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Dripstone is the research blog for queer visual artist, researcher, writer and curator Venus Jasper.

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S.O.S - Save Our Seeds

The third week at Lago Atitlan has begun. While I am experiencing a incredible deepening of teachings, community and power in my direct environment, the importance of personal responsibility seems to be more reflected in the world as ever before. In the past two weeks China has launched a new non-$ banking system, Castro has died and the city of San Fransisco has begun to declare it's independence from the United States... Over here I have been catching the same wave of change.


In just two weeks time I have bonded deeply with the fellow participants of the Natural Building Course, realizing that I feel at home within a global family of people who are both spiritual and highly down to earth at the same time. A mesh of people from all ages who organize common grounds where both cosmic as well as practical necessities of life can come together — filling in the cracks of the false dichotomy that splits Heaven and Earth.

Because it is true that the Artists, Builders and Farmers of this self-reliant and growing global community are mostly Westerners, I'll be heading over to a close-by fully indigenous Permaculture Community to learn more about how this work can cater to more than just the privileged.


LAND
GOLD +
AUTONOMY

Two new friends whom I've met here, a Chinese Medicine Practitioner and a certified Sound Healer, are currently in the process of acquiring land in Colombia; a country which has one of the lowest national debts in the world. In dialogue with them I've come to understand the importance of getting as much of our (personal and/or communal) value out of banks as possible. Obtaining land, Gold or other forms of tangible and transferable value will grossly diminish our susceptibility to the global economic theatre. Next to the obvious importance of (monetary) autonomy, it would help the human enterprise if we start to collaborate though a value-system that doesn't devalue itself from the inside out, wouldn't it? The sky is the limit, when it comes to creative solutions out of certain death... ;)

Although it makes lots of sense to me to bring autonomy to our valuables, I had no idea that something as simple as OWNING OUR OWN SEEDS could be central in re-claiming our sovereignty. But it is.

MONO-CULTURE /
SEED AUTONOMY

This year I learned that many of our world's political and religious instability and wars originate in the shattering of natural abundance, destruction of (crop-)diversity and ending Regional Autonomy. It was at Tamera, where I was told that for example much of the instability in Syria has been caused fore-mostly by the controlling and damming of the Euphrates. Cutting-up a river upstream for electricity can kill an entire ecosystem of Man & Nature down below. The livelihood of farmers, local business and communities is destroyed for the benefit of a single energy company — in turn, making people highly dependent on authorities and governments to provide them with that which previously had been (freely) available. This is not a spiral upwards, people! Also let's also not forget about the delicate fabric of life, animals, species and subtle energies that tend to unfold their grace around bodies of water.... and although it is important to be aware of the damage done by the privatization of free water, I decided to address SEED AUTONOMY here first. It is an important component of Regional Autonomy — a subject that should be included into everyone's education in today's world, really.

"During the United States-led invasion of Iraq, in March, 2003, the looting of Iraq’s national archeological museum received considerable attention, but almost no one noted that the country’s national seed bank was destroyed. The bank contained seeds of ancient varieties of wheat, lentils, chickpeas, and other crops that once grew in Mesopotamia... Fortunately, several Iraqi scientists had placed samples of the country’s most important crops in a cardboard box and sent them to an international seed bank in Aleppo, Syria. There they sit, on a shelf in a cold room, waiting for a time when Iraq is stable enough to store them again."

The above is a quote from a 2007 article of the New Yorker. Currently, monstrous companies such as Monsanto-Bayer and Nestlé (forces behind the face of democratic conduct) are currently in the process of focussing their power to take away the possibility of self-sustainable and self-organized lifestyles, forcing free-born souls and nations into slavery. These corporations are the contemporary equivalents of the Imperial forces that ended various North/South/Central American Indigenous Cultures by forcing peoples into cultures of mono-crops like corn and rubber. Via the planned destruction of bio-diversity and the ruining of the natural occurring homeostasis, the trade, economy and cultures of many Indigenous People's have almost entirely died out. In today's world we see Indian farmers killing themselves because of the high-costs that working with Monsanto seed brings about. We see entire populations in the West getting sick from the over-cultivated and dulled-out DNA of Wheat and other Grains.


Mono-culture kills life.
Mono-culture kills culture.

S.O.S.

""Afghanistan’s bank, which contained rare varieties of almonds and walnuts, and also fruits including grapes, melons, cherries, plums, apricots, peaches, and pears—many of which originated in the region, was destroyed in the 2001 overthrow of the Taliban."... Again, the invasion of a sovereign nation and the overthrowing of apparent terrorism leads not only to tremendous monetary benefits to the war-based economy of the USA, it also helps to eradicate the seeds of rich and diverse forms of autonomous food production. And here you enter into the scenario: YOU CAN SAVE OUR SEEDS. Everywhere, all the time, you can take and distribute them. Grow stuff and give it to friends. Take a crap in a forrest, burry your compost at an odd spot. Perhaps you can even start your own plot of land. Save Seeds Locally, non-centralized, with friends. Start a permaculture farm: invite Mama Abundance to place a warm soothing hand on your belly. Whatever you do: please realize that each plant you grow could be the last of it's kind — so save it's seed if you like to see live lasting longer than you.

Yes, alternatively we could stuff them in large vaults in the arctic — it's admirable and perhaps necessary to try and protect the seeds in a fortress, but to me it feels a bit like our monetary credits, 'safe' in a bank that suddenly supports un-ethical Oil-Pipelines and War-machinery without our consent. It feels like putting our freedom in the hands of yet another corporation; store it in a Concrete Mausoleum that no one has access to... Like putting LIFE ON HOLD while we wait for crooks to stop their crookery — Instead, I argue to set it all free; turn our richness and abundance into land, soil, plants and gardens. SEEDS NEED TO BE SOWN. SPREAD. SET FREE. For may it be obvious that Seeds Banks will be destroyed and that fictional valuables suspended in a fraudulent global economic game have the short hand in the long run — it does not serve life, it does not follow the current.

Conservation is Rotation. The best way to preserve seeds is to give them to people: move them. Every household or farm can store their own (native/heirloom) seeds for a year or so. But mostly swapping and exchanging and growing keeps it going.

"The solution lies not in Seed Banking, but in putting the farmer itself back on top as the primary actor and beneficiary of all seed-saving strategies." — exactly, put that life in your hands and in the world.

At times I wonder still, if the destructions of the Seed Banks as mentioned in this piece have been intentional or not; if the historic and current obstruction of Regional Autonomy is intentional... But lots quicker than before I realize that the suspension of belief in the planned abuse of our livelihood is similar to thinking that we never invaded the America's... as if we never killed millions in an attempt to force our culture of slavery onto them. No, it is obvious that in today's world, being a self-sustainable Permaculture Farmer can make you an anti-authoritarian activist —a rebel. A homegrown species of crop can become a buccaneer. A small act of care a revolution. A seed a pioneer — and Earth, a vessel for life again.

With love,
Your Peace Journalist

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