CNMI is in trouble financially due to continued low tourism numbers and the collapse of the garment industry. As Bill 17-45 is still being deliberated in both House & Senate, I am trying not to stress about what this will mean to my already cash-strapped wallet.

I've been thinking a lot about Tinian as well. Are the leadership and residents really that open to moving the Futenma Airbase that readily? If the Okinawa does not want them and Guam has been pretty vocal about the D-EIS, will the economic assistance that this will bring outweigh
possible detrimental impacts to our lives in the CNMI?

I love Tinian the way it is: Full of history, full of nature, friendly people, peaceful, accessible. It is a quick getaway from the hustle and bustle of Saipan (hehe) and I enjoy going there when I can. The Mayor's Office also initiated a project there that was pretty impressive. It involved crafting seeds into leis, necklaces, earnings, and other ornaments. I am pretty sure that like everyone else, I find it disheartening to have very little selection in CNMI crafts and wares. Sure there are the Boyogo Dolls, and some local drink and food items, but shouldn't there be more? And there is enough (if not too many) of other things crafted elsewhere. Sometimes, you just need a keepsake or a give away from here that has a story here and not "bought here but made in the Philippines.

I think the Tinian Mayor's Office got something going on there: a product that they can call their own, from sustainable, readily available materials, attractive and sell-able. I am sure they just need some savvy marketing to make this work. I mean, can we get more creative than reintroducing another casino initiative for Saipan? Rehashing the casino initiative has been submitted (count them) two times by our legislators against the will of the people who voted against it in the last election. Well, this is slipping a bit into politics and this is not what this post is about. It is about exploration, experimentation, art, beauty: a sustainable seed project!

Props to Tinian for the idea, but i just wanted to see how viable an endeavor this will be. I mean seeds are aplenty and a sustainable supply.

All you need is collect, prepare them and figure out how you want to design them. Voila!

Actually, to do this right you've got do your research as to the materials and tools that you should use. Not all seeds can be used and not all plants used are easily accessed. Can you believe I grabbed a pod that I didn't know and got a handful of stinging hairs? That was a painful and itchy lesson!
Collecting and prepping can be difficult. Some seed pods are not for the faint-hearted (insert Deece name HERE) since they can be full of bugs and worms.

Well, Laurina and I put these together to see how they'd work out. I wanted the project to be sustainable and green, avoiding the use of chemicals like varnish or polyurethanes. I need to research natural varnish and oils that will coat and protect the seeds (maybe linseed or tung oil). We reused a discarded nylon fishing line I picked up at San Antonio Beach and made at least 4 seed leis.

More updates later as I research, discover and try to get creative.

Ti napu.

The Beachcomber


Sean said...

I know what you mean about trying to find legitimate CNMI handicrafts and souvinirs. I really wanted to get something "from Saipan" for friends in the States but it was quite difficult.

Mai said...

Wow! Those turned out so beautiful!! I think it's a great idea!! :)

The Saipan Blogger said...

There are two Guanacaste trees planted next to row of flame trees on Beach Road in Garapan. The look similar to the flame trees, but I think they are bigger and the leaves are slightly different. I've not sure when they drop their seeds, but they are very beautiful. The trees are north of the USDA building, if I remember correctly.

The Saipan Blogger said...


The Beachcomber said...

Thanks for the nice comments, all. Man, I wish I could just do art for work :)

Thanks, Angelo. We did collect some Guanacaste pods for their pretty seeds. They are at the end of their fruiting season I believe, because there are less and less seed pods on the ground. They do produce a lot though and I've spent hours taking the seeds out. Lots of potential here!

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