Jacqueline Pilati, Founder

seed keeping at the intersection of historical literacy and science education

Born and raised in Lenapehoking (New York City), Jacqueline Pilati (she/ella) is an urban farmer, teacher, and seed keeper. She is a Professional Development Instructor at the New York Botanical Garden and Adjunct Instructor at Bank Street College of Education where she leads teacher institutes and courses in garden-based learning and experiential science investigations.


In 2018, she founded Reclaim Seed NYC, an urban seed initiative rooted in education and community. The project stewards a community-sustained seed library, educates for seed and food sovereignty, and works towards building a regional seed network reflective of the region's foodways and climate. Her work can be followed on Instagram @shesavesseed 

Her research interests include science education, participatory organic plant breeding, inclusive history, community action research, Sicilian and African diaspora foodways, Taíno history, culture and foodways. 


Lex Barlowe, she/her

Facilitator, organizer, archivist, and seed steward. 

Born and raised in Lenapehoking, aka New York City, with Black & Jewish ancestral roots in Virginia, South Carolina, St. Vincent, and Ukraine and the USSR. 

Committed to collective self determination thru seeds, food, land, and community-based economies. 

Committed to sharing and learning from our histories, in our families, communities, and movements, and how we bring our ancestral wisdom into now. 


Lex works humbly to care for and share seeds and their stories - specifically focusing on ancestral Black and African diasporic seed - through seed libraries & collective resources like Reclaim Seed NYC and #QueNoSePierdaLaSemilla. She is a facilitator/healer for social justice movements and world-builders with the Wildfire Project. 


Lex is a member of the Central Brooklyn Food Coop, and is the Community Wealth Facilitator with the Black Farmer Fund, a community investment fund investing in Black farmers and food business owners across New York State, where she is supporting a group of 15 Black farmers and food business owners to design the fund’s democratic process and make collective decisions around investing in their own community.


©2019 by Jacqueline Pilati