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Happy Easter and Passover and Vernal Equinox (or is that Autumnal)?

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  • histprof39
    Greetings All -- It s Sunday afternoon in a sunny, warm Colorado. The temp is right at 60 F. Our planting season is nearly upon us. The daffodils and crocuses
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 31, 2002
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      Greetings All --

      It's Sunday afternoon in a sunny, warm Colorado. The temp is
      right at 60 F. Our planting season is nearly upon us. The daffodils
      and crocuses have bloomed and the hyasinths are working on it. Time
      to plant early veggies (peas, carrots, etc.) I'm reclaiming about an
      Acre of land that has lay fallow for 8-10 years. Nothing but weeds on
      it.
      I don't know how available vegetable seeds are in Malawi but when
      I bought my grass seed I spoke to the manager about what they do with
      their left-over seed at the end of the planting season. He said they
      either discount them, give them away or throw them away. Most seed
      companies will not re-package for the following season because of the
      drop in germination rate.
      I got to thinking that you could contact some of these seed
      companies and work out a deal with them to get free seed. Shipping
      could be encouraged as a good will gesture. You'd probably get enough
      seed to start a community garden and your growing season would start
      about the time it ends here. Even if you don't get an 85%-90%
      germination rate, you couldn't knock the cost. The seed company I
      contacted is:
      L. L. OLDS SEED COMPANY
      Address: 2901 Packers Avenue
      P.O. Box 7790
      Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7790
      Phone: 1-800-356-7333
      Fax: 608-249-0695
      Email: info@...

      I would think that maybe Burpee or some of the other seed companies
      might respond if approached. One thing you would have to check on is
      whether the seed has been treated to eliminate disease or nematodes
      or has an insecticide applied. From what I've heard people tend to
      eat their seed if they're hungry.

      This was just a thought at Easter time.

      Jim Gregory
    • Nordin
      Hi Jim & all (I ve also included a few other agriculture and nutrition groups that I would like to hear this response, the original message is included below)
      Message 2 of 2 , Apr 1, 2002
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        Hi Jim & all (I've also included a few other agriculture and nutrition groups that I would like to hear this response, the original message is included below)
         
        Please take a minute to think about sending American seeds to Malawi.  Malawi has HUNDREDS of its own types of food plant seeds, importing more foreign foods adds to the perception that the local foods aren't as good as other countries' foods.  In addition, foreign seeds often don't grow as well as local varieties because they are not used to the conditions, although there are many cases where introduced species become invasive and dominate local species of plants and animals.  We are having trouble on Mulanje right now with an introduced pine invading the ecosystem of the indigenous Mulanje Cedar and people who are hiking the mountain are encouraged to remove the introduced pine seedlings if they come across them.  Problems with the introduction of Water Hyacinth into Malawi is another species we just discussed on this listserv.
         
        In the past many species have crossed borders and many have now naturalized or adapted to the local conditions, but we are realizing that the world has a lot more to offer us in terms of foods and medicines than the few species we have limited ourselves to.  Diversity has become a key word socially and ecologically.  Each of the 'weeds' in your fallow have an important purpose, God didn't create a single weed, each has a significance for humans, other animals, the soil, the microbes, the insects, etc. - in short, they are all important.
         
        The best thing that could happen with the leftover seeds from America would be to give them to local organizations working on food security, environment, nutrition, agriculture, etc.   America has many food security and nutrition problems of its own, I encourage you to connect your contact from the seed company with these organizations to help imporve local food and nutrition security.   Some ideas for connections include:
         
        1.....Across America there is a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education (SARE) network, and Wisconsin is part of the North Central Region SARE, they have a website http://www.sare.org/ncrsare/ for more information.  From that site you can link to the SARE projects in Wisconsin, several contacts are listed for Madison.
         
        2....Another organization is the Community Food Security Coalition http://www.foodsecurity.org/index.html there are several organizations from Wisconsin as members and they have a listserv which you could post the idea of getting these excess seeds out to local organizations.
         
        One of the biggest lessons that Peace Corps has taught me is that local responses with local resources are the most permanent, sustainable solutions there are.  As outsiders we are there to help look at things from a new angle and facilitate.  A better solution for Malawi's food security and nutrition problems is for someone who knows how to collect, package and market seeds to come to Malawi and teach these skills so that we can make more of Malawi's own foods available to the public.  The local varieties of foods are being crow
        ded out and we can help to put more weight on their importance.
         
        We are just at an opposite season here in Malawi from what you are experiencing.  We are getting ready to bring in the harvests and watch the plants die back into the soil, the trees are flowering and the weather is turning cool with mist and moisture in the mornings.   Although we are similar creatures with similar needs, we have our own unique conditions with which to work.
         
        Stacia
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        Stacia M. Nordin, RD
        HIV/AIDS Crisis Corps Coordinator
        PO Box 208, Lilongwe, Malawi, Africa
        work tel:   +265 757-667 or 757-157
        work fax:  +265 751-008
        home tel:  +265 707-213
        cellular:    +265 960-613
        e-m:         
        nordin@...
        ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Sunday, March 31, 2002 11:27 PM
        Subject: [ujeni] Happy Easter and Passover and Vernal Equinox (or is that Autumnal)?

        Greetings All --

            It's Sunday afternoon in a sunny, warm Colorado. The temp is
        right at 60 F. Our planting season is nearly upon us. The daffodils
        and crocuses have bloomed and the hyasinths are working on it. Time
        to plant early veggies (peas, carrots, etc.) I'm reclaiming about an
        Acre of land that has lay fallow for 8-10 years. Nothing but weeds on
        it.
            I don't know how available vegetable seeds are in Malawi but when
        I bought my grass seed I spoke to the manager about what they do with
        their left-over seed at the end of the planting season. He said they
        either discount them, give them away or throw them away. Most seed
        companies will not re-package for the following season because of the
        drop in germination rate.
            I got to thinking that you could contact some of these seed
        companies and work out a deal with them to get free seed. Shipping
        could be encouraged as a good will gesture. You'd probably get enough
        seed to start a community garden and your growing season would start
        about the time it ends here. Even if you don't get an 85%-90%
        germination rate, you couldn't knock the cost. The seed company I
        contacted is:
        L. L. OLDS SEED COMPANY
        Address: 2901 Packers Avenue
        P.O. Box 7790
        Madison, Wisconsin 53707-7790
        Phone: 1-800-356-7333
        Fax:  608-249-0695
        Email: info@...

        I would think that maybe Burpee or some of the other seed companies
        might respond if approached. One thing you would have to check on is
        whether the seed has been treated to eliminate disease or nematodes
        or has an insecticide applied. From what I've heard people tend to
        eat their seed if they're hungry.

        This was just a thought at Easter time.

        Jim Gregory


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