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Seed to Seed Gardens

Michel and Jude Fanton The Seed Savers’ Network of Australia THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Learning from the Majority World


Food from the wild

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Pandanus victoriana native to Papua New Guinea THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Forest food: Ficus dammaropsis as spinach


Pineapple, wild fern and pit pit Setaria palmifolia THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Sea vegetables in East Timor


Wild and cultivated medicine and food plants


Public mural of Vedic wild medicine plants


In Ecuador, a maize for every occasion THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Kharma Dhorma: from hybrid maize back to varieties sourced from local tribals THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Maori maize at Koanga Gardens, Northland, New Zealand

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Food plant varieties adapt to local conditions and cultural needs THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Women are generally the guardians of our rich diversity THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Arid East Timor: food crops a


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Diversity is your insurance


Native cowpea diversity on market, Ea Timor THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Potatoes kept by Maoris for generations THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Otara market, Auckland

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Many species of tubers sustain life at different altitudes in the Andes


Ullucus tuberosus

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M ashua, tuberous nasturtium Tropaeolum tuberosum THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Oxalis tuberosum

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Taro in the Solomons: 1000 varieties collected by Planting Material Network in 2002/3 www.seedsavers.net THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:


Taro Fair and Exchange Solomon www.seedsavers.net Islands THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:


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In the himalaya it is red

Oryza sativa: 3b people eat rice 2 or 3 times a


Indian and Philippine farmers curate huge rice collections www.seedsavers.net THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:


Traditionally Asians eat a wide range of cereals THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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All cereal growers save their seeds. Tamil Nadu, India Rain fed only, finger millet is a very hardy and highly nutritious grain.

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The Pacific and SE Asia are primary centres of banana diversity. Here East Timor www.seedsavers.net THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:


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Dorothy Tamasia collected 130 varieties of bananas on her island of Makira, Solomons THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Chiquita ® & TM may be interested in this Solomons rustic plantain banana, “Five Minutes” THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Fast Photoessay

Tahitians have kept a wide range of fe’i, Musa troglodytarum, with upright fruits

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Karat banana 10X pro vit A & carotene vs www.seedsavers.net Cavendish THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:


Farmers choose colourful plants – sugar cane THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Afghans evolved purple carrots THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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And yellow

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Corner shop in Mashhad, Iran THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Now trendy - FAO photo THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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The Chantenay Andina carrot was bred in France. Was it invented by Monsanto?

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Andean farmers pay a high price for carrot seeds

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Carrot seeds umbels: stake them! THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Carrot umbel meditation

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Onions domesticated in Central Asia THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Reproduced by seeds and by offsets

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Walking, topset or Egyptian onionswww.seedsavers.net THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:


Central Asian adaptations from Africa THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Kandahar Cantaloupe

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Watermelons arrived in Russia from Africa 1000 years ago with Arab traders


Is Japan a new centre of watermelon diversity?


The Economy of the Seed: 10 tomato plants give 800g seed = 480 seed packs with 50 seeds each 10 chilli plants give 250g seed = 750 seed packs with 50 seeds each 10 lettuce plants give 160 seed packs with 500 seeds each THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Big Changes Coming THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Corporate plant breeding • • • •

More yield leads to loss of nutritional quality Longer shelf life means loss of taste Uniformity means loss of diversity Breeding seeds stored in very cold seed banks means loss of options in the light of climate change • Public taste has been undermined to accept tasteless and stale but perfect-looking produce • Without adequate nutrition in our food, we need to eat more, hence the increase in obesity. THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Loss of nutrition in modern varieties New Scientist 12/96 report on Brassicas – Modern varieties of Broccoli and Brussel Sprouts are bred for bland taste – Loss of glucosinolates, which have cancer-reducing properties, such as • Sinigrin (also an insecticide) • Glucoraphanin, that becomes Sulphoraphane upon chewing

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Tronchuda reign in Portugal

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Les Vosges, Lorraine, France Oncle Dede never had to buy broccoli seeds.

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Medicinal properties of traditional varieties NZ 2000/2003 study on 59 varieties of apples – Seedling varieties have more antioxidants in skin and flesh • flavonoids • polyphenolic acids – Seedling varieties have highest levels – Commercial varieties have least – Traditional varieties, have good levels – in particular cider apples like Monty’s Surprise Further study on 250 apple varieties of apples confirmed these findings THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Correlation between taste and nutrition A diversity of varieties ensures nutritional options – children’s taste buds need stimulating flavours – nutrition is dependent on the variety used, not just freshness and growing conditions Modern tomatoes are notoriously flavourless Here a diversity of tasty traditional varieties. THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Where the tang, where the flavour in high sugar, low acid stonefruits? From their website:

Zaiger's Inc. Genetics

“Zee Sweet is the brand name for a range of peach and nectarine cultivars, with a very sweet fruit developed in 1996 in California by crossing different varieties with low acidity and high sugar.” The Land THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK: www.seedsavers.net


Locally adapted varieties  less inputs  more reliable yields, no matter the climate  adaptable to climate change  longer-bearing  suit polycultures  more tasty  more nutritive  more filling = need to eat less = less obesity THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Who owns the seeds?

