FARMINGTON — When routine farm work becomes dull, Will Bonsall lets his mind wander to places and times far from his work. Those wanderings became tales spoken and repeated over the last 24 years but now they are written words recorded in his first work of fiction.

Bonsall, director of the Scatterseed Project in Industry, will give a reading from his newest work, “Yaro Tales: Book 1, Through the Eyes of a Stranger,” at 7 p.m.Thursday, Aug. 26, at Devaney Doak & Garrett Booksellers on Broadway.

Through his Scatterseed Project, Bonsall is known for his work preserving seeds and maintaining the genetic diversity of a large group of crops, several thousands of which are endangered, he said.

He is one of just three curators involved in a grassroots effort to keep certain plant species going and keep them alive, he said. Through an international seed saving exchange based in Iowa, 700 members offer a variety of seeds. Some members have one variety while Bonsall has about a couple thousand items listed, he said.

“I’ve always said if you want to be a big frog, plant in a small pond,” he said.

As one of the curators, he keeps some minor crops from extinction including a variety of teas and potatoes.

Bonsall has written and spoke about plant-based agriculture for years but this novel records the stories and tales he’s shared and told to friends for many years, said Kenny Brechner of DDG Booksellers.

Working on his house in 1986 and “bored out of my skull” with the work, he said he began to fantasize one particular idea. A civilization, some five centuries into the future, called Esperia.

While haying or cleaning out the barn, he has shared his ideas with apprentices working with him over the years, he said Monday.

“It was a vehicle that set the stage,” he said of their talks of the imaginary land.

While working on compost apprentices would ask “how do they do it in Esperia,” he said and then would listen to his tales.

The setting of the novel is five centuries after what he calls Calamitous Times that leaves the ancient (21st century) world in shambles. New civilizations have arisen from the ashes with some intent on recreating the glories of what they call the golden age or today’s world. Some, including Esperia, resist the control of their chief Anagaia and his vision of an unsustainable way of life.

A refugee, Yaro Seekings, arrives in Esperia after being raised in an Anagaian orphanage and attempts to learn more of the differences between the two societies, a difference created by their disparate mythic visions, according to a release.

Yaro, the main character, was named after an herb but his mother was illiterate, Bonsall said. The only thing she could give him was his misspelled name, Bonsall said.

Bonsall brings some of his own agricultural philosophy into the work, Brechner said.

“His work with preserving plant varieties and what he’s done in the real world is the very center of the work. He’s brought a Utopian perspective to the Yaro tales.”

In the book, characters visit a genetic facility, keepers of the seed, similar to Bonsall’s work. Every household in Esperia is self sufficient for some food and fuel items and maintain their own strains of seed.

“There’s a few weirdos like me keeping a lot alive,” he said in jest.

Bonsall plans a sequel to this first novel and has some ideas for what happens after the calamitous times.

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