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  1. Seeds

    Dr. Alan Kapuler and a small group of individuals like him across the world held and developed organic and open-pollinated cultivars. It was Kapuler’s work identified as Peace Seeds that became the basis for Seeds Of Change, the first national company selling certified organic seeds. Our mutual colleague Dr. Carol Deepe’s now classic book BREED YOUR OWN VEGETABLE VARIETIES reveals the science that drives what is slowly becoming an organic seed industry.

    I worked with Harry MacCormack at Sunbow Farm in Oregon. We took off-the-shelf beans and grew them out in test plots. We also requested from the produce manager where the seeds came from. At my new location, I repeated that process and learned that organic red beans came from Turkey. Anyhow, they are organic, much cheaper than a seed packet, and not completely regulated at this time. Get them while you can even if just to start a small seed bank. Grow-outs are much better adapted to climate change than frozen seed banks.

    This is worth repeating and for all those not familiar with the battle; Monsanto is even seeking to regulate seed cleaners since these are expensive for the small farmer. There are $2100 models that community gardeners can invest in collectively. “The proposed legislation is part of a dangerous trend to eliminate or restrict the right of farmers to save and exchange seed – all in the name of increasing seed industry profits” explains Hope Shand, Research Director of RAFI. “We weren’t surprised to learn that Monsanto is behind the bill, because the company is already waging a ferocious campaign against seed-saving farmers and it’s actively developing the controversial suicide seeds – or Terminator technology,” said Shand. Terminator is a technique for genetically altering a plant so that the seeds it produces are sterile.

  2. I spent 6 months with Vandana Shiva shooting footage of her in India for a documentary, and ended up starting and an heirloom seed biodiversity farm with her help, here in Santa Barbara. In celebration of planting heirloom seeds, we are offering a free packet of assorted heirlooms for the cost of shipping at http://www.onemilliongardens

    if you are going to plant a garden, make sure you have some natural seeds growing – we will need them in the years ahead…

  3. I enjoyed this hour segment very much. I also enjoyed the documentary on Vandana Shive called “Bullshit.”

    The film shows Shiva all over India and in debate with Monsanto representatives. The title of the documentary is multi-leveled. It first introduces dried manure as a fuel for cooking and then proceeds to the wider topics of seed and industrialization.

    http://www.peaholmquist.com/bullshit/about.htm

  4. I got to the site using as you suggested in the google search. This is fabulous.. I’m going to spread this around.

    I saw a clip once how manure was collected in India, placed in a water vat, from which the methane was captured in an overhead funnel and piped into houses for cooking, preserving the bulk of the manure to be put back into the soil. It was very low tech, but very effective.

    I’ve been successful growing spinach by my back door. I mow it in the fall and it reseeds itself. I use the grass clippings from my lawn as mulch to keep the weeds under control. I use scissors to harvest it. It is only a few steps more to the garden as it is to the refrigerator.. very satisfying. Spinach is a simple thing to grow. Plant a few red onions and some tomatoes and you have a salad. If you are a first-time gardener, start small and add items as you go. Lettuce and cabbage can be grown in your flower beds between flowers and shrubs.

  5. Very interesting, particularly about how they’re modifying seeds to absorb more chemicals. I had been reading about the carbon credits scam, wondering why they would encourage farmers not to till their soil to recieve more carbon credits. Probably because GM seeds and chemical fertilizers would be more productive in that situation than traditional farming. I think the carbon credits will become a global Enron style fraud or the lynchpin of global enslavement, if slavery is calculated as 50% or more taxation. If science is the new religion, carbon the new sin, climate change the new doomsday, Carbon credits ushered in as the new salvation, used like indulgences. They are the perfect backer for fiat currency, money created out of thin air backed by thin air. A bubble in the making that can grow as big as the lie that creates it, sucking up the wealth of the planet.

  6. Hey all – thank you for your wonderful support and comments. We are passionate about preserving the vitality of the few remaining natural seeds. As you can guess, it’s been a labor of love. Ty – however we can help, please let us know. There is a phone number on the http://www.ediblegardens.com website under about us. Let me know what it would take to get these into your hands – we only have 17 packs left…

    Also, we did a great video with Vandana Shiva on food and gardening…

    http://www.tinyurl.com/growfood

    Thanks all & Catherine – let’s work together and see what kind of world we can create for our children!

  7. Hi Catherine,
    Just a brief note. One Million Gardens is a part of our little heirloom seed company, edible gardens. I was a filmmaker working with Anita Roddick (the body shop) and had opportunity to tour with His Holiness, The Dalai Lama in 1994. On one stop, we went to the Botanical gardens, and his holiness was looking into seed saving strategies and technologies, recognizing that culture is not just people, art, music and language. It is also the other life we share the planet with. He was very concerned for the plants of Tibet and their loss. A seed had been planted…

    Nearly 10 years later, my father passed away in 2002 and Anita sent me to India to shoot with Vandana to get some perspectives on my life. As a result, I ended up staying in Asia for over a year, staying at farms and being with Vandana, and started to see for myself what has transpired with the seeds. Upon my return to the US, I could no longer ignore what was an obvious need – to bring awareness to the plight of our natural seeds and the bio-piracy of Monsanto and others who are looking to control the world’s food supply. The seeds are very important, often overlooked, rarely discussed…yet as vital as water and air. We started Edible Gardens as a way to have the backyard gardener be the repository of the planet’s biodiversity instead of giant agribusiness and frozen seed vaults.

    When we get down to the last viable seed of a lost variety – what would that be worth?
    all the wealth of nations…

    Thank you again for your interest and wonderful support. It is so nice connecting with you.

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