Growing Resiliency—and Food

By Sierra-Nicole E. DeBinion

Florentina Rodriguez ʼ20, ʼ22
Florentina Rodriguez ʼ20, ʼ22

“When we stop communities from being able to grow their food, we create a cycle of dependency,”

says Florentina Rodriguez ʼ20, ʼ22 (Antioch Midwest, BA; Antioch Online, Master of Human Services Administration).

She knows these cycles of dependency well, because of her work resisting them. This current Doctor of Education student at Antioch Online is the founder of the Yellow Springs Community Seed Library, a nonprofit that shares knowledge, resources, and, of course, seeds—all so that people can reconnect with the land and independently cultivate their own food. 

Rodriguez has distributed over 700 seed packets at the local library and through her stand at the local farmer’s market. She recently started working as Neighborhood Gardens Coordinator for the various community gardens in Yellow Springs, and she received the honor of a Volunteer of the Year award. “Saving and growing seeds is a form of activism,” Rodriguez says. “It can help communities build resilient local food pathways capable of adapting to pandemic-based disruptions and mitigating the effects of climate change.”

Sierra-Nicole E. DeBinion

Sierra-Nicole E. DeBinion

(Antioch Los Angeles, MFA candidate) has a deep passion for historical fiction, nonfiction, and horror. Based in Palm Desert, she is influenced by her mixed Hawaiian and Irish heritage and is an avid plant and animal lover.