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Seed exchange

April 11, 2012

This Saturday, 7 April 2012 the annual seed exchange feast was held in Cafe Lunatico in the Psychiatric hospital of Corfu. The event was a big success, as hundreds of Corfiots came to listen to the talks and, most importantly, to get some seeds and plants of local, traditional varieties.

It gave me a very warm feeling to see so many people coming to get some real seeds. As you may know (and as mr Stamatis Ghinis told us during this event), new laws are being created and enforced both in the US and in Europe that try to limit the access of people to the seeds. The logic of such laws as the Codex Alimentarius is that the seed must be certified and hence must be bought! Since the beginning of agriculture on Earth many thousands of years ago,  people have been growing crops, keeping their best seeds and planting them again. Now some companies have decided to get total control over our lives by controlling our food.

Fortunately, a lot of people are getting informed and are arming themselves against such a “food embargo”. The seccond speaker of the event was Panagiotis Sainatoudis. Panagiotis is a real pioneer of the seed movement. 20 years ago he started Peliti, an organisation dedicated to preserving local varitiesa of plants by saving and exchanging seeds. Every year a seed-exchange festival is held in Paranesti Dramas where people can meet, exchange seeds and experiences and enjoy an experience close to nature, with natural organic food and drink and good company. This year’s festival will be held in the weekend after Easter, 21, 22 and 23 April. Visit the Peliti website for more details and for some great recipes, such as the cheese a la minute that Panagiotis and his wife  Sofia made for us in less than an hour, using milk and lemon. Delicious and healthy. Not all the website is translated in English.

One last thing, if you happen to have some local varieties of plants, try to save some seeds and share them with other people. This way we can make sure we are self-sufficient in food, which is one of the basic steps to true freedom!

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