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From seed patents in Ethiopia to farming in Amsterdam

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We had a great time during the two Reclaim the Seeds events, the first in Amsterdam and the second in Wageningen the following weekend. We were busy with the info stand sharing information and spreading the word about our FFA campaign. The days at the Fruittuin were filled with talks and discussions, ranging from seed patents in Ethiopia, to how to grow your own mushrooms, to permaculture practices. People had the opportunity to take tours around the orchards of the Fruittuin made up of apple, pear, and cherry trees and blackcurrants, gooseberries and redcurrant bushes. Pluk! CSA also situated within the trees gave a couple of tours showing the example of a community supported agriculture way of farming based on minimal use of fossil fuels and machinery. A bike excursion was organised for the Sunday showing off projects in the area dedicated to small scale food growing and food forestry.  Seeds were swapped and sold, and stories were shared.

The following Saturday some of the ASEED crew took a train to Wageningen where another Reclaim the Seeds was held at De Hoge Born, a biodynamic care farm surrounded by fields. This event was organised by Stichting Boerengroup, a group that aims to connect the universtiy (students, research, education) with the reality and challenges of farmers and peasants in the Netherlands and worldwide. Thus, the location for this event was situated close to the Wageningen Campus. The day began with an opening from Pablo Titonell, expert on agroecology, sharing his thoughts of how best we can change the current food system. The day then expanded into talks ranging from Greenpeace on how we can challenge the agro-chemical industry;  diversity, seeds and gene banks; how to protect biodiversity, and how agroecology can support seed sovereignty. Meanwhile a busy market place was happening with seed tables, books, a Toekomstboeren (Future Farmers) stand, seed swaps and local CSAs such as De Ommuurde Tuin.

These events are incredibly important in this day and age where multinational corporations monopolise the seed industry and are increasingly patenting their seeds. These small acts of resistance in swapping seeds with each other is necessary if we are to maintain control over our seed supplies and thus our food systems. It all starts with the seed!

Want to be part of the resistance drop an email to info@aseed.net and find out how you can get involved!