Category: Seeds

Beware the Corporate Takeover of Seed Under Many Guises

New and existing legislations and treaties are increasingly restricting people’s food rights and eroding agricultural biodiversity in favour of a handful of big seed corporations that are already monopolizing the world’s seeds. by Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji The UK hosted a festival across the country to celebrate and honour the humble seed. In London, the Lambeth Garden Museum hosted farmers, growers, food sovereignty campaigners, artists and chefs for 2 days of […]

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Seed Saving, Part 1: Seedy Issues

For many interested in permaculture, one of the first and perhaps simplest joys of becoming more involved in holistic design is the experience of being able to harvest something which you have grown yourself; whether it is pesto made of basil from your window-sill or a forest garden so packed with fruit, nuts and climbing vines that you are not sure what you will do with them all. If you […]

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Report on 5-Day Permaculture Workshop for the Etse Fewus Herbalists Association in Fitch, North Soha, Ethiopia: Part 2

Continuing from Part 1. Sunday 21/09/14: Day 4 The group were very happy with the biole preparations we did on day 3. They were amazed that we could make fertilizer out of basic farmyard trash when they had all been paying though the nose for imported chemicals for the past years. So riding this wave of enthusiasm I hoped we would make good progress in covering the material today. Unfortunately […]

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Accidental Propagation, For the Best in Gardening (Panama)

Many of the most successful gardens we’ve propagated have been as much luck and accident as they have been my astounding wits. We’ve made lots of special garden beds, no-till expressions of fertility and decomposition, but often times it’s the rogue plantings, the spots where seeds have fallen from a pocket or simply tossed away as compostable refuse, that turn out to be the most bountiful. Here are some of […]

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Low-Tech Natural Nursery Strategies (Washington, USA)

When most people think about nurseries and plant propagation, they conjure up rows and rows of black pots and the smell of moist palettes of artificial fertilizer. But there is no natural law which dictates this to be the only, or even a preferable way in which to propagate plants. While in-situ propagation from seed has been proven to be the healthiest and most energy efficient means of mass propagating […]

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How to Save Tomato Seeds

Fully ripe disease-free tomatoes are the best candidates for seed saving. Seeds can be saved casually by squeezing them out onto a paper napkin and then air drying them, but fermentation is a better route. Fermentation removes germination inhibitors and the gelatinous sheath from seeds, and it may treat some seed-borne diseases. Properly stored tomato seeds may remain viable for over six years.

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Saving Seed on the US/Canadian Border

For the last three years, the best-performing seeds in my garden have come from a little local outfit called Heart of the Highlands LLC. It helps that they’re locally grown: adapted to the same arid, frosty-hot climate that my garden struggles with. Now that I’ve learned a little more about the proprietor and her farm, however, I recognize there’s also extensive experience, expertise, and attention to quality involved in producing […]

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Making Seedballs: An Ancient Method of No-till Agriculture

making seedballs an ancient method of no till agriculture feat

Dried and Finished “Clay Dumplings” What’s a Seed ball? Seeds balls are an ancient technique for propagating plants from seeds without opening up soil with cultivation tools such as a plow. The rediscovery and popularization of seedballs (or “Clay Dumplings” as he called them) in modern times is typically ascribed to Japanese natural farmer and philosopher Masanobu Fukuoka. As with many natural farmers, Fukuoka believed that tillage over large areas […]

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Seeding Into Frost Heaves: Leveraging a Natural Soil Disturbance Event

A close up of frost heaves A common winter sight in most cold temperate regions are frost-heaves; areas of water-saturated soil that have been uplifted due to freezing. Frost-heaving is generally regarded as an undesirable dynamic, because it evidences a lack of organic material or mulch capable of sheltering the soil (and it’s microinhabitants) from freezing. However, on degraded and compacted sites, frost heaves are really a great opportunity for […]

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Please Help Us Save Heritage Organic Seed Collection From Loss on 6 June 2014

We need your help to save New Zealand’s largest organic heritage or heirloom seed and tree collection by June 6th 2014. We are asking for your support for this campaign to secure the land the New Zealand organic heritage seed collection grows on before we lose it. Background: 30 years of organic heritage seed saving The Koanga Institute, founded by Kay Baxter, has spent 30 years building up a living […]

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Spreading Seeds

The seed regulation proposal from the European Union (1, 2), which could have severely disrupted the biodiversity of the entire continent and ultimately the planet (3), was dismissed in March (4); recognised as the bad idea so many thought it was. Regardless of your opinions on the EU, the fact that the act was proposed in the first place shows the power of a well-organised international network, and the significance […]

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