I have awoken many times the last few nights to the memories of my visit to Doon Valley, Uttarakhand, North India, where I was fortunate to stay, with my fellow learners, on the Navdanya learning center, Bija Vidyapeeth (School of the Seed, Earth University). I remember the moment we walked into the Dehradun Seed Bank (1996). A rush of endless emotions spread through out my blood stream as I took in the cold air and intense energy and spirit the seeds contained.
Dr. Vandana Shiva built this bank to re-introduce seeds into the land and farmers hands. She didn’t want to “museumize” the seeds, but wanted to start the process straightaway (Navdanya 2009, 8). A variation of this has begun spreading across the US: seed libraries. Seed libraries “bring plants into circulation, town by town, encouraging local variety” (Hartnett in Ramsey 2018, 195). Donate seed, take seed, plant seed, save seed, donate seed, take seed...the process is endless, cyclical, and integrative. It’s purpose is to preserve (genetics and history), spread seed and food sovereignty, and promote gardening and healthy food access to anyone and everyone.
It is the path to protect the commons, share and spread the seed, connect with community, promote biodiversity...the list is endless.
Does your village/town/city have a seed library? They are usually in the libraries-ask your librarian! If you do know about one, do you contribute to it? Why or why not? What are some tools that could be helpful to aid in community collaboration?
#navdanya #seedsaving #seedbank #seedlibrary
#seedsovereignty #foodsovereignty #savethestories #savetheseed
Navdanya. 2009. “A Historical Glance at the Activities of Navdanya Biodiversity Conservation Farm and Seed University.” 1-27.
Ramsey, Ursula. 2018. “Seed Libraries and Food Justice: Cultivating an Effective Legal and Policy Environment.” Georgetown Journal on Poverty Law and Policy. XXV(2)193-220.