Sunday, June 27, 2010

thank you bloggers for planting the seed!



This is a quick thank you post to.....

first of all the talented Leanne at homemade rainbows weblog here in Brisbane. She is one of the wonderful people who has responded to the 

call out to bloggers to be part of a mail art event

I posted 5 mights ago at both my blogs... see previous post... by posting a story on her blog about the  mail-art event and the residency project as a whole. Then she went on to discuss the film "Food Inc" which took the intervention of many locals here in Brisbane to seek/demand a screening here of this timely and important film. For some this is another version of what they are fully aware of... but for many it will be a revelation and... it must be said a critical revelation of the industrialisation of food in the US -  a story that is replicated here and elsewhere to a significant extent...and therefore - globally - relevant viewing for all.

Just skip over to Leanne's blog and you will find the trailer to watch of this film. And you will find the most wonderful photos and posts written by Leanne that bring such grace and delight to the everyday life.


Sunflower image by Leanne and the chumbakka fruit jelly images below also. I discovered Leanne at Brisbane Local Food which is a great 'ning' network on growing local in subtropical Australia. Her blog is well worth a visit... her photography and beautifully written posts are a pleasure to read.

chambakka jelly.... read more here.





Also...I have had brilliant e-conversations with blogger friends and I am now thinking "wow!"... there's really a lot of brilliant energy being stirred up... wonderful people sending postcards.... And I so wish to thank everyone.... At the moment they are still in the mail...so when they start arriving I am going to be
 V E R Y  busy and elated Im sure!

A N D   N O W . . . 

From the marvellous Mlle Paradis, based over in LA, have a look here:


I so want to know what she has here...it looks absolutely splendid! Photographer, wonderful painter when time permits, and all round great tourer with camera in hand ... Mlle Paradis has posted at her blog on the postcard call out as well... ! She's one of those people with lots of great energy, shared liberally with many - and she always delights with her quick wit or insightful take on things.

Postcards from the blogosphere is bringing the best of spirit from near and far...

BIG THANK YOU ALL! 

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Call out to bloggers who draw, paint, make, sew, cook, garden ....


we'd love you to 
join in with this great project....
if you are keen 
send us your
wonderful hand made 
postcard 
on the theme
"Homage to the the Seed" 
in the mail
and maybe you'll be
chosen to have 
Sophie's art card pack 
sent to you
wherever you are on this globe!
Help us draw attention 
to this global
story 
of huge importance
 in this the UN 
International Year of Biodiversity


* to read this properly click and it will open!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The latest Homage to the Seed artwork

You are warmly invited to attend the Group Show I am participating in from today June 17th through to Sunday, June 27th at Percolator Gallery in Paddington. To read more about the gallery and exhibition details do visit my Studio Archives blog.
I have borrowed heavily for this post from one I wrote yesterday at my long-running eclectic blog Sophie Munns: Visual Artist. .


This work above is shown below in context. The way I chose to hang the show is suggestive of a kind of dispersal of the pod forms featured in all the various works here. For the project I have been carrying out at Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens this year I have focused heavily on the forms found in the seed capules of the rainforest fruits native to Queensland. The Black bean motif I have long employed - finding a way to use it as a kind of scaffolding here in some of the works. This motif abstracted consists of 2 of the most essential or primal of forms... ovals and circles have, across Millennia, held enormous cultural significance... speaking to the subconscious mind powerfully and in our time simultaneously resonating with archaic yet contemporary meaning - with a life force still!


