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Seedy Sunday in Oxford

Hamish Campbell | 24.03.2005 23:13 | Ecology | Education | Health | Oxford

Seedy Sunday resently happend at the new Action Resoure center in the East Oxford Communerty Center. The idea was originally imported from Vancouver Island, Canada where Sharon Rempel of Saltspring Seeds started the idea of a Seedy Saturday. But of course, seed swapping is nothing new and there are many good reasons why people have been doing it for centuries all over the world.

A particular benefit of a local seed swap is that most of the seeds being swapped will be adapted to local conditions and will therefore be able to grow well. Further to this, the process of seed-swapping leading to the building up of local varieties of crops plays a vital role in the wider picture of preserving biodiversity.

An untold number of crop varieties have become extinct since the onset of industrial agriculture in the last 50 or so years and the only way to reverse this trend is for the existing heritage varieties to be spread and grown as widely as possible. As well as being important in order to preserve the diversity of nature, swapping seeds also plays a crucial role in reclaiming control over the food chain from large seed companies. Profit in the seed business relies on customers coming back year after year, which has led to the development of various hybrid seeds specifically designed to become sterile after one season to serve the business interests of seed companies.

This commercial attitude towards seed has shown itself to be fundamentally unsustainable and is totally contradictory to the spirit of seed-swapping which regards the cycle of life from seed to plant to seed as a precious gift of nature, to be shared with everyone. Seedy Sunday also hopes to promote social diversity so that people of all ages and backgrounds can come together to discuss their crops and much more, enabling connections to be made between growers in the local community so that people can work together on ensuring their own food security.

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Hamish Campbell
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