Tag Archives: seed

SEED: The Untold Story (Film Review)

Last week, myself and a couple of classmates went along to a special screening of SEED: The Untold Story that had been organised by the local Permaculture Society. 94% of our seed diversity has disappeared in the 20th century, and many more irreplaceable seeds are near to extinction. SEED is a frightening yet heartening story of passionate seed keepers as they wage a David and Goliath battle against chemical seed companies who now control over two-thirds of the global seed market, reaping unprecedented profits while denying farmers the rights to save their own seeds.

I was particularly keen to see this film as I recently did an assignment on seed sovereignty and Vandana Shiva, an environmental activist and founder of Navdanya. Navdanya means 9 seeds and the organisation campaigns for the right to conserve seed and biodiversity, among other things and I have become very moved to get involved in some way and do my bit by growing open-pollinated edibles, seed saving and sharing. Vandana appears in this movie along with many other characters each doing what they can to preserve our food heritage.

This feature length movie is beautifully shot – the opening sequence is a feast for the eyes and it introduces us to a range of players on all sides of the issue, there are some of the well-known ones like Jane Goodall and Vandana Shiva however it was the other characters that charmed and inspired. Joe Simcox can be best described as the Steve Irwin of the seed world as he travels the world ‘gung-ho’ searching for new edible plant species. Will Bonsall is a highly entertaining white-haired hippie and founder of the Scatterseed Project, a genetic conservation project in Maine. Emigdio Ballon a Bolivian of Inca descent builds a collection of seeds in the back of a trailer in New Mexico.

We’re also introduced to a community on the Hawaiian island of Kauai where biotech giants have been given free reign to test experimental chemicals. The people are becoming ill and dying and children are being born with deformities – they’re fighting these companies in court to try and get the to reveal what chemicals are being sprayed.

Will Bonsall, founder of The Scatterseed Project

We take a trip to the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Norway which hosts the world’s largest collection of crop diversity and is designed to withstand natural or man made disasters and protect our food for the future. After discovering earlier in the film that an important seed bank in Iraq was blown up when we invaded – all their seeds were lost – forever. It really brings home the enormity of the consequences of allowing large global enterprises, who only care about profit, to manage our food supply.

I would happily see this movie again, it’s beautiful and inspiring despite the frightening message beneath the surface. Please go and see it.

www.seedthemovie.com

 

Petal, Leaf & Seed – Book Review

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“Cooking with the treasures of the garden” 

Have you ever infused a fig leaf in custard and had it’s coconut and elderflower scent waft up to you on clouds of milky steam? or picked a handful of fennel seeds when they are still green and fat and scalded them with boiling water for a sweet, grassy, anise-scented tea? Or maybe you have decorated a salad with bright purple sage flowers, with a flavour that’s deeply herbal yet honeyed? If the answer to any of these questions is no, this book will open your eyes to the hidden flavours in your garden.

Well someone clearly knew me when they bought me this as a birthday present! What a lovely lovely book!

On reading the introduction above I immediately  wanted to answer yes, Yes, YES to all of those questions! Just those opening words sent me off on a deliciously intoxicating foodie daydream.

Petal, Leaf Seed by Lia Leendertz does exactly what it says on the tin and offers up a whole heap of recipes from cocktails and drinks through to main meals and desserts with butters, tisanes, sprinkles and sherbets along the way. It covers Spring, Summer, vegetable and herb flowers, fruit leaves, exotic leaves, leaves from herbs as well as herb, vegetable & flower seeds.

 

It’s the most bizarre thing, but every time I’ve picked this book up, I’ve sniffed the pages as if expecting to release the aromas from the glorious photography within.

I have a feeling that this book might well be to blame for some of my next few plant purchases, I’ve already added lemon verbena and borage to my list. My new favourite recipe book for sure – a perfect gift for a gardening loving foodie! (Thank you G!)