Importance of seed saving
In the March of 2018 I volunteered at a Permaculture farm in Hyderabad, India. One of the biggest responsibilities during my volunteering period at the urban farm was 'Seed Saving'.
Saving seeds was a very common activity in the olden days when you would save a part of your harvest for the next season. However, in this age saving seeds is like starting a rebellion. Multinational companies have entered the seed business and have started patenting certain varieties of seeds. Which means that seeds are no longer a common property. If you save a patented seed, a lawsuit could get filed against you. Moreover, heirloom seeds have started disappearing completely. Most farmers these days use GMOs and Hybrid seeds since they promise a bigger yield.
Humans these days lack long term and large scale thinking. These hybrid seeds promise higher yields at the cost of the health of planet. The amount of pesticides and fertilizers required by these hybrids keep on increasing to a point where the soil is completely dead.
Permaculture believes in keeping the soil living. Living soil is soil full of microorganisms, insects and animals which help the soil remain fertile and aerated. By choosing to not use chemicals on the land, permaculturists can notice a gradual increase in the quality of their soil which eventually leads to better yields. In permaculture it is also believed that since seeds are part of nature, they are a common property.
During the past one month we managed to save various kinds of seeds. Tomatoes, onions, gourds, beans, etc. There are different techniques for saving seeds of different plants. These seeds once saved and dried need to be kept in an airtight container (ideally a glass container/jar). These jars need to be labeled and placed in a dark and dry place in order to preserve the viability of the seeds. I am planning to put together more information that I collected during this time and make it available to everyone!
Individuals saving seeds could come together to start community seedbanks. This can lead to a protected and resilient future for the community.