Dianne Dowling

Seedy Saturday: Local Seeds and Local Food

Healthy Living Now | healthy living | healthy living Ontario | healthy living Canada | wellness | wellness Ontario | wellness Canada | fitness | fitness Ontario | fitness Canada | healthy eating | healthy eating Ontario | healthy eating Canada | mindfulness | mindfulness Ontario | mindfulness Canada | lifestyle | Ontario lifestyle | Canadian lifestyle | family | Ontario family | Ontario family magazine | Canadian family |  David Suzuki | Dr. Natasha Turner, N.D. | Dr. Oz  | living green | green living | green living Ontario | green living Canada | green living magazine | family strategies | family strategies Ontario | family strategies Canada | products new & now | healthy products | healthy products Ontario | healthy products Canada | lifestyle products | lifestyle products Ontario | lifestyle products Canada | healthy living products | Ontario healthy living products | Canadian healthy living products |  beauty | beauty products | Ontario beauty | Ontario beauty products | Canadian beauty | Canadian beauty products | fashion | fashion products | Ontario fashion | Ontario fashion products | Canadian fashion | Canadian fashion products | home | home products | Ontario home | Ontario home products | Canadian home | Canadian home products  | Food | Healthy Habits |   Winter 2017/2018 |   Time for Reconcili-Action | Dianne Dowling

Ever been to a Seedy Saturday (or Seedy Sunday)?

If you have, you know that it is a great "feel-good" event -- all about seeds, and the hope, anticipation and potential contained in seeds -- and the coming of spring!

At a Seedy Saturday, you will find seed swaps, regional seed vendors, workshops and information displays related to seeds and gardening.  With the grower/vendors present at the event, you can ask questions about their production practices and get details about each variety -- for instance, planting dates, season length and recommended uses.  I really enjoy meeting the growers -- the people behind the seed packages -- hearing stories about the seeds and feeling connected to the seed and gardening community.  Just looking at the individuality of the seed packages, including beautiful hand-made ones, is a treat in itself for me.  Yes, it's true -- I love going to Seedy Saturday!

For the seed swaps, bring seeds you have saved (vegetables, flowers, herbs, trees, whatever!) -- and take home seeds from other seed-savers.  (Even if you don't have seeds to trade, you can probably take home seed from the swap table.  Seed savers are notoriously generous people...)

Or you can buy seeds from the regional seed companies that attend Seedy Saturdays -- a great way to obtain regionally-adapted seeds, including heritage varieties, and to support these small companies that are a key part of creating a more resilient local seed system. 

 In eastern Ontario, where I live, there are several regional seed companies that attend Seedy Saturday events.  The people operating these businesses are an important part of the sustainability and resilience of the local food and farm system.  Without them, we are dependent on large, transnational companies that make seed decisions based on global market conditions, not on what grows well in any particular region.

 Based on my experience, go to Seedy Saturday with a list of what you need; otherwise, you will want to buy one of everything!

 Seedy Saturdays (or Seedy Sundays) are locally organized and held across Canada from February to mid-May; you can find details at the events link on Seeds of Diversity website -- www.seeds.ca/Seedy-Saturday Seeds of Diversity is a non-profit organization whose objectives are "to search out, preserve, perpetuate, study, and encourage the cultivation of heirloom and endangered varieties of food crops, and to educate the public about the importance of heirloom and endangered varieties of food crops and the need for their continued cultivation and preservation." 

In other countries, look for information about seed exchanges or seed swaps.  For instance, in the United States, there is a national seed swap day -- the last Saturday in January.  The Seed Savers Exchange is a good place to learn more about saving and sharing seeds; its mission is "to conserve and promote America’s culturally diverse but endangered garden and food crop heritage for future generations by collecting, growing, and sharing heirloom seeds and plants."  www.seedsavers.org

I highly recommend The Seed Underground -- A Growing Revolution to Save Food, by Janisse Ray, Chelsea Green Publishing, 2012. Janisse Ray is a lifelong seed-saver and a poet; her book is a beautifully written series of stories about seeds, people who save them, and why we should all be saving seeds.

 
Healthy-Living-Now-National-Farmers-Union-Local-316.png
 

Originally Published: May 7, 2018

Author opinion disclosure.jpg

about the author.jpg

Dianne Dowling, Contributor and President, Local 316, National Farmers’ Union (Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox-Addington Counties)

+ Read Bio

Dianne Dowling is an organic dairy and beef farmer in the Kingston, Ontario, area and is active in food and farm organizations, including the National Farmers Union, the Food Policy Council for Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox-Addington and the Kingston Area Seed System Initiative (KASSI).



