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