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April 2008

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Seed Exchange and Sustainable Growing

 I know I was supposed to post about my forte, sustainable building and materials, but I ended up side tracked and decided since I know about this wonderful lady already, I should post about her.

 If anyone doesn't know about her already, she's Dr. Vandana Shiva who started the Navdanya or Seed Sovereignty project. 

Originally the man who pioneered the effort to make genetically modified crops immune from relative disease and produce more crops in less space had a very good idea in mind, he was putting his money and time into an effort so that essentially, no one would have a reason to go hungry in the world. One of the major countries of his focus was India, specifically the southern and arid central regions where crop fragility is a matter of life or death. 
 Unfortunately, when he presented his research and project to a larger ring of companies and science firms with private interests, these bioengineered crops became essentially the modern equivilent of 'seed sharecropping'. They still use his name whenever someone interviews about the projects, but unfortunately now many of those he set out to help are in an even worse state of affairs as they are binded to the seed companies, because these are not perrenials they are selling, but something you have to buy year after year. This is the major fall out and downside to a rather good idea, that has been corrupted by money interests along the way.

 Navdanya is a brilliant example of trying to preserve the plants and crops which have been a staple of people, specifically in India, and are not in the same state of fragile affairs as bioengineered super crops. Meaning, there is a preservation of the reliable biodiversity of crops for growers in need.


Check out the site, it is definately worth a look! They are also concerned about the sovereignty of water, land and food resources. 

I think in making our sustainable community, we should definately look into any local or even international groups that are part of either a seed bank or seed exchange, since I believe one of our ultimate goals is to protect the well fair of the plants that help us as humans out (and have been for thousands of years!). 

Also, as a daughter of a conscious and science-focused farm boy (grandparents joined up in the 'back to the land' movement of the 1970's, but farming freerange or 'old school style' has been a family heritage), with a bit of pointing and explanation at the pros and cons of bioengineering, I think it's safe to say we should all have a peek at what we'd be growing and ultimately putting into our bellies and the earth. 

I know, weird writing style, Autumn and Rachel, but I'm thinking ahead when it's just not the three of us ladies.


I was really excited seeing this on my friend's page and was just about to invite them to our community, when I realised that it was you. Dammit... ;)

Anyway, I completely agree with you, I haven't really gotten a chance to read the website yet, but local is good. International gets risky, because they can find all sorts of euphamisms and flat out lies to conceal what is actually going on, whereas local you can just ride there and take a look for yourself.

I'm unfamiliar with the concept of getting seeds for small scale farms from seed banks and/or exchanges but I'm definately open to the idea.

You don't have to stick to your area of expertise, by all means, post whatever flits past your eyelids that's even remotely community related.