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1980s: takeovers and marriages of giants: seeds, pesticides and biotech Swiss

Ciba-Geigy

Sandoz

Novartis

chemicals

pharmaceuticals

Crop biotech unit

British Imperial Chemicals Zeneca

Swedish

Astra pharmaceuticals

Astra Zeneca agrochemicals pharmaceuticals

Syngenta Pesticides Genetic engineering Seeds

agrochemicals pharmaceuticals


Phil

Phillip Howard, Michigan State University


www.msu.edu/~howardp/seedindustr


The top 3 companies (Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta) gained 47% of the worldwide proprietary seed market in 2007 THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Inside Monsanto, Bangalore, India THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Pasto, Columbia: Monsanto retails to small farmers too.

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Svalbard Global Gene Vault, Norway

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Japan - Ibaragi seed bank, 117 000 samples


The Great Gene Robbery International seed banks obtain their seeds from peasants and public domain collections. Access is hampered by red tape. Seed collections benefit breeders working for corporations, large universities funded by them or governments servicing them. Corporations privatise and patent the seed. THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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“Climate-ready” crops

2008 BASF & Monsanto announced a $1.5 billion R&D collaboration to increase drought tolerance in maize, cotton, etc. THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Monsanto GE Bt Cotton, Mark 2 Grown in Australia since 2004 to produce organic cotton. 95% of crop is GE. THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Local sadhu, Haveri, Karnataka, India Also a cotton farmer. He lamented that his children grow GE (Bt) cotton on his land, while he prefers old varieties

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Hybrid maize promotion in north western Vietnam THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Farmers left with little choice: Cargill F1 hybrids Zimbabwe 1998 THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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From From the the highlands highlands of of Malaysia Malaysia to to gourmets gourmets in in Osaka, Osaka, Singapore Singapore and and Tokyo Tokyo THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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One stop shop: pesticides and seeds


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Poshest shop in Mashhad, Iran. Ramadan 2002


Filming Filming “Our “Our Seeds”, Seeds”, Taiwanese Taiwanese tea tea plantation plantation THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Weekly delivery of NPK in highlands of Sabah THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Intensive Intensive agriculture agriculture in in New New Zealand Zealand


Aid agencies distribute seeds creating dependency and supplanting local varieties


The charity Caritas gave imported corporate seeds to farmers in Oecussi, East Timor, 2002


Aid workers should survey markets for local varieties

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Solutions

Prefer perennials and self-seeders Collect local varieties Save seeds Treat your soil as a seed bank Start a Local Seed Network THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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New Zealand Seed Savers Katrina Mueller of Auckland Seed Savers, 2004 Eco-show THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Taking pride in plants originating in Afghanistan


Origins of domesticated plants - the map game


Vegetative propagation Hibiscus manihot cuttings from kitchen back to garden THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Taro fair, Malaita, Solomons Over 200 varieties of the staple taro collected on one island some 150km long. 1000 in the whole country

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GREEN Foundation community seed bank in India


Chinnakatte village, Karnataka, India Community Seed Bank members in a room off the temple with traditional seed storage jars.

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Seed swapping at temple in Chinnakatte, very rural India

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Maruvalli, Tamil Nadu, India Community Seed Bank members make a seed mandala. This is a ritual to bless the harvest and thank the gods. THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Seed exchange and fair: Seed mothers or ‘Bija Mama’

Seed mothers (Bija Mamas) are celebrated in posters, books and films and at seed fairs. THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Dhondeling Tibetan Settlement south of Mysore, Karnataka

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Putting in sunken gardens in Khayletsia township, Capetown, South Africa, PDC 1992

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Red de Semillas Ecuador

Altitude is everything in the Andes

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Sementes Livres, Portugal

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Portuguese community seed saving – Tamera eco-village

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Drying seeds and storing them in a rodent-proof cupboard THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Japan – seed exchange

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Solomon Islands: corn seeds stored above the fire


Italians relearn seed saving THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Training in Seed Production with “Urbana Agricultura”, Habana, Cuba 1996

Urban Agriculture Dept of Havana requested training in producing seeds THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Training extension workers, Cuba, 1996

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Tonga: Women’s health group with lettuce seeds


Australian seed keepers Rocky near Exeter, NSW has a huge collection of vegetable varieties. Right, local pumpkins in Kyogle, NSW

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Share seeds and planting material

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Schools are fertile ground

Several Australian schools run Local Seed Networks collecting, regenerating and maintaining local varieties. THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Seed networking in Tonga, 1996 with the aim of reducing chemicals THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Kate Hubmayer has been gardening teacher at the 30 y.o. Black Forest Primary School in Adelaide for ten years www.seedsavers.net THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:


Seed cleaning brings out the philosopher in you THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Seed Savers has produced a one hour documentary. See trailer and clips, and purchase DVD at www.seedsavers.net THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Seed to Seed Food Gardens in Schools is a practical guide to planning, establishing, maintaining and harvesting food gardens in schools. It has activities for each topic and an extra seed saving chapter. THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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www.seedsavers.net Books, film and posters available Seed Savers’ Youtube Channel youtube.com/seedsavers 1000 clips that we produced in 45 playlists Facebook.com/seedsaversnetwork THE SEED SAVERS’ NETWORK:

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Ecotopia 2012