Acrylic and pigmented ink is the medium used and the canvas ovals come in four sizes - the smallest being 17.5 x 12.5cm as in the one below which features the hexagonal cross-section of the 'Pararistolochia australopithecurus' - a ribbed orange berry containing these 6 capsules for seeds....not that 6 seeds will always be found in each. That is something I'm still amazed by - despite the capsules that form in readiness to house seeds the number of seeds produced is not a given. Working in the Seed lab had really brought home the issue of seed viability..  pods may be pried open only to discover the absense of seeds non-vialbility of what is present.
The simple geometry of this species is completely uncontrived in this motif... its elemental and repeated in the most obvious of pattern-making. One cannot but help but think how much of this human love of geometry was fostered by saturation in the most common of everyday things in nature. Once upon a time when the human relationship to nature was for many so strong, and matters of survival meant nothing was taken for granted - seed had to be viable or it might spell disaster - plant breeding would have no doubt have come to rely on an almost scientific observation of what was occuring in nature in particular species. Acute observation may have made the critical difference. 
My long held fascination with ancient symbols has taught me time and again that the correspondance between the tangible and the abstract was deep-rooted and integral. No matter how sophisticated the tiled floors or wall patterns of antiquity appear - how mathematically complex - without doubt the starting point for a motif might be something as singular as a capsule which held seeds... like this one below. Its pause for thought.




The subtlety of the work below highlights three different seed capsules  - each a different rainforest species. This painting ( 35 x 28 cm ) refers to the largely hidden nature of seeds - they are not necessarily seen, more so if we never work with them, plant them, watch them grow. Because of this we can easily forget their mighty role in our lives... their tremendously important role as 'generator of life'. We can remain ignorant of their vast presence in so much that we consume daily... the debt we owe if you like.
And the most critically abundant of habitats for the wealth of biodiversity of these substances we so take for granted iare the rainforests of the world.



My challenge in making works during this year long project "Homage to the Seed" is to find a way to not simply make pictures like one might with a camera. Scientific Botanical Illustration has played and still does play an enormously important role in the research of species and all manner of knowledge. To some it may have appeared simply decorative, certainly exotic and capable of inspiring curiosity, a love of plants and therefore gardening.

Over the year I have researched in libraries and on-line for artistic as well as scientific visual interpretation of plants and ideas around plants.... keen to notice what representation of seeds occured... if any. The formal approach to scientifically presenting a Botanical specimen has often included the cross-section of the pod or capsule to display the structure, the seed - but this is largely secondary it would seem to the external appearance of the species.




Thus common thinking positions Botanical Art as a depiction of the seen form - the external over the internal structures...and certainly not concerned with implying the forces contained within. This is why the extensive work artist Paul Klee carried out on this rich vein of thinking has offered me a deeper strata of response to consider and grapple with.
Klee, influenced strongly by Goethe and a rich immersion from school days in things Botanical - at that time part of the regular school curriculum - went onto delve more fully in the many ways of seeing plants, growth and nature - not just a representation of external reality.
Curiously the thinking of Rudolf Steiner, also majorly influenced by Goethe, had for a time an interest for Klee. Kandinksy is said to have been immersed and stayed with Steiner's teaching whereas my reading suggests Klee left off at some point. 
Whatever the case - the notion of internal forces, things unseen, Dylan Thomas's "the force that through the green fuse drives the flower" has engaged my imagination and curiosity extensively and demanded attention over a long period... coming perhaps to fruition whilst focusing more deeply on seeds and paradoxically further exploration into the Scientific realm. Both have been driving agents and both extremely valuable.




This then has lead me to meditations on the place we find ourselves in on the planet at this time, seeking ways to interpret all that I have gleaned to date. The scientific approach..... observation, collection of data, theoretical propositions and such have been important to extract perspective on current concerns re biodiversity and the preservation of habitat and species..

But what then?
What do we humans value?
What do we as a global community care about plants?
What are we noticing and talking about?
What place are we giving this heritage?
Is someone supposed to do that for us?
My list on question goes on...its still shifting and turning. The sense of loss is enormous in the  plant heritage of this world - for habitats and for food. Both matter! Both are necessary to our survival....to breathe... to eat ... to have enough nourishment to live ...!

How do we shake our eyes awake? How do we get closer to what matters?

