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Message for the List and Jamie from George Stevens of Synergy Seeds

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  • Leland Lehrman <leland@33o.com>
    Jamie- Thanks for your input and questions. I have composed some material which Leland will have posted for the group regarding some of your questions and
    Message 1 of 1 , Dec 19, 2002
      Jamie- Thanks for your input and questions. I have composed some
      material which Leland will have posted for the group regarding some
      of your questions and technical / philosophical considerations.

      About wwoofca.org- I logged on today and found no farms currently
      listed there, only the promise of a list in formation to be mailed
      out. Currently I get Emails almost daily from
      www.organicvolunteers.com which appears to be assuming the wwoof role
      domestically. I would suggest any prospective visitors to the USA to
      look there right now...

      Re your paraphrase: 'he who causes two plants to grow...' Perhaps you
      are referring to a key line from LUTHER BURBANK: His Life and Work;
      Burbank was the intuitive breeder who almost singlehandedly
      transformed many of our modern crop plants from material collected
      worldwide. I am particularly fond of his observations re the role of
      cereal grains as 'a novel feature of lawn and garden' which most
      gardeners neglect: (I will get the exact wording for posting for the
      group) 'a person who could by simple process of selection develop a
      new variety of grain with only one kernel more to the head would
      bestow a great blessing upon all humanity'.

      FOLKS- We can't live long on heirloom lettuce and tomatoes and the
      huge emphasis placed upon these particular crops by seed companies
      and genetic preservation organizations is totally lopsided in
      comparison to the dramatic erosion of genetic wealth in the legumes,
      grains and seeds which have been the traditional 'staff of life'. We
      have witnessed for 100 years the extinction of subsistence farming
      cultures who have grown developed and maintained all the staple seed
      diversity, the rise of monocultural agribusiness and -recently-
      transnational corporations which seek to 'terminate' the role of
      natural farmers worldwide.

      That is the irony of Burbank's legacy- that his groundbreaking work
      has been exploited for monoculture so tragically in spite of his
      adoration for diversity. It has been said that his sensitivity
      bordered upon the mystical... among his many admirers was Paramahansa
      Yogananda who often referred to him as the 'American Saint'. Indeed
      his work lifted the whole of human civilization to a new level via
      agricultural progress. Masonobu Fukuoka certainly embodies for us the
      intuitive natural breeder who inspires us individually and
      collectively to achieve such advances for ours and future generations.

      Thus the Freedom for Seed movement in India -Vandana Shiva- and
      allied movements worldwide require steadfast determination AND
      improvisational abilities in discovering, salvaging, reselecting,
      preserving... all the germplasm available in the public domain. My
      realization 20 years ago was that the 'One Straw Revolution' must
      begin with the seed, with an intimate relationship with the crops one
      may economically grow- region by region, with the full circle
      awareness of macrobiotic integrity.

      As Lorenz Schaller of Kusa ('Sacred Grains') Foundation once confided:
      'Krishnamurti was adamant that competition is destructive... Our
      entire society and its business mechanisms are intensely competitive.
      So this is difficult- to have a lifestyle and career with seed in an
      altruistic direction.' Right now we have domestically literally
      scores of the very best farmers holding precious stocks of seed,
      going bankrupt or worse for precisely the same reasons Lorenz stated.
      We had 100,000 farmers in India commit suicide due to one single
      absurd crop failure of gm cotton- an incomprehensible loss of farming
      tradition and skill (not to mention germplasm stewardship)all due to
      the monocultural agribusiness model. The time is now to act
      cooperatively, both with nature and with all the human
      resources that can be energized.
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