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Has the "Seed Sovereignty" Movement hit Critical Mass?


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“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Yup. And back in the day, here in Canada, we had this famous case (recently the subject of a film starring Christopher Walken as Schmeiser).

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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In the US there's Seed Savers Exchange. I first joined in the mid-80s, when it was simply a bunch of people exchanging seeds person-to-person. There was a simple printed catalog--not quite mimeographed, but close--with people describing what seeds they had and what they were looking for in exchange. Now SSE is a commercial enterprise, but they still specialize in non-hybrid, open pollinated, "heirloom" seeds. Their mandate is to rescue the varieties that have been ignored by the big seed companies. They're based in Decorah, Iowa, where they refresh their varieties by growing them out every few years to keep the supply viable. I admire that dedication to maintaining a large inventory of varieties to avoid a potential future disaster when the commercial varieties fail for some reason. Besides, where else can you find seeds for Kellogg's Breakfast or Aunt Ruby's German Green tomatoes?

 

Admittedly, this is a commercial business but their philosophy is the same as all groups that call for access to viable seeds for gardeners everywhere. The big seed companies left behind the old varieties--you know, the ones that actually taste good--in favor of larger production, easier transport, and disease/insect protection. And in the process Early Girl, which used to be a good-tasting tomato, became just as tasteless as all the rest.

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Formerly "Nancy in CO"

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