Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Blessed be the seed-keepers

The phrase came to my mind this morning: blessed be the seed-keepers.

I was trying to find a source of seeds for wheat. I'd be happy enough to grow enough to make one real loaf of bread. And I ran across Jim Ternier's site for Prairie Garden Seeds (www.prseeds.ca). He gardens on the grounds of St. Peter's Abbey in Saskatchewan; the abbey has a commitment to good things. And then I remembered the commitment to seeds at the sanctuary of the Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul in Kingston, and the Seeds of Survival program of the Unitarian Service Committee and the work in India for seeds and women and organic agriculture done by the Navdanya organization.

World-wide, there are individuals, communities and organizations saving seeds, sharing and trading and maintaining. I have a jam jar half filled with seed harvested last season from a row of red kale - hardy, tasty kale that is leading this season's growth. Beautiful seeds to share with gardeners I meet this spring.

Perhaps one of the places below will be of interest to you. Blessed be the seed-keepers.

And best regards to all of you.

Why's Woman

Seeds of Survival Program
Unitarian Service Committee of Canada
Fans Ahmed, director, Canadian programs
705-56 Sparks Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1P 5B1
ph. 1-800-565-6872

Seeds of Survival (SoS) is the approach USC uses to promote long-term food security for marginal farming communities in developing countries. It stresses the importance of using time-tested farmer knowledge and practices, limiting the need for external farming methods that are often incompatible with local growing conditions.

The first objective of SoS is to ensure a secure source of food and livelihood for small-scale farmers without losing the resource base essential for sustaining it. The second, and equally important goal is to promote crop diversity.

The Seed Sanctuary - Canadian
Mission: to preserve open-pollinated seed so that it may be saved; to grow, harvest, sort and store seed as organically as possible at Heathfield. c/o The Sisters of Providence of St. Vincent de Paul
Box 427, 1200 Princes Street
Kingston, Ontario K7L 4W4
ph. (613) 544-4525, ext. 124

Seed Savers Exchange
Non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation of heirloom seeds
3094 North Winn Road
Decorah, Iowa 52101
ph. 1-563-382-5990

Seeds of Diversity - Canadian
Maintains a seed catalogue inventory. For sharing and finding seeds, this is the place!
P.O. Box 36, Station Q
Toronto, Ontario M4T 2L7
ph. 1-866-509-7333

Terra Edibles - Canadian
Open-pollinated, heritage varieties. SANER seeds - sustainable, all-natural and environmentally-responsible.
Karyn Wright, Don Mackay & Family
535 Ashley Street
Foxboro, Ont. K0K 2B0
ph. 1-613-961-0654

Hawthorn Farm Organic Seeds
Kim Delaney
RR #3, 5961 5th Line Minto
Palmerston, Ontario N0G 2P0
ph. 519-343-3375

Prairie Garden Seeds
Jim Ternier
Prairie Garden Seeds,
Address: Box 2758, Humboldt, SK, Canada S0K 2A0
E-mail: prairie.seeds@sasktel.net
Phone: (306) 682-1475

Vandana Shiva, founder

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