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[Fwd: FOURTH North Devon Seed Swap Feb 2007]

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  • Rich Morris
    Contact: Helen Gray or Julian Vayne, 24 Torrington Lane, East-the-Water, Bideford, Devon EX39 4EP Tel: 01237 424029 email: lava@volcano1.freeserve.co.uk
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 15, 2006
      Contact: Helen Gray or Julian Vayne, 24 Torrington Lane, East-the-Water,
      Bideford, Devon EX39 4EP Tel: 01237 424029
      email: lava@...
      <mailto:lava@...> web:

      The* FOURTH* North Devon Seed Swap will be held on Sunday 11th February
      2007 at Tapeley Park 10am-1pm, Nr Instow.


      Bring some seeds to swap * heritage varieties * Cafe * information *
      demonstrations * fun!

      It doesn't matter if you don't have any seeds to bring, come along, get
      some for free and bring them back to next years swap!

      Our venue is inside the lovely Tapeley Barn, with cafe and log fire!

      />> DEAR GARDENERS - we used up ALL of our seeds last year, so if you'd
      like to donate some seeds in advance of the next swap we'd be really

      thanks for your support


      background info.

      Organisers Helen Gray and Julian Vayne are sending out a call to local
      gardeners and suppliers of organic plants and seeds to come along. Entry
      to the event is free and the Seed Swap team are keen to encourage any
      groups who would like a stall at the event to come forward. "Payment for
      stalls will be in kind or seed, not cash" explained Julian Vayne.
      "The idea of a seed swap is to encourage people to grow local and
      heritage varieties of plants and vegetables" explained Helen Gray. "Over
      the years we have lost something like 90% of our traditional varieties
      of vegetables. International seed firms and, EU and copy write law have
      helped reduced this diversity. Go into your average supermarket and
      you're likely to see just one or two types of tomatoes on sale at the
      most. Even 50 years ago there were hundreds of varieties. We are asking
      gardeners to send us seeds that they have saved from their own plants.
      Some of these may well turn out to be little known and wonderful local
      varieties. At the Seed Swap we will be giving seeds away to other
      gardeners to ensure that vegetable and plant variety doesn't become a
      thing of the past."

      This is a very practical way that people can help the planet, protect
      the heritage of Devon and end up with some succulent veggies on their

      The Seed Swap team are also asking for seeds to be sent in advance of
      the event to 'start the ball rolling'; these will be given away on the
      day. Seed is best if it is labelled with the year it was collected, the
      type of plant and the name of the variety if it is known. If you would
      like to contribute to the Seed Swap please send seed to: North Devon
      Seed Swap, 24 Torrington Lane, East-the-Water, Bideford EX39 4EP. For
      more information about the North Devon Seed Swap please send an SAE to
      that address or see_ < <http://seedswap.mysite.wanadoo-members.co.uk/>>_

      *Why is Swapping Seeds Important?*
      According to The Plant Varieties and Seeds Act (1964), anyone wanting to
      sell the seeds of a fruit or vegetable must first register the variety
      on a National List. Before registration, it must be tested to ensure it
      is "distinct, uniform and stable", and a fee must be paid. Sadly for
      amateur growers, these fees add up to nearly £1,000, in the case of
      tomatoes, plus an annual renewal fee of £185, for every single strain.
      There are no exceptions, no grants for amateur growers, and it is
      illegal for anyone to sell the seeds of unregistered fruit or, by
      implication, the fruit itself.

      Even if they can pass the tests then generally the only companies who
      can afford to register them are huge companies that sell to supermarket
      chains the result is that only mass-market, supermarket-friendly
      varieties are registered. Varieties of interest only to amateurs are
      ignored, and it becomes illegal to sell them; so, with no growing plants
      providing seeds for the future, they're simply becoming extinct. There
      are however, a few small seed companies battling it out with the big
      boys, Suffolk Herbs, and Future Foods being two examples.

      This matters for a very practical reason. Diversity of species
      (whether vegetable or cereal) is one of the main protections against
      disease. If a gardener is growing all one type of tomato, for
      example, and disease strikes, it can wipe out their crop. If however,
      they were growing a mixture of tomatoes then the disease may destroy one
      or two varieties, but not all. Genetic diversity is the key to food
      security. This goes as much for the large scale farmer as it does for
      the allotment gardener.

      Plants for a Future: 7000 useful plants
      Web: http://www.pfaf.org/
      Post: 1 Lerryn View, Lerryn, Lostwithiel, Cornwall, PL22 0QJ
      Tel: 01208 872 963
      Email: webweaver@...
      PFAF electronic mailing list http://groups.yahoo.com/group/pfaf
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