Monday, October 14, 2013

WHY should everyone start to save seeds ?

Seed Saving is holistic knowledge and a vital act
of personal, social and ecological empowerment

On a personal level Seed Saving is ...

  • Fun & Easy (start now with ripe fruits )
  • Re-connecting to nature (intensively !)
  • Entrance to and wholing of gardening ( The lost (p)art of the plant life cycle )
  • Connecting Local Communities ( Exchange is key !)
  • Saving money
  • Personally Empowering

...but there are more important reasons to save seeds, than our pesonal benefits:

  • Being the change we want to see

We are loosing agricultural biodiversity at a shocking rate - and seed saving can help 

  • 75% of agricultural crop diversity is estimated to have been lost during the 20th century;
  • Currently we loose 1-2% of varieties each year, according to UN Food and Agricultural Organization.
And we can't rely on seed companies to maintain the remaining varieties.

A few organic seed sellers who are committed to diversity exist, but most seed companies (have to) react to market demands and are likely to drop varieties over time.
In Europe diversity has even been reduced to an official list, seeds from all other varieties may not be sold.

It is seriously up to each of us, united.

Saving seeds of seldom varieties, active seed exchange, joy in cultivating „new old“ seldom varieties and engagement for strong community seed libraries or other seed stewarding projects is a vital act against the rapid loss of biodiversity.

Seed saving and diversity are foundational for developing sustainable and resilient locally based food systems.

We risk to loose more than cultural heritage, it is effectively dangerous to maintain a human food system, that is based on only a few main crops – any necessary adaption to changing circumstances requires diversity.

Even beyond resilience, all truly sustainable local food systems will actively cultivate and improve* regional varieties & explore undervalued crops. (*See May and June calendar sheets)

Ideally, community seed libraries will become a viral real-life commons project.
And because of their linchpin benefits, they can.

Inform yourself about emerging local cooperatives around you and food-related social engagement for a healthier future for all.

wiserearth ( connects you very well . 
More hashtags:  #permaculture  #communitygardens #cooperative #local #slowfood #transitiontowns #ediblecities #resilience

Seed Saving is the foundation for re-establishing Seed and Food Sovereignty
Seed Sovereignty describes the human right to save seeds and decide which plants to grow and save from. To prohibit small sellers to sell seeds from seldom varieties, a regulative threat that doomed over Europe in 2013, is a threat to Seed Soverignty. 
Together with Seed Sovereignty, we are loosing Food Sovereignty - the human right to define our own food system: The production circumstances, kind and quality of our food;
As of today, the largest 10 seed sellers control 74% of the global seed market.  
(Source: )   
The largest of them, Monsanto, stands for all of them together in public perception.
In essence the linked article tells us, that if we want to prevent a future dominated by GMO seeds and massive doses of pesticides & other chemicals, we should rather become active in our own gardens, too.
As regular consumers we can change the market to focus on fair and sustainably produced organic food & diversity by cultivating the new habit to buy from local farms we trust in.
We have reason to be worried, even more so if we learn how large seed sellers like Monsanto proceed, especially regarding food safety and the devastating exploitation of farmers in poor countries.
So for a start, the tiny act of seed saving done by MANY is a powerful proactive statement and action against large scale agriculture's exploitation of nature and people, loss of agricultural biodiversity, GMO food, chemichals for food production and patenting the commons.

But you will quickly be able to step beyond the worrying facts that you become aware of here - you can act. Ad it's even fun & fulfilling.

Despite the sad circumstances, you won't believe your eyes if you dive deep into seed saving and permaculture, because you will finally realize that it is true that there is, could be – or would have been, if we stay passive - potentially true abundance for all.

Post updated in September 2014

Friday, October 4, 2013

Plant Databases

Large General Databases

USDA Plant Database 
(US/CA, detailed info on many species - useful for all)

Food Plants International
(24.000 food plants - Christian Non-Profit aiming to help the poor to feed themselves, esp. in tropic areas )

The Plant List 
( Correct botanical names & synonyms, +1 Mio )

EU/ EC - Registered Plant Varieties

Focus Sustainability / Food Security

Plants For A Future 

Educational Resources # Seed Saving


Seed Saving Guide
( Organic Seed Alliance, comprehensive )

A Guide to Seed Saving, Seed Stewardship & Seed Sovereignty 
(Seed Ambassadors, short, engaging guide) 
(online handbook & detailed saving instr. ~50 veg.)

Basic Seed Saving
( International Seed Saving Institute, )

Organic Seed Resource Guide
(, online, for professionals / )

For Young Students:

From Generation To Generation ( by, engaged co-op supplier )

A Handful Of Seeds (

Plant By Plant Saving Instructions:

Seed Savers Exchange ( dropdown , full list )
 (Short planting and saving instructions for a. 100 vegetables, flowers & herbs)
 ( ca. 50 vegetables )
( Free basic version of a gardening tool, that lets you plan your complete garden online in detail and notifies you automatically with all instructions for yor specific climate zone , includes seed saving instructions.
It even allows you to see who else is growing the same variety near you. )

Intro Resources: Seed Saving & Biodiversity

(Under construction ! - This is a wiki/library-post.
Share these links with friends and networks to raise awareness. )


Excellent intro article:

Videos, Food Revolution & Seed Saving:

FILM: Our Seeds 50 min. movie about Seed Saving and the story of seeds around the world by

FILM: Seeds of freedom by Gaia Foundation and African Biodiversity Network

Christopher Gardner (Stanford) calls for a food revolution   video

TedTalk by croptrust director video



Global hunger index // perspective – Sustainable agriculture