Friday, 20 July 2012

Seeds of Freedom film -- review by Jim Kessler

Seeds of Freedom (30 min video) tells the story of seed at the heart of traditional, diversity-rich farming systems across the world, now being transformed into a powerful commodity, used to monopolise the global food system. It shows indigenous farming communities, global experts and activists, Dr Vandana Shiva of Navdanya, Henk Hobbelink of GRAIN, Zac Goldsmith MP (UK Conservative party), Canadian farmer Percy Schmeiser, Kumi Naidoo of Greenpeace International, Gathuru Mburu of the African Biodiversity Network, Liz Hosken of The Gaia Foundation and Caroline Lucas MP (UK Green party). It is co-produced by The Gaia Foundation and the African Biodiversity Network in collaboration with GRAIN, Navdanya International and MELCA Ethiopia [You can also download the Seed Map: Food, Farmers, and Climate Chaos poster created by ETCgroup and USC Canada. - Ed.]

Jim Kessler writes: The Seeds of Freedom film is fantastic.  I will use it to present a different view of agriculture in  my Environmental Biology class this fall. 

When I grew upon an Iowa farm in the 1950s, my Dad harvested and planted his own seed.  My class visits the Grinnell Monsanto plant during the seed corn harvest to help students understand industrial agriculture.  This video will help my students to gain a better perspective on the effect of corporate giants on the food supply.  On another note, I met the Nobel Laureate and Iowa native Norman Borlaug, the moving force behind the Green Revolution, at the high school where I taught a few years ago.  The other Biology teacher that I taught with is Norman Borlaug's great nephew so he invited his Uncle Norm to speak at our school.  Des Moines, Iowa is the home of the International Food Institute and the International Food Prize founded in Borlaug's honor.  Actually some of the prize winners are scientists who help indigenous peoples to improve yields using local cropping systems and locally produced seeds.  I'm very aware of both the positive and negative effects of his life's work.

     My class also visits an organic farm in my neighborhood.  The farmer produces and locally sells meat: free range chickens grown in movable cages, pork, beef, mutton, and goat meat.  They sell excess pork and beef to high end restaurants.  They use rotational grazing to improve the health of their animals and the land.  They move their cattle to anew paddock every few days during the growing season.  Last month Kathy and I bought some whole chickens from our neighbor that had just been killed and processed for freezing.  He calls and we go over to this farm to pick them up.

    I intend to use the Seeds of Freedom video to challenge my students to gain a perspective that is very rare in a state so dominated by industrial agriculture.

1 comment:

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It is important to maintain the freshness of the seeds in order to facilitate proper germination. This is why we store all of our bonsai seeds in a refrigerator dedicated for this purpose. Therefore, in order to preserve their freshness until you are ready to begin the germination process, you can store the purchased seeds in the plastic bag we have provided.

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