Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Seed Saving Workshop

Sunday, 15 May 10-4pm
With Michel and Jude Fanton - Founders, Seed Savers Network
The Seed Savers' Network is a community based organisation that was founded in 1986 to preserve the genetic diversity of tomorrow's food through community education and a grass roots network of farmers and gardeners. There are around one hundred subsidiary groups, Local Seed Networks across Australia. It also has an overseas training programme with networks established in places like Solomons, Cuba, Afghanistan, India, Tonga and Cambodia. 

Founders, Michel and Jude Fanton, will be in Tasmania this month and have offered to run a hands-on workshop on everything you want to know about saving your own seeds.  The workshop will run from 10am to 4 pm and include a shared lunch (please bring a plate of food to contribute).  The cost for this 5 hour workshop is $40.  There is a minimum of 10 people required for the workshop to go ahead, so please RSVP to lissa@sustainablelivingtasmania.org.au as soon as possible.  The content of the workshop includes:

Background to Biodiversity
                                    • The importance of the choice of planting material
                                    • The origins of plants
                                    • From where do supermarket food varieties come?
                                    • Chemical dependency, hybrids and genetically manipulated organisms

What Seeds to Save
                                    • Heirlooms and historical varieties
                                    • Local varieties – adaptation
                                    • Arrivals with immigrants
                                    • Connect with what you eat

Purity and Production
                                    • Pollination – self and cross-pollination
                                    • Annuals, Biennials and Perennials
                                    • Keeping a variety pure – isolation in time, by distance, and by artificial means
                                    • Plants that are vegetatively reproduced

Selection and Collection
                                    • Criteria for selection
                                    • When to select
                                    • How many to select

After the Seed Harvest
                                    • Cleaning & Drying
                                    • Seed-borne diseases
                                    • Storing
                                    • Germination testing

Planting and Planning
                                    • The self-seeding garden
                                    • Leaving plants to go to seed
                                    • Community seed banking

About Michael and Jude
In 1986 Michel and Jude Fanton founded The Seed Savers' Network, a charitable institution that has conserved over 8500 varieties of food plants and devolved into a hundred Local Seed Networks around Australia.
They coordinate The Seed Savers' Network from one acre of bio-diverse food gardens in Byron Bay. Together they wrote “The Seed Savers' Handbook” with a distribution of over 30 000 in sixteen years, and a similar number distributed in other languages. They have produced two other books, “Seed to Seed: Food Gardens in Schools” and “Local Seed Network Manual” and maintain an extensive website.
Michel and Jude have travelled extensively in Third World countries to train and consult on the establishment and extension of community-based conservation systems for food plants, always with a biodiversity slant.
In recent years they turned their hand to film and travelled to fifteen countries to document the guardians of diversity. They produced the one hour documentary “Our Seeds” and directed “Our Roots” in Vanuatu. They both have a target audience of Melanesian people, but appeal to all interested in the important issues around the genetic basis of our food.
Michel and Jude are passionate about caring for our soil, conserving biodiversity of useful plants and eating well. Their garden has over 800 perennial plants and an extensive vegetable/ herb/ flower patch.
“Our Seeds” Film Screening and Discussion
with Seed Savers Network Founders, Michel and June Fanton

Sunday, 15 May 6-8pm @ Sustainable Living Tasmania
Seed Savers has produced a one hour documentary “Our Seeds” that celebrates traditional food plants and the people that grow them. The film introduces those who stand at the source of humanity’s diverse food heritage.
Shot in eleven Asian, European and Pacific countries, the film features Pacific islanders who face great challenges to their way of life, their culture and their traditional cultivation methodologies.
This is a David and Goliath story where resilience and persuasive logic triumph over seemingly invincible forces that control much of our food. The film gives a light treatment to an otherwise heavy subject, with music recorded on location.
For more information or to RSVP, please contact lissa@sustainablelivingtasmania.org.au
Venue: Sustainable Living Tasmania, 1st Floor, 71 Murray Street, Hobart