"sustainability"

The Perennial Plate: Female seed savers reclaiming the food system

I'm currently working on a project that investigates seed saving networks and their role in promoting local food security and resiliency. (I know how amazingly boring that may sound...I'm working on a catchier pitch - suggestions welcome!) It largely began because I save some seeds, but I didn't know - and still don't know - fellow seed savers in my bioregion. In my early research, I'm surprised and delighted to read about seed saving in mainstream news publications on a more regular basis. I came across this beautiful, inspiring video from The Perennial Plate about female seed savers and farmers in India:


As Vandana Shiva (founder of Navdanya) states, "Most farmers are women. All seed savers are women...When women do farming, they do it for life. When women do farming, they do it for their children. They do it for nutrition. They do it for taste." This is why seed saving is so important: Seed saving preserves food, culture, history and empowers individuals. For these individuals in India, seed saving is a central, integral part of their livelihood and existence. My hope is that the more people, especially Americans and individuals in "developed" countries, who recognize the source of seeds and their corporate owners, the more they will acknowledge that seed saving is far more than a quaint hobby by backyard gardeners. Even with the prominence of GMOs, I don't think we're at a point yet in this country where seed saving is on-par with healthful, sustainably grown food dialogue. I hope we'll get there soon.

If you don't know about or follow The Perennial Plate, it's time to get on the wagon! Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine are talented storytellers who tirelessly shed light on all elements of our food system every week.

Headline Harvest: Silencing factory farm reports; Bad news for organics; Colbert's take on climate change

It's that time again! (I would have written something clever about grabbing a blanket and getting cozy by the fire, but it was 60 degrees here in CT today...in January.) So, get comfortable in your favorite reading spot and read the latest:

In keeping with this freakishly warm weather, a word from Mr. Colbert:



In natural resources news:
In shortcomings-of-the-Farm-Bill-and-commodities news:

Help fund "SEED: The Untold Story"!

In addition to trying to understand and grapple with the nuances of farm subsidies, ag. policy and the complex farm bill, I'm also beginning research on seed saving (i.e. networks, banks, growers) in my bioregion for my grad. thesis. So, of course, I was delighted to hear about this opportunity to help fund a really important documentary, "SEED: The Untold Story" through Collective Eye Films (the creators of "The Real Dirt on Farmer John" and "Queen of the Sun"). Take a look:


Seed is not just the source of life. It is the very foundation of our being. - Vandana Shiva 
SEED: The Untold Story is a new documentary film that will investigate the dramatic story of seeds, the basis of life on earth. For 12,000 years man has been nurturing and cultivating seeds to form the backbone of civilization. Now, 94% of our seed varieties have been lost and many more are nearing extinction.
SEED unveils a David and Goliath battle for the future of our seeds by examining how five chemical corporations have taken control of seeds through patents, copyrights and genetic modification. These companies are placing ownership on the seeds, literally stealing the genetic material from our ancestors who nurtured these seeds for thousands of years. As Vandana Shiva says “the threat to seed freedom impacts the very fabric of human life and life on the planet.” 
Entertaining and engaging, SEED follows heroes working tirelessly to preserve agricultural diversity as well as the rich knowledge held by indigenous cultures. These farmers, scientists, and seed collectors such as Gary Paul Nabhan, Bill McDorman, Vandana Shiva, Harald Hoven, Native American Emigdio Ballon and Winona LaDuke are the visionaries and caretakers of many of the world’s remaining seeds. On an absorbing journey following a diverse cast of characters, we will witness a brave new movement as these heroes struggle to create a vibrant web of biodiversity and resilience. 
SEED will reveal the awe, wonder and hidden beauty of seeds. It will ignite the imagination of audiences, inspiring them to be part of a new movement to help sustain seed diversity. We will unearth the resilience and power that all seeds have to sustain, enliven and enrich our humanity.
How amazing does this project sound?! Remember, Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing sort of fundraising medium; if the filmmakers don't reach their goal, the film will not be made. So, help these filmmakers with their project and get the message out there about the incredibly imperative need to save seeds, bring food sovereignty to the forefront and promote food and farm literacy!

Watch, share, and, ideally, donate, please!

Seed Saving: Make it part of your food literacy resolution

I'm in the early stage of my graduate thesis project and completely nerded out over the topic of seed saving. More specifically: Seed saving and what it means for local agricultural, cultural and environmental resiliency. Yup, it's an enormous topic but it has become one that is of increasing importance and prominence in my life as a grower and food eater. I'm interested in exploring the seed-to-seed life cycle of farming and the rich networks of plants, breeders and growers involved in the process. Of course, my proposed project is a bit more complex than I'm suggesting, but rather than bore you with the details, here's a piece about Seed Savers Exchange from Iowa Public Television to give you a taste of the subject:


Also, are you a seed saver? Are you a seed saver who lives in Connecticut or (southern) New England? If you can answer one or both of these questions with "yes," comment below and tell me about your experience!

Food MythBusters: "Do we really need industrial agriculture to feed the world?"



Food friends! What a perfect find for our year of food literacy (if I do say so myself).

What you just watched is the latest production by the Food MythBusters from the Real Food Media Project. The Project is the brainchild of Anna Lappe and Corporate Accountability International. Check out the Project's site - amazing! 

It's an incredible resource to bookmark for insider food nerds like myself as well as, well, anyone who eats food. Visit, learn and share resources and/or the video you just watched.