Below are 2 works - the larger one is the cross-section of mangrove seeds in their pod - Ariceunia marina (if I can read my journal writing correctly). Last year I walked through the boardwalk of a mangrove reserve - 12 kms from my house - on Moreton Bay. These seeds were everywhere at that time... and I picked them up off the path to look more closely before letting them fall into the water.
To think that locations where the mangroves had been decimated on Asian coastlines led to greater destruction by the Tsunami in 2004 is a clear reminder of the relationship between intact habitat and human survival. How wise is it for us to be thinking that because it is ... say christmas ... and we are on holiday, have money to travel and have "deserved"our fabulous holidays that the  environment will behave and let us have out nice time in peace.
Ramp up those travel packages where one participates in communities I say... being able to offer one's  self, getting to really know locals, volunteering for a time... reading of those who do this seems to equate with the most  rewarding of experiences.

I posted on the recent Tea and Seed Stories day in the Gardens at the homage blog and one of the central observations of the volunteer guides who conducted a children's art event and quiz to identify seeds with pods and foods was that the adults were most urgent to particpate in this quiz and many themselves did not know what they were seeing.

This was not the way once... we used to know where our food originated, and to worry that there would be enough because we knew about that too!



The smaller of the 2 images above is Mackinlaya macrosciadea
Many of the rainforest fruits I've been investigating this year are not edible, perhaps quite toxic but some able to be treated. Further still, there are myraid uses beyond food sources. I would argue that this kind of knowledge is easily as captivating as wine and cheese knowledge once one gets started, and of far greater significance for the long term. And be assured ... I am partial to a good red and fine cheese!

I will be posting more images and proper titles of works in the next days on the studio archive blog. Congrats if you read all the way to the end of this post ...your bottle of good australian red is in the mail!
You deserve it!



Thursday, June 10, 2010

Tea and Seed Stories - reflections on WED 2010 in the Japanese Gardens at Mt Coot-tha


World Environment Day event - Mt Coot-tha


This table of seeds, plants and other items was set up by Bettina Palmer, one of the long term Volunteer guides at Brisbane Botanic Gardens to demonstrate the seeds to be found on site at the gardens. Helping also on the day was another wonderful volunteer Judy Grimshaw shown above with a group of visitors.



This was the setting for 'Tea and Seed Stories' at the Japanese Garden


Bettina was my excellent guide earlier this year when I was getting familiar with the Gardens - click on this earlier post to read about the tour she took me on one rainy day in March!

 


This is a close up (click to enlarge for viewing) of the jewellery that Bettina is wearing which is one of her designs. She has specially featured as many seeds or natural items as possible. The large red ones come from Brazil - I will need to ask her for the name of it. 
Below: are a series of items that were on the table primarily to engage children in the task of connecting seeds to the related food items. However being a Sunday many passers by stopped at this table and all eyes were on the pomegranate, cacao beans and chocolate, coffee beans and lotus pods in particular. I did a post on the cacao bean (seed actually) here in March as well. You can see it growing in the Geodesic Dome for Tropical plants.
  






In the centre of the table you may see the chocolate next to the cacao beans which are encase in a  white, furry substance.

banksia seedpods and blackbean seeds - I spy other seeds but can identify them from here.



bunya nuts and coffee beans

macadamias with biscuits made from them.




Bettina also kept many children very busy with paper and textas drawing the seeds on display whilst some parents joined me in the Japanese Tea House for the story circle dialogue. She had a seriously busy day along with Judy and I am very grateful for their time on Sunday. These two gorgeous sisters didn't mind sharing their work with us.



Below are a series of shots from the tea house in the break between sessions. We had a well attended early session and also later session - so numbers were ripe for good conversation and the telling of stories. A number of people have commented since on the fact we had an extraordinarily diverse crowd - diverse in backgrounds - cultural, professional and community-wise. This lead to very interesting cross-connections on the day and the enthusiasm by many to do something like this again!

We had a magnificent day all round - with lovely mild temperatures, sunshine and an outlook that was blissful. We could see some passers by looking quite longingly at our gathering in this tea house.
And quite a few impromptu visitors joined us which was lovely as we had put our posters around so it would be known new-comers were welcome to participate.








The story circle was an ideal way to meet new people and be briefly introduced to each others stories, the thinking behind them, and where we have come from. Each person was given this introduction below and the reference to the UN fact sheet on Biodiversity. Read this May blog post to see more.



Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What will we tell our grandchildren?




 Percolator Gallery: 134 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington, Brisbane - www.percolatorgallery.com.au

On Sunday I was delighted to be celebrating World Environment Day with a wonderful gathering of visitors to the Gardens... many whom had already booked to come along (it was a free event - but RSVP's are so helpful!) and some who we were pleased just found us on the day! I will be doing a separate post on this but in keeping with a number of stories shared on Sunday at Tea and Seed Stories I am including this reflection below from Uta Heidelauf,  one of the artists I am exhibiting with next week in Brisbane at Percolator Gallery. Please click on OPENING NIGHT OF UPCOMING SHOW to read about this and we'd love to see you there if you're in town!
After hearing my talk on the 'homage to the seed' project at a meeting of BADco-op - an artist's initiative actually founded by Uta in Brisbane several years ago - she wrote and shared this story;

"I grew up in Germany in a rural setting where everything was shared,  food was grown in one's backyard and when we were hungry as kids we just had to climb a tree and pick an apple, or a pear or pull a carrot from Oma's veggie patch. I spent much time in the garden with family friends and neighbours planting, harvesting, preserving and cellaring. It was an amazing way to grow up and to be so connected to our surroundings.
I used to go in the forest with my grandmother with our cane baskets (I had a little one) collecting wild mushrooms, rasperries, blueberries and strawberries and the flavour in the food was to die for in those days. (You could still drink the clear cool water in all brooks and springs...even the water had flavour!)
backyard raspberries
I often think about the wholesome way that I was nurtured as a child 
and it has left me with priceless memories that I will cherished eternally.
 Such a gift."


Uta's story speaks to a time that is passing ...our grandparents have, in many cases, instilled these wonderful lessons and experiences of growing things, sharing at the table, foraging for food perhaps...certainly the seed story circles touched on these memories.
Nostalgia for the past CAN have a profoundly enervating aspect to it when the moment of reckoning
pushes us to consider how to bring to life what's been missing. As everyone learns at some point in their life ... nostalgia is only deadening when we close off from what it is trying to show us!  And that is precisely what do we value? - what matters most to us? and waht can we do that is creative about addressing what's missing? Hence my question as title for this post - What do we want to tell our grandchildren - all those born long after us?

Now is a good time to introduce a local initiative that is gaining such broad respect here in Queensland that it has started up in 3 other states. At the heart of this venture is an outstandingly successful (and growing in popularity) answer to the question about food and the future. This is one you would want to tell your grandchildren.

FOOD-CONNECT - go to www.foodconnect.com.au and read ABOUT US just for starters.

What's in the box this week?Meet our fabulous farmers

Food Connect is an award winning social business that works in collaboration with brilliant local farmers around Brisbane to deliver the best food in the world efficiently, affordably and equitably. Our unique distribution system is flexible, convenient and most of all healthy for you and your community. We are passionate about changing the way food is grown and distributed in this and any country where exploitation of farmers and customers is rampant.
Food Connect’s aim is to supply local, sustainably produced food to the community in South East Queensland. We are creating a new, more equitable way of distributing local produce in a socially responsible way. Our delicious seasonal produce comes from local farmers living within a five hour radius of Brisbane who are paid a fair price for their hard work and who are encouraged to farm using the most sustainable methods possible. Our subscribers know where their food comes from and are invited to see for themselves on regular farm tours. 

When reading the Food Connect blog today I noticed this timely event
coming up in Brisbane on June 27th-28th they are organising:

