Those who control the seed system, control the food system. And yet, over the past 50 years, as we’ve lost the majority of our plant breeds and seed companies, we’ve also divorced plants from their place. Cultivars are no longer bred to thrive in a certain bioregion or soil type. Rarely are they developed for drought or flood tolerance. Nor are most seeds bred under organic systems, which means that most organic growers are planting seeds that thrive on soluble synthetic fertility. Most breeds are also far less nutrient-dense now as breeders have focused on yield and appearance while forgetting about nutrition.
There is now a growing movement to reclaim seeds and breeds, to re-localize them to particular bioregions, and to return to growers the power to participate in the process. Participatory Plant Breeding (PPB), as this movement is called, suggests that through partnerships between professional breeders and growers, we can develop better genetics and provide growers with new streams of income. This field day brings together growers, veteran breeders, and seed experts to discuss how we can reclaim our seed systems while also diversifying our enterprises.
Here’s a rundown of the day’s events:
Session 1: The state of organic seed and keeping seed in the public commons
Session 2: Incorporating seed work on your farm or garden
Potluck Lunch (use your odd varieties, forgotten breeds, and mutant vegetables!) + Bicycle-Powered Seed Processing Demo
Session 3: Participatory Plant Breeding- what it means, how to get involved, and where do we go from here?
Session 4: Plenary Q & A
Time: January 27, 2018 – 10:00am to 4:00pm
Location: Round The Bend Farm
92 Allen Neck Rd.
NOFA Member – $48
General Public – $58
* Add $5 for day-of registration
Limited scholarships are available for beginning farmers (those growing 10 or less years) who are active NOFA/Mass members. To apply please click here.
There will be a potluck lunch. Please plan to bring a dish to share.
For information on our refund and inclement weather policy, click here. For questions contact Dan Bensonoff, education events organizer, at email@example.com or 860-716-5122