Why do I save seeds? Why is all this seed saving important, anyway?
Seeds are the heart of human survival. Without the germination of huge populations of seeds every year, life on this planet would cease. We tend to take this amazing and fragile fact for granted, but we should not. It is a magical, incredible, and essential reality. Just some seeds will not do. Genetic diversity in the kingdoms of the planet are
essential to their stability. The more diverse, the more stable. Genetics that are hidden or would seem insignificant many times turn out to be essential, in the combating of ‘new’ diseases, or changing environments. Nature is full of the good, the bad, and the ugly, and things like disease, drought, flood and human exploitation, and ironically, modern agriculture, threaten the survival of this necessary diversity.
Since the middle of the 1900’s, the agriculture practices of the Western world have quickly transformed our economy, our food supply, and our communities in general, from one of small scale secure diversity into one of large scale unstable and fragile monoculture, demolishing so many essential pillars of a secure civilization. The nature of capitalist agriculture tends to strangle itself in its own neck, for the monetary gains and benefits of the mass monoculture of food crops is its very weakness. One disease, one insect, small changes in climate and environment, all threaten to topple huge portions of our food supply in very short order.
The genetic diversity of our food crops must be preserved, and this can be accomplished by saving and maintaining the heirloom and indigenous varieties of plants for us and for future generations.
It is sad and ironic that the giant companies with patents on Genetically Modified food crops would like to make the world believe that it is their patented inventions that will save the world and feed the hungry. They are the companies systematically taking over the seed industry and causing the loss thousands of indigenous and essential varieties of food crops every year, and it is these native crops that have been feeding the hungry for millennia. Mass hunger in the modern world is a result of many things, notably the inability for traditionally nomadic peoples to migrate, the conglomeration of large numbers of people on small spaces of land in search of the almighty dollar, (read Cities), in the demolishing of small scale subsistence agriculture and the ecological stability that goes with it, and in the departing from growing naturalized food crops.
Seed Banks the world over are working hard at preserving plant diversity in the periodic growing of and storage of seeds. But is this enough? We can do our part by growing and using these endangered food crops on a regular basis, and that is what we do here at Solera Seeds. And we encourage you to do the same! Many food crops are easy to save the seeds from, and we encourage you to try. Do you need help getting started? We offer classes, information, and workshops to help each other save more seeds and create a more diverse world.
The saving of seeds and the incredible diversity and security that comes with them is such an amazing privilege. It’s a great responsibility, and fortunately it’s also a lot of fun. Yes, the satisfaction you get from growing your own garden is great. Imagine watching seeds you saved yourself sprout. A direct link in the chain, and you helped.