thinking about seeds

This week I’d like to ask everyone to think about seeds in a slightly different way.  Living here in the northeast, there are seldom reminders of the true cultural importance of seeds in many places around the world.  I have been thinking about seeds a lot recently in relation to Cricket Creek Farm with respect to our pastures, hay lands, and livestock grain rations.  However, rarely at the front of my mind are the questions: “where did those seeds come from?”  “what cultural significance do they have?”  I think that part of my job is to actually consider those questions, and to continue to educate myself about the cultural, economic, and environmental impacts of all the decisions I make for the farm, including sourcing seeds.
If you are a farmer, a gardener, or someone interested in agricultural diversity I highly suggest making some time to watch this short movie – Seeds of Freedom.  The movie starts out by saying, “global agriculture has changed more in our lifetime, than in the previous 10,000 years.  But as with all change, conflicts of interest have arisen, no where is this conflict more poignant, then in the story of the seed.”  The movie is about 30 minutes long (worth it!) and gives a very abbreviated ‘story of the seed’.  It is produced by The Gaia Foundation and the African Biodiversity Network.
The movie focuses mostly on the agricultural traditions of peoples in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.  This makes sense because those cultures are so old and the traditions are so firmly entrenched in all aspects of society.  However, while watching the movie, I kept thinking about how the changing socio-economic landscape of seeds (and agriculture) has changed right here in our country.  The last 70 years have seen a tremendous change in the types of seeds that farmers are growing, the markets for those seeds, and what that means for agricultural communities.  Please take time to watch the movie (while you cook, or eat a relaxing Sunday brunch!) and enjoy thinking about the wonder of the seed!
this photo is one that I took in the fall of 2008: it is Klaas Martens of Lakeview Organic Grain