Sun, 17/11/2009 – Jude Fanton
We visited the Natural Seed Network here in Chiba Prefecture, not far from Narita Airport to see how organic farmers run their seed bank.
IMAGE Director, Ishii-san, of the Natural Seed Network with their extensive seed collection
Director, Ishii-san, showed us over the collection after visiting his mother-in-law, Kimie’s, farm. See previous blog about how she grows enormous vegetables from only her own saved seed. The Natural Seed Network has 5600 organic farmers nationally, 20 of whom produce seeds for the seed bank. Some are natural farming method farmers who reject the use of manures and even compost, claiming their produce is more healthy.
The seed bank is housed in the cold room of an organic produce distributor. Ishii-san has an easy method of recording incoming and outgoing seeds, a clipboard with forms to fill in. Farmers are expected to return seeds, but not all of them do.
The seed bank had an wonderful air of order and there is certainly plenty of seed there for farmers to pick up when they deliver their produce.