Why typical seed cultivation ?
Seeds and plants are essentials in agriculture and gardening. Until a few decennia ago seedproduction was a private matter, only concerning farms and agricultural companies. This activity varried from company to company and so a lot of local races and selections appeared. During the last years these selections have been largely oppressed, due to diverse causes. The workgroup for typical seed cultivation intends to maintain our local plant heritage. It advocates zealously biodiversity by integrating seedcultivation in the agricultural company itself.
The workgroup is an organisation addressing Flemish farmers and gardeners who are still using and multiplying their own typical plantselections, but also every company that is interested in reintegrating seedcultivation. Those who want to carry the label ‘Brussels chicory’ have to maintain their own races in order to stay authorized as a regional product.
Source of inspiration
‘Multiplying and reproducing is the seed’s law. Seed leads to abundant seeds, everlasting. Every seed, even the smallest one, carries life’s continuity, evolution’s creativity and the ability to adapt. Seeddiversity is the expression of freedom. The seed’s freedom and the farmer’s. When seed is free to evolve and adapt, variety and diversity arise. When farmers and gardeners are free to cultivate, share and keep seeds, diversity is fostered.’
Vandana Shiva is an Indian scholar in nucleonics. She became a modern environment activist and devotes herself for keeping agrobiodiversity in the hands of farmers.
A triple shift can be observed in modern plantimprovement, due to the rise of hybrids and its natural result: the development of GMO’s, genetic manipulated organisms.
First of all we leave the track of variety and diversity, which Vandana Shiva called the creative side of nature. Plantimprovement is concentrated in only a few companies which develop races that can be used and spread in as broad a region as possible. Local races disappear and are replaced by more productive, but genetic impoverished, hybrids.
Secondly we can observe that the plantimprovement’s field of action has moved from the outside land to the inside labo. The selection’s starting point is not the plant relating to its surroundings any more. It is reduced to a range of qualities and a (simplified) genetic code.
Vandana Shiva brings us back to the essence: ‘If the plant really wants to renew itself, it must have the opportunity to close the circle from seed to seed!’
The third aspect is the concentration of materials and companies for plantimprovement: a lot of interests emerge and the necessity for patents and protection pops up. Consequently a lot of genetic material is not of general importance any more; it is locked up in seedcompanies en private genbanking. The workgroup WEZ wants to start a free flowing seedmovement. We strive for ‘open source seeds’, realising that the freedom to grow and sharing seeds is basic for real biodiversity.
This is the message WEZ wants to carry out in Flanders: again integrating seedcare on the farm and in all those uncountable small paradises of amateur-gardeners. In short, bringing biodiversity back to creative people with green fingers!
WEZ’s resolute point is plantimprovement which does not die by the appearance of GMO’s and their seedpatents. It’s point is beyond GMO’s, realising that real renewal is enclosed in the plant itself, in its ability to multiply and evolve. This implies respect for the fenomenon ‘plant’. A plant must have the opportunity to connect with the earth. We must allow it to close its circle in a natural way. From seed to seed, with open polination and free fecundation!
More information ?
Louis Debruyn - tel +32 (0) 15 33 03 53 - firstname.lastname@example.org
Greet Lambrecht - tel +32 (0) 15 23 45 00 - email@example.com