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Seeds and Food Sovereignty in Europe and beyond

Apr 25, 2012
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Many people talk about Seeds and Food Sovereignty these days. The way I understand this, it is or includes the right to grow the varieties we choose and share their seeds unrestricted. The right to grow our own food. The kind of food we choose. And by doing so, also preserve these varieties. Some of them have been with man since the dawn of agriculture. Many of them are hardier and more resistent than the ones modern industrial breeding has come up with recently. Usually they are also better adapted to the local conditions they used to be grown under.

Yes, they often lack uniformity and are therefore less easy to market and trade at a large scale.

Prevailing legislations have increasingly imposed restrictions onto these genuine strains and varieties, mainly by their whitelist approach to permissable seed distribution. Whatever is registered on the list is permitted, everything else is outlawed. Genuine strains and varieties do not enjoy industrial sponsorship and therefore do usually not get registered. So, they become outlawed.

OUTLAWED?

Had they not been with man for centuries or even millenia there would be nobody here to pass or not pass any law!

There is also an open letter to european officials, signed by many organisations and individuals, You may want to read and, possibly, sign it.(before May,2nd 2012,  www.seedforall.org  )

Now, two things come into my mind.

The one thing is a vague memory of having been taught at school that the people, the citizen, hold the power.

No, I'm not getting into this. Just for the record.

The other thing is the fact that rights and liberties are gained and retained by exercising them. We all should start to grow some of our food, and be it only a single parsley plant in a pot at the window sill. It doesn't matter.

We all should make very informed choices about what we grow and how. And we should exchange and share our seeds whenever possible.

 

Man has only the rights he can defend.

And man deserves only the rights he is willing to stand up for and exercise.

Comments

Yes, yes and yes! I totally agree! I haven't been on this site for a while. How did your tomatoes turn out? You mentioned that you had tomatoes growing in the same soil for several years. I had mixed results this year. Interestingly, the tomatoes that I have planted in the same place for several years did very well. The tomatoes that I planted where peas had been last year were sickly, although I did get a fair number of tomatoes from these vines, too. I must say that this isn't a scientific comparison, as the locations and varieties were quite different.
Hello ca ! Nice to hear from You ! This year I had the same tomatoes growing in three different situations: 18 ltr/ 4,5 gal containers(second year) , smaller containers of half that size(first year) , and garden plot(first year). Although the large containers were in their second year only,it may stand for more than that as we are talking about containers. No negative effects could be observed in the second year situation compared to the two first year situations.I had no pest or disease problem to speak of in the garden, which I attribute to my preventive compost extract spraying throughout spring and early summer.Nevertheless,once more I lost most of my summer crops to what we call the summer scorching.In early to mid-July most plants scorch from the bottom up and die.Looks like nutrient deficiency or even toxicity.Fertilizing doesn't help.Exceptions are: eggplant(they thrive well),amaranth and zucchini(if not growing to closely spaced),and probably peppers and cucumbers.This year because the absence of pests and diseases,and due to to having three different planting situations to compare, I was able to define our primary problem here: when temperatures go beyond 37*C/ 100*F for extended periods, the soil gets too hot and most plants start to have nutrient uptake problems.Thus, I believe to understand now what I have been doing wrong.Instead of planning for three seasons per year, spring season should be perceived as to extend into July and past that only a few heat resistant plants,earlier intercropped,should be kept during July and August.Then ,in the first half of September,autumn seeds are to be sown.Of course,shading the garden during summer months,as done by some people,can help wherever feasible.Greetings,antonis
Thanks, Antonis. Given your feedback, I think I will try another year with tomatoes in the same spot they have trived in the last three years. I'm sorry that you lost much of your garden during the hot season, but it looks like you have figured out what to do in the future. As you mentioned, you might try using shade cloth on a small portion of the garden to see if that helps. I realize that it would be a delicate balance between light requirements and the heat. I have the opposite problem here. We had cool, cloudy weather through July. Then we finally had sun and no rain for 2 1/2 months but the temperature never got above 80 F. I tented my plants with row cover through July to increase the heat units, and it seems to have helped. Now that it is Oct., I am still picking those last green tomatoes and hoping that they will ripen inside. I've stayed on top of it, though and have canned 14 pints (@ 1/2 liter) of ripe tomatoes, so far this year, which is excellent for my small garden. I imagine being in a more southern latitude like you are, really helps with the fall and winter crops. Here at a more northern latitude, day length and light intensity are real issues, so I'm going to stick with lettuces, chards and kale through fall. By the way, I am impressed with your English. Herzliche Grüße, ca
P.S. Oops--thrived not trived.
I've read something about it being fine to keep tomatoes at the same spot for six or seven years.Sounds like a cool summer You had; but surely You have made something of it! As I'm picking the last egg-fruits I'm looking at my fall crops of lettuces,chinese cabbage,chard,broccoli and a few carrots and turnips.I am a bit late this year,but if the weather holds most of them will mature until Christmas ;the rest will do so in March.Growth stops somewhere from early December to Christmas and we get night frosts from December to February,even some snow in January and February.Despite being only a 20 minutes drive from the coast the climate is very continental.Yes,location and climate.I think,it all boils down to understanding local Nature and then find a golden cut between "Your will" and "Mine". A situation closed to "Mine" will need an enormous amount of effort to maintain along with other undesirable side effects,while being entirely at "Your will" means to give up gardening and start snaring.But having things pretty much our way while still being in agreement with nature is more of an art than science.I think,it's mainly a change in attitude than anything else: rather "let grow" than "grow" and "mainly eat what easily grows nearby" instead of "growing most of my food myself". Also,as our livelihood does not depend on our crops,we have the luxury of experimentation.This can hardly be overestimated.In fact,I've just carried out an experiment,which totally failed and cost me a few weeks;that's why I'm a little late this fall.I don't mind,for,in the end it's the understanding that remains,everything else gets recycled.By the way,most of the credit to spell check and online dictionary.Lots of Greetings,antonis.
Yes, and yes! Your philosophy mirrors mine. I have a few young lettuces and radishes to cover with row cover for late fall into winter. Am trying a permaculture experiment with large rocks to see if I can grow lemons to maturity outside with a bit of solar collection and heat radiation at night. I have diligently harvested all my crops from late summer and am looking forward to next spring. Hopefully, my cold weather crops will see me through the better part of fall and winter. Thanks for your addvise and philosophy. Alway nice to have a little validation. Mach's gut! Carol

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