Michel at Malaysian Seed Event

Eat Shoots and Roots Organisation ran a workshop where Michel Fanton from Seed Savers’ Network of Australia gave a talk and screened Seed Savers’ “Our Seeds” film for their seed saving project. It was held on Sunday 7th December 2014 in Taman Jaya, a leafy suburb of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Here is his report.

The participants were professionals wanting and making needed changes. There were two lawyers, two writers, two film producers, architects, landscape architects, urban planners of green spaces, a famous blogger, an online publisher, IT highflyers, graphic designers, a lecturer in biology and botany at the Indonesian National University, government planners, one man from a tree planting company working in schools and orphanages (plenty of abandoned unloved darlings), a female Indian Malaysian Mercedes car seller, and last but not least the Philippino maid of one of the participants (seventeen years of service with husband and five children living in Philippines. Wasn’t she outspoken!! Unbelievable.

Our film was very much appreciated (it would be good to add a sound track in Bahasa Malaysia, or at least subtitles). Everyone wanted to know how to save seeds and grow better, less polluted foods. We need to translate our Seed Savers’ Handbook into Bahasa Malaysia.

The course was by donation and the jar was filled with big banknotes at the end. Naturally I left the proceeds with Eat Shoots and Roots.  Most participants were Chinese, Indian-Malays with a Croatian, Serb, French, Greek and Nicaraguan there also.

There is a huge movement of highly skilled young environmental and social-planning enterprises in Asia. It is a place to learn and practise where Europe rather has employment problems. One group of architects for team building purposes actually constructs houses in three days for neglected “orang asli” (translate as the original people of the forest in Malaysia.

For more about Eat Shoots and Roots, see http://eatsshootsandroots.org/seeds/