An illustration of two green fruits hanging on a tree with dark gray leaves

Cultivating Diversity from Seed to Table

Tuesday, March 23, 2021

11 a.m. EDT | Online

Three prominent experts come together for a lively exchange celebrating the ways in which chefs, artists, and plant breeders can promote diversity in the plants that we eat. The conversation is inspired by the luminous paintings of heirloom edibles and their wild relatives in Abundant Future: Cultivating Diversity in Garden, Farm, and Field—the Fourth NYBG Triennial exhibition with the American Society of Botanical Artists (ASBA).

Dan Barber, chef and co-owner of Blue Hill and Blue Hill at Stone Barns, is on a mission to reimagine food from the ground up. He discusses his work with plant breeders like Michael Mazourek to pursue new varieties of vegetables and grains with jaw-dropping deliciousness.

Plant breeder and Cornell professor Michael Mazourek discusses how the relationship between people and the crops we cultivate has changed over time-from our ancient ancestors who domesticated wild plants to modern plant breeders who cross-pollinate crops in the quest to promote resilience and genetic diversity.

World-renowned botanical artist and ASBA Director of Exhibitions Carol Woodin shares the fascinating stories behind some of the edible plants featured in the Abundant Future exhibition, such as the revived ‘Edinburgh Potato’ painted in exquisite detail by the late Lizzie Sanders, and Akiko Enokido’s sumptuous ‘Shishigatani Pumpkin’.


Pawpaw, Asimina triloba, (detail), Copperplate etching, hand-colored, ©Monika DeVries Gohlke