Seeds – Introducing a Three Month Theme on the Kindle Project Blog

Jan 12, 2012

People walk past an advert against genetically modified food on a Paris subway station platform. The advert reads in French: ‘It is safe. Regarding GMOs, we still don’t have enough hindsight’.

For the next three months the Kindle Project blog will focus on an issue that is often at the forefront of our minds – seeds: their sovereignty, production, and importance. As the local food movement is growing in urban centers worldwide and the popular trend of homesteading and DIY is gaining greater momentum a slightly greyer area of food and environmental justice lays in the issue of seeds. While there are known and publicized issues surrounding the mega agricultural biotech company of Monsanto and the injustices coming from their production and distribution of genetically modified seeds, there is still much to explore in terms of how we make these injustices relevant to each of us on a personal and daily level.

The issue of seeds is a complex one and while it may seem odd to focus our attention to seeds during the winter months, this is precisely when seeds are most relevant. For the next three months many North Americans will be participating in seed trades, sales, and collections. Farmers big and small, local gardeners, and individuals are beginning to plot their gardens and land for the spring and summer months.  

For many of us living in the developed world we experience a false sense of abundance. What is available to us is not always what grows near to where we live. This is, of course, not new information for most of us. For those of us that have had the privilege and the need to educate ourselves on food issues we have grown accustomed to thinking about food sourcing, farmers rights and eating local. However, there is a very real threat of scarcity, (due to changing environmental landscapes, seed wars, GMO’s etc.), that prevents us from looking further at times. And oddly, the issues around seeds and seed justice are all too often swept under the rug.

As we spend time studying seeds in the next several weeks we will be doing so by asking a lot of questions and hopefully be providing some answers: How can people living in urban centers become engaged in seed issues? Is it important for people living in urban centers to care about seeds? What are the reasons behind building seed libraries and why is this important? How are artists and filmmakers engaging with seed issues and helping to bring tangible information to the public? If food scarcity is real for all of us, what do seeds have to do with this? What can I do to understand seeds in a more meaningful way?

For us, and many others, seeds represent what is possible for our planet, what is sacred and also what is most pressing. We live in urgent times with a planet whose environmental shifts are already causing grave effects. But, seeds remind us that despite urgency we need to patient, we need to let things incubate, grow, flourish and rest.

It is our hope that you’ll join in on this conversation with us by commenting on our posts and sharing what it is you know and what it is you want to know about seeds.

Looking forward to an exciting year ahead on the Kindle Project blog!

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