The Farmer, the Architect and the Scientist – A Seed Hero

“A new film, ‘The Farmer, the Architect and the Scientist’ tells the story of a seed hero. Dr Debal Deb is a pioneering ecologist committed to working with traditional farmers in eastern India to conserve indigenous seed diversity. Over almost two decades, Debal has managed to save 920 varieties of rice, all of which he stores in community based seed banks in West Bengal and Odisha for farmers. This film follows the construction of a new seed bank premises in Odisha, a venture that provides a potent symbol of Debal’s values.

As we saw in Seeds of Freedom, small-scale traditional farmers and their rich diversity of locally adapted seed varieties are being written out of the story of seed. They are the victims of an aggressive global lobbying effort, designed to convince a world terrified about food security that the corporatization of the global food system, involving transgenic seeds, is the only way to feed the world.

But there are those who dispute this narrative – seed heroes, men and women, from around the world – who understand that the key to a healthy food system lies in maintaining the immense local and regional bio-cultural diversity of seeds and traditional farming methods. Their work to uphold farmland and community resilience and health has never been more important.”

8:31:13 okay beePhoto by Raven Simons©2012 Shapeshifting, Inc.
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Vandana Shiva: Traditional Knowledge, Biodiversity, Sustainability, and Seed Saving

“we learn from the seed renewal
we learn from the seed generosity
we learn from the seed multiplicity
we learn from the seed diversity”
Vandana Shiva”

Seeds the Buried Beginnings of Food – Semran Sethi

“The buried foundations of food and future-food are slowly disappearing. Environmental journalist Simran Sethi takes us beneath our plates to explore the erosion of what we grow and eat. Through an exploration of agricultural biodiversity, seed monocultures and consolidation, and the small-scale farmers who continue to grow much of the world’s food, Simran explains what we all can do to ensure the security and sovereignty of our seed and food.”

 

2013 Seed Savers Exchange Webinar Series and Archives

The Seed Savers Exchange‘s mission statement is, “Passing on seed-saving knowledge is at the heart of Seed Savers Exchange’s mission to save the world’s diverse, but endangered garden heritage.”  Here is a link to their 2013 webinar series and their archives.

http://www.seedsavers.org/Education/Webinars/

Farmers’ lack of bees might be solved by going wild

“The findings have important implications for agricultural and land-use policies worldwide, said study leader Lucas A. Garibaldi, an agricultural scientist at the National University of Rio Negro in Argentina: Unless habitats for wild insects are protected and nurtured, farmers around the world could face a future of drastically lower yields.

Scientists have long warned that plowing landscapes into vast, single-crop fields and orchards eliminates the range of soil, wildflowers and other vegetation that is crucial to support multiple species of wild pollinators, including bees, flies, beetles and butterflies. As these insect populations have dwindled, farmers have resorted to using rented interlopers, generally Apis mellifera, during flowering season.

“Honeybees cannot replace the service wild bees provide,” Garibaldi said. “Biodiversity in agricultural landscapes matters and can help increase production.”

To read the full article go here:

http://articles.latimes.com/2013/feb/28/science/la-sci-wild-pollinators-20130301

Dennis vanEngelsdorp: Where have the bees gone?

California’s Honeybee Plight and the EU is Looking at Banning Neonictinoid Pesticides

This winter bee colonies have been hit hard in the United States and this blog post talks about what is looking like a bee crisis in California.  The big question is whether there is going to be enough honeybees to pollinate this year’s crops there and in other states.

http://www.takepart.com/article/2013/02/12/bee-decline-could-hurt-almond-growers-signs-things-come

In the new the European Union is considering a 2 year ban on neonictinoid pesticides that some studies have linked to Colony Collapse Disorder and the disappearance of honeybees.  “This is only the beginning, Lodesani says: “Modern farming requires a complete change of thinking, away from a reliance on chemicals and back to a respect for biodiversity.” In other words, he says, when we talk about bees and crops, we are really talking about canaries and coal mines.”

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-02-19/to-revive-honey-bees-europe-proposes-a-pesticide-ban