Seed Banks Challenge Corporate Control of Food Crops
Interview with Kevin Greene, founder of the Hudson Valley Seed Library, conducted by Melinda Tuhus
Most people don't think much about the significance of seeds, but one speaker at the March 6 conference of the Connecticut chapter of the Northeast Organic Farming Association, or NOFA, maintains that seeds are responsible for the development of civilization itself, because cultivation of food crops enabled humans to evolve from hunter-gatherers to farmers, leading to settled communities and the growth of cities.
Ken Greene is the founder of the Hudson Valley Seed Library, based in the village of Accord, N.Y. During a workshop at the NOFA conference, Greene examined the history of seeds, which for millennia were saved from one year's harvest and planted the next year. But with the growth of giant multinational conglomerates like Monsanto, the life of seeds has changed dramatically. When companies patent hybrid seeds or genetically modified organisms, they become private property, which means saving them for the next season becomes illegal. Now farmers and gardeners are forced to purchase new seeds every year from giant corporations.
Between The Lines' Melinda Tuhus spoke with Greene about the history of seeds, the role of private enterprise, and the fight in the form of seed exchanges and seeds banks.
Visit the Hudson Valley Seed Library's website at www.seedlibrary.org
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