This is an idea that works, an idea that can change the world quickly enough to make a difference. Estimates from the ETC Group are that only 10 companies now own 75% of the world’s seeds. Self-reliance, in the end, will rely upon a sustainable, local source of crop seeds. Seed libraries are an effective way for communities to begin to rebuild this essential community resource. Learn more about this exciting and growing movement in this article I co-wrote in the January issue of Acres Magazine.
Since 1986 The Seed Savers’ Network, based in Australia, has pioneered community seed action in forty countries with community groups and government departments. It has helped establish a hundred Local Seed Networks around Australia to locate, multiply and distribute thousands of local food plant varieties that may otherwise have disappeared. The Seed Savers Foundation is a self-funded, subscription-based non-profit registered as a charity in Australia. The two entities, as Seed Savers, help you to learn how to save and exchange local seeds and use a wider range of vegetable and fruit seeds in your garden to improve your nutrition.
What’s in a name? Digger’s was born (in Australia) on July 1978 in an old tin shed! Our purpose was to rescue the wonderful old varieties of vegetables, such as Scarlet Runner Beans, that mainstream companies were dropping from their lists.
Due to the buying power of Coles and Woolworths, the only way to reach the keenest gardeners was to set up mail order distribution, bypassing retail shops. Over the past 30 years, a hardware collossus, such as Bunnings, have gained dominance and now control the garden market, just as Coles and Woolworths control the fruit and vegetable market. Buying food, rather than growing it at home, is a greater contributor to climate change than all the CO2 from coal fired power stations. Multinational chemical companies, like Monsanto, can now introduce chemicals into our food supply (ie: G.M. seeds), which threatens our health and the existence of our best plant varieties.
So to preserve our best plants and garden traditions, and to help solve climate change, Digger’s has to become a club for subversive gardeners. We are anti-G.M. and anti-industrial agriculture and pro-organic, as we campaign to increase the growing of food in our backyards.