13/4/2007: Kokopelli Seed Guardianship
In 2006, we became members of the Association Kokopelli and seed guardians for “Semences sans Frontières” a campaign initiated by Kokopelli, inviting members and friends, gardeners and farmers, to produce seeds in their garden for donation to Third World countries. Our little organic garden is host Peppers and Tomatoes for Kokopelli.
Seeds are at the very beginning of the food chain and without them poor communities are not able to grow their own food. Seed autonomy and sustainable agriculture are fundamental prerequisites of food security and help fight malnutrition and the erosion of biodiversity. If you would like to read more about the need to preserve seeds for the future please go to Heirloom Seeds.
Association Kokopelli was created in France in March 1999 by a group of people who have been involved, since 1987, in the protection of biodiversity, medicinal plants and the production and distribution of organic and biodynamic seeds around the world. Kokopelli aids small farmers and rural communities to regain control of their own seed through the creation of seed production gardens, community seed banks and networks of seed growers around the world. Association Kokopelli is a non-profit organization , based in Ales, France with small independent branches in Italy, United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany and Brazil.
Its aims are to:
- to promote the preservation of biodiversity through the distribution of organic and open-pollinated seeds of heirloom varieties of vegetables and grains.
- to create a network of gardeners involved in seed saving.
- to help Third World countries to develop sustainable organic agriculture through the gift of seeds and the development of seed grower networks.
Kokopelli produces The Seeds of Kokopelli - A combined manual for the production of seeds and a directory of over 2500 Heritage seeds.
Seed guardians are “volunteer’s who select a seed species or variety to grow in their own gardens, providing a diaspric refuge to conserve heirloom varieties for the future”. Each year guardians send back the seeds harvested to Kokopelli for distribution around the world.
As guardians we chose Tomatoes and Capsicums as our species to grow. We will grow one heirloom variety of each this year, organically and under the best seed conditions we can, in order to produce seeds for Kokopelli. The reason we chose these two species is that, over the last 3 years in our trials of what grows best here, several varieties of both these species have produced particularly well for us. We have the space and the know how, so it seems appropriate to use this land to support the work of Kokopelli and the “Semences sans Frontières” project.
As well as returning the seeds to Kokopelli at the end of the season, the organisation requests that Technical Seed Records are kept and returned along with the seeds detailing the growing conditions and methods of production for each variety grown. I have replicated the Kokopelli technical seed record here so that i can fill it in as we move through the growing season for each variety.
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