FARMER SOVEREIGNTY THROUGH FARMER SOLIDARITY


Download the flyer here

 * I went to the Via Campesina website to read more about this global 

movement as they are featured on the flyer above. The following posts 

were found at viacampesina.org/en/


La Via Campesina welcomes UN preliminary recognition of peasant's rightsPDFPrintE-mail
FRIDAY, 12 FEBRUARY 2010 17:23
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(Jakarta, February 12, 2010) The international peasant's movement La Via Campesina welcomes the preliminary UN recognition of the role and rights of peasants and small farmers in the world. The Fourth Session of the Advisory Committee of the UN Human Rights Council, who met in Geneva on 25-29 January 2010 adopted the report of the Advisory Committee titled "Preliminary study on discrimination in the context of the right to food" (A/HRC/13/32). This report describes the marginalisation of peasants, rural women and traditional fishing, hunting, and herding communities. It also explains the work of La Via Campesina in establishing the rights of peasants and fully adopts La Via Campesina’s Declaration of Rights of Peasants, including it in the report's annexes.
According to Henry Saragih, General Coordinator of Via Campesina who addressed the Committee in Geneva on January 27, “It is a very important step for the defence of our rights. We now urge all the member countries to adopt this declaration during the March session of the UN Human Rights Council. We are asking for a new legal framework with clear standards to recognise the basic rights of more than 2,2 billion peasants in the world”.
Marginalisation, exclusion and repression of peasants and small farmers has been going on for centuries, and La Via Campesina has been struggling for the recognition of the rights of peasant – men and women- since 2002. In this prossess, Henry Saragih aalso ddressed the UN General Assembly in April 2009 in New York at the dialogue on the Global Food Crisis and the Right to Food.
However, the breakout of the food crisis in 2007-2008 revealed to all, including policy makers, governments and institutions, the severity of the situation. This crisis raised the number of undernourished people worldwide to more than one billion, among which 80% live in rural areas (smallholder farmers, landless, and agricultural workers...). Meanwhile profit makers in the sector of food production have been increasing their benefits. While the rhetoric of transnational corporations seems convincing (when they say that they can feed the world), the stark food shortages and speculation only confirm that it is misleading.
Therefore the recognition and the defence of peasant's rights is an unavoidable condition if we want to feed the world and combat hunger and poverty.
In August 2008, the Advisory Committee recognised the positive role of peasants and small farmers in the world food system and began to look very carefully on the nature of the food situation, the role and rights of peasants, and the types of discriminations, obligations, and good practices. As a result, the current report recognises that many small farmers cannot feed themselves and their communities because they are losing control over their productive resources, such as land, water and seeds. Those resources are being increasingly controlled by agrochemical giants and transnational food producers.
La Via Campesina is now calling all the UN member states to support this new resolution at the March session of the UN Human Rights Council. The movement also asks all its members and allies to raise awareness among their governments on the importance of adopting this resolution in order to combat hunger and bring social justice worldwide.






To read more on this go to viacampesina.org/en/ and click on actions and events - left
sidebar - then find Saturday, 17th april post. Sorry I was not able to link for you! However
there is much to see if you visit this site so I can recommend you click on the highlighted
website above.

Below I have included the program of workshops for a critical meeting that was held in
Austria in late March this year. At the conclusion is the declaration that was the outcome
of this meeting. My reason for posting so much information here is to demonstrate the
sense of emergency at this time...


Sowing the Future – Harvesting Diversity!PDFPrintE-mail
TUESDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2010 16:35
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5th Meeting of the European Seed Network 'Let's liberate diversity!'
Volkshaus, Graz, Austria, 25-27 March 2010
The year 2010 will be decisive in the debate about intellectual property rights concerning seeds. The EU wants to pass seed legislation that is uniform throughout Europe. In the future, will just industrial varieties be available on the seed market while regional and farmers varieties will be found only in museums and show gardens? All signs indicate that seed corporations are using the revision of the seed law to expand their power further. The EU directive on conservation varieties and non-industrial varieties complicates or forbids the propagation of old varieties due to geographic and quantitative restrictions. 
In the last few years, seed initiatives in many European countries have teamed up and organized across borders under the banner of “Let's liberate diversity!”. They are defending farmers' rights to sow seeds from their own harvest, to breed them and to pass them on. European seed initiatives from ten countries have prepared counterproposals and want to vote on them together in Graz as well as make connections in the European-wide network of resistance.
This year's meeting is taking place in Austria in order to strengthen cooperation with Eastern European countries, yet everyone who is interested in the subject and who would like to become active is invited.
The 5th meeting will be hosted by four Austrian associations: Arche Noah, ÖBV – Via Campesina Austria, Longo maï and MaiMun. Simultaneous translation will be available in German, English, French and Spanish. On Friday, 26 March 2010, we are organizing a Market of Diversity with a seed exchange, presentations, exhibitions, diverse products for sale, workshops, music and organic food. The topic of seeds will be publicized through “Sowing the future” actions that will make effective use of the media.

