Creature Feature

by Ken Greene


Ayumi trimming plates. Ayumi trimming plates.

Ayumi Horie's limited edition Pest and Pollinator salad plates now on sale. 50% of proceeds will be donated by the artist to the Hudson Valley Seed Library for educational programming. Thanks Ayumi!

Ayumi Horie was one of the first artists to create an Art Pack for the Seed Library. She enthusiastically took on the Rat's Tail Radish, an oddly but aptly named edible podding radish. There were concerns that it would be hard to make a rodent that many people consider a pest into an attractive seed pack for gardeners. Ayumi overcame the challenge, using her signature Japanese folk art-inspired animal illustration style to create what became a pink pack sensation.

This year, Ayumi has again chosen to draw a pest, the voracious woodchuck, for the subject of her Piracicaba Broccoli pack. We wanted to give Ayumi the chance to exorcise all her inner garden pests--and to redeem herself by drawing some benevolent pollinators. The result is this limited edition line of salad plates, each featuring a creature that is part of our wild and cultivated garden ecosystems. Each of these insects and animals plays an important role in the cycle of seed to garden to plate that we cherish as gardeners. Some we call pests, some we call friends, but all are equal in the natural world--and each is the star of one plate. I like to think of the plates as mealtime reminders that our gardens and farms are inextricably connected to the natural world. We are dependent on these creatures for our food more than we know.

Bee Plate Bee Plate

Each plate is one of a kind, made by hand, and signed by the artist Ayumi Horie. Sales support the artist and the Seed Library; Ayumi has generously offered to donate 50% of each sale to support the educational programs and partnerships of the Hudson Valley Seed Library. Invite your favorite pest or pollinator to dinner with one or more of these limited-edition plates. To buy your plate, visit Ayumi's website. Last year's Rat Pack is currently sold out, but Piracicaba Broccoli is still available. Ayumi's original ceramic tile for the Broccoli pack has already sold, but the original works from the other artists can be purchased by request through the contact us form.