Time for Reconcili-Action

Healthy Living Now | healthy living | healthy living Ontario | healthy living Canada | wellness | wellness Ontario | wellness Canada | fitness | fitness Ontario | fitness Canada | healthy eating | healthy eating Ontario | healthy eating Canada | mindfulness | mindfulness Ontario | mindfulness Canada | lifestyle | Ontario lifestyle | Canadian lifestyle | family | Ontario family | Ontario family magazine | Canadian family |  David Suzuki | Dr. Natasha Turner, N.D. | Dr. Oz  | living green | green living | green living Ontario | green living Canada | green living magazine | family strategies | family strategies Ontario | family strategies Canada | products new & now | healthy products | healthy products Ontario | healthy products Canada | lifestyle products | lifestyle products Ontario | lifestyle products Canada | healthy living products | Ontario healthy living products | Canadian healthy living products |  beauty | beauty products | Ontario beauty | Ontario beauty products | Canadian beauty | Canadian beauty products | fashion | fashion products | Ontario fashion | Ontario fashion products | Canadian fashion | Canadian fashion products | home | home products | Ontario home | Ontario home products | Canadian home | Canadian home products  | Food | Healthy Habits |   Winter 2017/2018 |   Time for Reconcili-Action | Dianne Dowling

What can be done about the past and present injustices dealt to Indigenous people in Canada?

Among its 94 Calls to Action, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada called on federal, provincial, territorial and municipal governments to fully adopt and implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples as the framework for reconciliation.

It also called upon the Government of Canada to develop a national action plan, strategies and other concrete measures to achieve the goals of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

What is this Declaration and what weight does it carry?
It is an international human rights document adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2007, after more than 20 years of negotiations. Its 46 articles affirm the collective and individual human rights of Indigenous peoples around the world on issues such as culture, identity, religion, language, health, education and community – issues that are central to the circumstances of Indigenous people in Canada.

(For instance, Article 7, part 2: “Indigenous peoples ... shall not be subjected to any act of genocide or any other act of violence, including forcibly removing children of the group to another group.” Think of the tragedies of residential schools and the “Sixties Scoop”.)

A UN General Assembly declaration is a document expressing political commitment on matters of global significance. It is not legally binding and is not signed or ratified by individual countries.

Initially, Canada was one of four nations (along with Australia, New Zealand and the United States) that voted against the Declaration.

However, in November 2010, Canada issued a statement of support endorsing the principles of the UN Declaration. In November 2015, the Prime Minister of Canada asked the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, and other ministers, in their mandate letters, to implement the Declaration. And in May 2016, the Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs announced Canada is now a full supporter of the Declaration.

Despite these federal government statements of support and endorsement, Canada has not yet passed legislation implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.

In April 2016, Member of Parliament Romeo Saganash, (NDP critic for Intergovernmental Indigenous Affairs) tabled legislation (Bill C-262) to ensure that the laws of Canada respect the Declaration. Mr. Saganash, who spent 23 years at the UN negotiating the Declaration, says on his website that Bill C-262 provides a clear path to adopt and implement the Declaration in a “principled, systematic, cooperative, transparent and accountable” way.

This is the second time that Mr. Saganash has tabled a bill calling for Canada to give the Declaration a legal basis in this country. When the Conservatives were in power, his earlier bill was supported by the NDP, Liberals and Greens. He has called on the Liberal government to support his bill, which is endorsed by Indigenous peoples and Canadians from coast to coast.

If you agree with this effort to put legal teeth into the promises to Indigenous people in Canada, ask your MP to support Bill C-262 as it proceeds through Parliament.

For contact information for Members of Parliament: ourcommons.ca/Parliamentarians/en/members (If you don’t know who your MP is, there is a search bar on this page; type in your postal code to have him or her identified.)

Go to nfu.ca for more information.

 
Healthy-Living-Now-National-Farmers-Union-Local-316.png
 

Originally Published: January 11, 2018

Author opinion disclosure.jpg

about the author.jpg

Dianne Dowling, Contributor and President, Local 316, National Farmers’ Union (Kingston, Frontenac and Lennox-Addington Counties)