SOME OF THE WORKSHOPS:





Workshop 1 Revision of the EU-seed legislation framework: Exchange of experiences concerning the European directive on conservation varieties, cultivation bans, the common positioning paper of the network. What actions will we take towards national and European authorities? The FAO? The international contract ITPGR-FA? (Guy Kastler, RSP, F)
Workshop 2 Seeds in eastern Europe: Reports from Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Turkey, ... How is the crop diversity that still exists threatened? Where is farm seed being used and who is defending it? (Csilla Kiss, Protect the Future, H)
Workshop 3 Seeds and migration. Diversity for everyone? Immigrants and refugees were often able to preserve their favourite varieties to a new land. Without them, our everyday meals would be monotonous and bland. Come and bring experiences, examples and ideas about how we can reproduce seeds and open-mindedness collectively. (Florian Walter, Kathrin Schickengruber, A)





Workshop 4 Actions and campaigns: What is being done in different countries as a reaction to the revision of the European seed legislation? What are we doing together? The campaign “Sowing future – harvesting diversity” will be introduced. (Jürgen Holzapfel, European Civic Forum, D)
Workshop 5 Patent laws and alternatives: Seed patents and conservation of varieties are increasingly restricting farmers' rights and breeders' work. In this workshop, we will provide information about current patent rights cases and point out alternatives (Eva Gelinsky, IG-Saatgut, Pro Specie Rara, CH; Gebhard Rossmanith, Bingenheimer Saatgut AG, D)
Workshop 6 Livestock breeding: Forced vaccinations, maximum productivity and the limitation to only a few selection criteria and breeds create problems for livestock breeders. How do we want to breed? How can we create a European network of resistance? (Antoine de Ruffray, Longo maï, F)
Workshop 7 Agriculture: Monocultures, the use of large amounts of chemicals and specialisation in only a few industrial varieties and breeds are all destroying natural and cultivated diversity. Which agricultural forms of production preserve biodiversity? (ÖBV-Via Campesina Austria)





13:00 Compagnie MaiMun: Street theatre on the subject of seeds
Lunch at the Market of Diversity
Beginning at 10 am: Market of Diversity and public program in "Augarten": seed exchange, plants from seed savers and farmers, local food, exhibits, additional workshops and information.
Saturday, 27th March
9:00  Closing plenary: How will we carry on? The structure of the European network, the location of the next meeting, evaluations, discussion.

The outcome of this meeting was the following    declaration:

