Tuesday, April 27, 2010

saving seed city side

on friday, fellow punk monk clare & i went on an adventure to share seeds before we headed off with our little posse into the mountains for garden faerie action. but first we headed over to the bower at the addison road centre which is the HQ for inner west seedsavers co-op.

seed savers is a networking organisation created in australia by inspiring permaculturists jude & michel fanton. their first book, the seed savers' handbook is one of my bibles.  i had the pleasure of doing a couple of workshops with them several years ago down in the southern highlands branch where i'm a sometime member. we're in autumn propagation mode ATM so it's time to dip our foot into the local community and get involved city side. ie. share knowledge & well, grow plants.

the object of seedsavers is to promote and preserve the free distribution of open-pollinated seeds. maintainence of genetic diversity - something which seems obvious in the animal kingdom but is of equal if not greater importance at the foundation of life.

it's an ancient premise but as agriculture has fallen into the stable of large pharmaceutical conglomerates gradually all DNA, life itself, is being patented, owned & controlled by greedy companies. over 2/3 of seed internationally is owned by petrochemical giants: monsanto, dupont, syngenta. these companies all aggressive agrochemical producers & genetic engineers. the ramifications are of course huge.

we have grown up all too aware of the constant of third world starvation which is written off as an unfortunate casualty of war, weather conditions & guilt mongering TVCs [before you remote channel flick]. not the cause for unnecessary perpetuation. 

insidious opportunistic rape following the rubber stamp legitimized theft of natural resources is the rinse repeat cycle practiced by multinationals abroad. locals are paid to only produce one specific increasingly fertiliser dependent crop [which is then exported] & dominate land use for raising antibiotic fueled meat [also exported]. this all but eliminates the ability to adher to age-old polycultural land practices & thereby support the local community.

seedsavers thanks to the incredible network & unswerving dedication by the intrepid founders has swollen to become an international entity with soul & legs which is actually making a difference realtime. the LSN [local seed networks] are spreading like a wonderful anti-virus & now number over 70 in 7 aussie states. all those people are actively getting their hands dirty in a tangible way. not just another just add water & stir social media fad. a movement which operates behind enemy lines without government support.

once struggling communities in far flung nations now benefit from seeds harvested by backyard farmers all over the world. this precious resource grown, collected & preserved by humble heroes on balcony to lifestyle blocks. nature's heirloom varieties often previously overlooked or forgotten, restored whole.
claire, michele and jane are the integral backbone of inner west seedsaving libary which officially opens doors this wednesday with a fundraising film & music night at the red rattler to celebrate. clare & i as their newest seed savers will most likely be there to document this vital cause and help support it strike through infancy. we've already had an advance sample...

after lingering an age and borrowing an array of seed from the seedbank we are in agreement that garlic and onions are just too good to give up for other humans. we nod with the others. we are the plant ladies. in order to examine this theory we quickly evacuate the area with proffered muffins in hand and wander to the back of the bower where the community garden lies. mmm, delicious.

the sun is low in the sky. winter is coming - it feels like mid afternoon but already it's almost night. clare is cold but we're both so excited about our new-found mini zip-lock bag stash which may as well house drugs as we bounce through the humus. 

the garden is full of life. various eclectic areas lure us in deeper as we admire a sweet potato tree clad in bags to preserve the seed. small lovingly attended plots bearing the name of the caretaker beckon us to discover their secrets. the leaves whisper our names. maybe yours too. they tell us stories. it all starts with sowing [to save] the seed...

inner west seed savers & seed library launch:
wednesday 28 april 2010
red rattler
6 faversham street
$10 on the door

the seed library can be found at: 
the bower
addison road centre
addison road

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