Seed Blog

Recent developments in the world of Food and Seed

International Seed Library Forum happenings


Excellent community seed actions from 9 countries. Community seed networks play a big part in keeping garden biodiversity.


Pink pineapples just the tip of iceberg

A few genetically engineered fruits and vegetables are already available in grocery stores: Hawaiian papaya, some zucchini and squash, and a small amount of the sweet corn we eat, for example. But the bulk of the nation’s genetically engineered crops are corn and soybeans that are eaten by livestock or made into popular processed food ingredients like corn starch, soybean oil or high fructose corn syrup.


Seed Laws that Criminalise Farmers: The book is out

Peasant seeds – the pillar of food production – are under attack everywhere. Under corporate pressure, laws in many countries increasingly limit what farmers can do with their seeds. Seed saving, which has been the basis of farming for thousands of years, is quickly being criminalised.


Miriam Makeba loves seed freedom

Miriam Makeba the champion of freedom who was married to a Black Panthers, felt that seed belong to peasant farmers not corporations. After her concert in Brisbane Australia she asked Michel and Jude for a drink at her hotel in Brisbane while on her may 1995 Australian tour,
She loved the SeedSavers concept she even carried back to South Africa a copy of the newly published Seed Savers Handbook.
Jude had been at her first post apartheid in Cape Town while she was teaching two Permaculture Designers Certificated in SA. She loved seed freedom.


Will China open its market to Monsanto and Dupont?

For two decades, foreign seed majors have beaten a path to China, lured by a market so big that it is projected to eclipse the U.S. as the world’s largest food consumer by 2018, according to the Association of Food Industries.


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


Superior Taste and Nutrition in Traditional Wheats

Just as you suspected, there are some pretty deep reasons for all this bread-allergy; and some pretty wide reasons for why bread was a delicious food in the past, not our modern filler made of pap – the varieties of wheat used! Do see an excellent article by Vanessa Kimbell about making sourdough. She emphasizes that it is not this or that oven method or fancy recipe that is important, but the choice of flour in particular from what wheat variety it comes.

Eat less of better quality! Presently we are eating from our garden: banana flower salad with eschallots, tiny tomatoes, ginger, turmeric, macadamia nuts, chillies, lime juice, eight garden herbs – betel pepper leaf, curry leaf, Thai basil, kaffir lime leaf, lemongrass, garlic chives, Vietnamese mint and mint. We need only small amounts with our organic, wholemeal, stone-ground, wood-fired ovened, sourdough bread.


The peasant farmers of Papua New Guinea

They are the salt of the world. We got so much inspiration from PNG people who are one of the earliest horticulturists on the face of the earth. They feature prominently in Our Seeds the film documentary we produced on the keepers of plant diversity.


Alfredo Bonanno: prolific illustrator

Alfredo grew all the plants so he had a life model to draw the hundreds of illustrations for the Seed Savers Handbook. It was a patient work of love where Alfredo spend more than 18 months to complete the projects: the plants dictated the rhythm. Thank you Alfredo to have helped make our book a success.