From March 25. to 27, 2010, 160 representatives of the European seed networks gathered in Graz, Austria, for the 5th European Seed Meeting “Let’s Liberate Diversity!”. They included groups that work on the conservation, use and distribution of plant diversity, civil society organizations, gardeners, breeders, and men and woman farmers from over 20 countries. For the first time, the conservation of livestock diversity was discussed in the context of this meeting, since diversity loss is also very advanced within animal husbandry. A declaration on livestock diversity is annexed to this text.
Graz Declaration: Freedom for Diversity 
Each human being has the right to live without hunger and to eat adequately. This human right includes access to productive resources, in particular seeds. 
In the long term, Food Sovereignty can only be achieved through a culturally rich, ecological food production, based on locally-adapted varieties and on the collective care and development of this diversity. 
For thousands of years, people all over the world have been creating livestock and crop diversity. This bio-cultural diversity emerged on our planet as a reciprocal process between human beings and nature, in many localities, through pastoralist grazing and over long periods. The fact that people all over the world have access to it is fundamental for our daily bread and for the food sovereignty of all peoples and communities. This diversity is an elemental part of the human right to food; it must remain a common good, belonging to everyone. 
We defend farmers’ rights to obtain seeds from their own harvests, to breed them and to distribute them. 
Farmers’ Rights are not respected and run the very serious risk of being further curtailed through current revisions of European seed legislation. 
Ten companies already control 67% of the international commercial seed market and are demanding that their intellectual property rights be expanded in order to increase their profits and to impose industry varieties throughout the world. Varieties capable of being re-sown are systematically displaced from the market. But it is not these companies’ varieties that will best feed the world in the future. A diversity of small farming practices is needed, including locally-adapted varieties.
We recall that three-quarters of men and women peasants all over the world produce their own seeds, exchange and sell them. 
Yet European laws seek to relegate these heirloom and regional varieties to a small and controlled niche. 
We demand that patents on plants and animals, their traits and genes, as well as patents on breeding methods be prohibited without exception and that the control of companies on biodiversity be constrained. The continuing plunder of the foundations of world food production must be stopped. A true change can only take place when in Europe a fundamental change in food, trade, and agricultural policies, as well as farmers’ rights, as defined in the UN international seed treaty, are implemented. 
We demand:
the right to obtain seeds from our own harvest, to re-sow, distribute and sell them; 
the promotion of diversity in all regions by supporting conservers and breeders of varieties that can be re-sown; 
the prohibition of genetic modofication technologies in agriculture; 
the prohibition, without exceptions, of patents on plants and animals, their traits and genes, as well as patents on breeding methods; 
a new agrarian policy, which, instead of supporting energy-intensive industrial production and monocultures, promotes biodiverse and ecological production.
These demands are directed toward Member States and the European Institutions. 
The participants of the 5th European Meeting in Graz, March 2010. 
In referring to „Farmers’ Rights“, we include gardeners and all those who in one way or another cultivate plants.

 Conclusion of the IAASTD report (International Assessment of Agriculture, Science and Technology for Development).




Monday, June 7, 2010

recent finds....



After a very busy weekend I have photos to download and a really wonderful event to write up  - Tea and Seed Stories - held in the Japanese Tea House for World Environment Day Celebrations at the Botanic Gardens, Mt Coot-tha this weekend past. Stay tuned for that soon. In the meantime have a look at these recent finds;


This radish image is from a late 1800s Rice Seeds trading card.

This radish image is from a late 1800s Rice Seeds trading card found at the excellent site presented below - as is the artist-designed heirloom seed packaging (look at the seed catalogue on the site).




Ken Greene is a seed grower, co-founder of the Hudson Valley Seed Library, teaches hands-on seed saving workshops, and gives talks on the history, politics, and future of seeds. For more information and to browse the catalog, visit www.seedlibrary.org. Ken can be found on Twitter as SeedLibrary. A visit to the seed library is highly recommended for its excellent link and articles. Also visit Seedy friends.

Here's an article Ken Greene wrote: Practicing Seedy Politics that was posted on CIVIL EATS.


A brief excerpt from that article follows:

"Saving seeds sustains us. It is a cultural activity, one that connects us to 12,000 years of the most essential human tradition. Saving seeds also connects us to our familiar food plants in new ways, teaching us to appreciate each plant’s full life cycle from seed to seed. Now, more than ever, saving seeds is also a political act—a good garden practice that doubles as agricultural activism."


tomato




About Civil Eats:

Civil Eats promotes critical thought about sustainable agriculture and food systems as part of building economically and socially just communities. In our efforts, we support the development of a dialog among local and national leaders about the American food system, and its effects abroad. Civil Eats can be humorous, serious, academic, philosophical, conversational – its style of conversation is as diverse as its 40+ contributors – but it is always thought provoking, innovative, and focused on food politics.








Featured below is an interview by Paula Crossfield from Civil Eats.





The Delicious Way to Take on Climate Change: Anna Lappé Talks

 Diet for a Hot Planet.


For an excellent interview between the author of this book Anna Lappe and Paula Crossfield (CIVIL EATS) at Huffington Post click HERE.

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