So last summer she started ‘SeedLiving’, a global marketplace for those who grow, harvest, and sell (or swap) open-pollinated seeds AND for those who want to source and buy them.
Open-pollination matters because it is the oldest method of developing seeds, using natural mechanisms such as wind, insects and birds. Open-pollination helps increase biodiversity because it increases seed varieties. Gardeners who choose open-pollinated seeds can save them and hand them down to the next generation of growers.
Saving seeds should be a human right. Seeds that are sold commercially are often hybrid, genetically modified, or patented; none of which can be saved. These seeds are bred in controlled environments for specific traits such as colour or firmness.
There are 450 million small farms in the world farming on less than 2 hectares. Imagine if each of these small farms grew only one or two varieties of seeds? It would be a colossal mistake. Currently, much of the gene pool is being lost, as the same species of peas or carrots are grown for hundreds of miles. We have to grow them or lose them.”
Anna-Monique explains the premise of ‘SeedLiving’:
“On SeedLiving, users can buy or swap directly with growers. They know their seeds because they grew them. Many are organic, without chemicals, or heirloom. Growers are invited to start using this resource to promote heirlooms in their community.
Registration is simple to join the growing SeedLiving community. The fees for using the site are Pay What You Can. Users may post news, gardening tips and events for free. They may swap seeds with another grower, or give them away online. SeedLiving is an exciting resource for increasing biodiversity in the garden.”
So get growing! Visit the site, register and take a look at who’s selling. And for more background, take a look at the article I wrote for the Ottawa Citizen about Anna-Monique’s endeavour here.