Modern bee keeping – what’s wrong?
The compost preparations
Historically, in the UK, seed was produced by small local seed companies. Many farmers, throughout the world, also practised seed saving, and relied on their own saved seeds, indeed many still do. The relatively recent concentration of seed production into fewer and larger companies, combined with the drive to favour commercial needs and agribusiness at the expense of taste, nutrition, and resilience, has meant a dramatic reduction in varieties suited to traditional organic methods and the consequent shrinking of genetic diversity, but also the all important potential for seed long term health and vitality.
Multinational corporations – who also produce chemical pesticides and fertilizers – have concentrated on the development of F1 hybrids and GM seeds because they can be ‘copyrighted’, which means the grower cannot harvest their own seed and so has to return to buy seed every year, and because the grower needs to buy fertilizers and pesticides to crop successfully. The consequent lack of resources spent on open pollinated varieties has meant hugely detrimental effects on living seed biodiversity. The inevitable outcome of ownership of the global food system being concentrated into the hands of the same few companies is a serious food security issue for everyone, and another reason why the future of open-pollinated seeds is so important.
Why open pollinated seeds are vital
Adaption is the fundamental driver of evolution. Open-pollinated seeds use genetic biodiversity to survive and evolve through natural processes to their local conditions and changes in climate, and thus provide long term security for future food production. They underpin the sustainability of farming systems everywhere. By contrast, F1 hybrid and GM seeds are specifically designed to be unchanging and have no capacity to adapt without human intervention, and hence represent the antithesis of seed sustainability.
It is imperative that we recognize this: it is why open pollinated seeds are so vital for all our futures, and why they should remain available to everyone who grows food.
As open pollinated seeds adapt to the conditions in which they are grown why would you want to use imported seed? However, at present about 85% of the open pollinated organic vegetable seed is imported. In the UK we need a renaissance of UK organic vegetable seed production to ensure our future food security.
David Price, the Seed Co-operative
The Seed Co-operative
This exciting and innovative development, arising initially from a Biodynamic Association project is working to provide a future for open pollinated seeds, and ultimately develop a secure base for UK produced open- pollinated organic and biodynamic seed varieties.
Its mission is threefold:
- to breed new varieties of open pollinated seeds for biodynamic and organic farming and gardening
- to produce certified biodynamic and organic seed, and develop a national network of seed growers
- to share knowledge and skills needed for seed saving, plant breeding and the importance of seed and food sovereignty.
Welcome to the wonderful world of biodynamics, an inspirational international movement that promotes a uniquely holistic approach to organic agriculture and gardening, and food and health.
Sativa – organic varieties since 1999
Since 1998, Sativa has been committed to independent and GMO-free seed supply for organic agriculture and organic gardeners. We are involved in biodynamic and organic breeding and preservation of vegetables, seed propagation as well as the trade of cereal and vegetable seed from organic and biodynamic cultivation.
In our aim to further preservation and development of organic varieties we work according to the “Rheinauer Thesen”.
As conditions are different at every location and, in organic farming, are not levelled through the use of chemicals and mineral fertilisers, the greatest possible range of varieties is required so that the right type can be selected for every location. Our seed shop is the perfect place to buy reliable seeds – be it for farmland and fields, allotments, raised beds, balconies and gardens.
Based in Rheinau, Switzerland, we are part of the Fintan social project, where we work according to ethical and holistic principles and are networked with a range of partners both at home and abroad.
Only organically certified seeds make it into our online shop. There you’ll find a variety of different seeds – from organic conservation, organic breeding and old varieties, to organically reproduced sorts.
Sativa – organic varieties since 1999 Since 1998, Sativa has been committed to independent and GMO-free seed supply for organic agriculture and organic gardeners. We are involved in biodynamic