Regenerating the seeds of change

A LOCAL community group is ensuring that the seeds sown by our ancestors continue to grow, literally.

The Bellingen Seed Savers Network was launched last Wednesday and is a collaboration of the Bellingen Transition Town Initiative and the Bellingen Local Food Network.

Spokesperson for the Bellingen Local Food Network, Nick Rose, said the initiative follows in the footsteps of generations of people that came before us.

“Seed saving is taking up an age-old tradition that our ancestors used to do,” Mr Rose said.

“Seeds are crucial. They are the building blocks of life. All food comes from plants, plants come from seeds.”

Mr Rose said the aim of the network was to share information on the growing of food, as well as to share seeds.

“It is practical, real, local action,” he said.

“Local people empowering themselves to produce their own food, not dependent on large agricultural companies and supermarkets.”

The initiative is part of a growing network of 'seed saving' organisations that have been sprouting up around the world.

“The Bellingen Seed Savers Network is part of a global movement for food sovereignty, helping to reconnect people to their environment,” Mr Rose said.

In Coffs Harbour, the Coffs Regional Organic Producers Organisation (CROPO) has also recently established a seed bank to encourage people to grow local plants.

CROPO president, David Wilson, was a guest speaker at the Bellingen Seed Savers launch.

Byron Bay has a local seed savers group, founded by Michel and Jude Fanton, who have co-authored the 'Seed Savers Handbook'. Internationally, the idea of seed saving has germinated into a hi-tech research project.

The Millennium Seed Bank Project, developed in London, aims to safeguard thousands of the world's plant species from extinction by placing them in long-term storage.

Even further afield, in the face of climate change, NASA scientists have sent seeds into space, including the rare Australian Wollemi pine.

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