September 29, 2009

Trying to Influence a Seed Saver

One of the bolls on Brenda's cotton plant opened.

I was at the farmers' market again and while I was there, I tried a little harder than usual to influence people.

One person is a wood carver. I talked to him about drop spindles, and he's now interested in making some for sale.

The other person is a seed saver and exchanger. I talked to him about seeds for plants that are used for spinning fibre. The idea of saving such seeds was new to him. After I talked to him, he had no immediate plans to save and exchange such seeds.

He thinks the idea is interesting but has some barriers to people actually wanting the seeds. For example, hands get damaged when picking cotton.

He's right. I would add that flax is labour intensive when processed by hand. Few people are up to the job of turning flax or cotton into cloth, and few people are invested in preserving genetic diversity and biological wealth against future need in regard to spinning. Veggies yes, inedible fibre no. I would guess that current demand for fibre seeds is pretty small.

I think it's important that ordinary people preserve, cultivate, and pass along a variety of useful seeds and disperse them into many holdings in multiple communities.

As a handspinner, I'd like seed savers and seed exchanges to consider plants that you can turn into clothes, nets, bed linens, etc.

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