I knew nothing about seeds until I worked with Ellen, the Golden Rule Mini Farm manager. She was the first person to show me why seeds were important. One of her jobs at the farm was to test germination for seed companies. She explained to me that saved some of her seeds from the farm for her garden and also sold some of her seeds.
Last November I attended Ecology Action’s Grow Biointensive 3- day workshop. John Jeavons, a workshop presenter, gave a training and expressed how important it is to save our own seeds. He argued that when we save our seeds, these seeds will eventually be adopted into our specific growing regions and provide us with delicious and healthy crops for years and centuries to come. Today his words echo in my ears. So I started to pay more attention to seeds like how to buy quality seeds and how to replicate them in Taiwan.
At the Ecofarm conference, I mentioned to a MESA staff person, how much I wanted to buy seeds. She said, “Sue-jen, you don’t need to buy seeds, just go to the seed swap tonight and trade some seeds with others who have some of the unique seeds you are looking for. That night I followed her advice and I went to the seed exchange. Not only did I get a handful of seeds, but I also got tons of different kinds from all kinds of growers. For how much money, you guess? Absolutely free!
With my new fascination with seeds, I decided to attend another conference that only focused on seeds, The 2016 Organic Seed Alliance Conference in Corvallis, Oregon. I felt lucky to meet and talk to the best seed savers, growers and breeders from the US and Canada. They gave me tons of advice and of course I got plenty of free seeds as well. I listened with earnest how these seed growers shared their experiences and could sense how proud they were of their seed babies. After that conference, I decided to save my own seeds when I returned home to Taiwan. Even though I am not an expert, many encouraged me and told that I didn’t need to be. I can start easily with lettuce, beans, and tomatoes, then see what happens. According her book, Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties, Carol Deppe said that the US has developed so many variations of seeds because many amateur gardeners and farmers saved and exchanged their own seeds. Bill McDorman also gave a workshop and encouraged participants to start saving their own seeds, and to not be afraid to make mistakes. He explained that he still makes mistakes even though he is an experienced seed grower for many years. I can’t express enough how so inspired I was by both of these workshops.
Happy Planting !
|The important Grain: Barley|
|Keynote address: Cary Flower / 8th Organic Seed Growers Conference|
|We were so happy to attend OSGC 2016!|
|How to clean beans!|