Kitchen Garden Guides

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Seed saving news from around the world


Seed Ssavers HandbookSeed Savers Sproutings


Michel and Jude Fanton, founders of The Seed Savers' Network Australia, are based for the next two and a half months in Europe, then Malaysia. They are documenting traditional varieties of food plants, giving talks and workshops and presenting their documentaries "Our Seeds" released in 2008, and “Our Roots” that they shot in Vanuatu in 2009. They write:

Enchanted Dalmatian Gardens

We are presently in the fishing village of Privlaka near Zadar on the Dalmatian coast, Croatia. Home gardens are enchanting and gardeners highly skilled. Here Zanko shows Jude his garden full of herbs, fruits and vegetables, with fennel, basil, celery, amaranth and lettuce going to seed. To see the images, you may need to choose "load images" in your email application.

However there is an erosion of garden diversity due to the opening up of the country to the global seed trade.

Dalmatian Wild Relatives

What a glorious time of year to walk along the narrow pathways between village gardens, back lanes and through the bush here in Dalmatia!

· the wild carrots, fennel and lettuce are flowering;

· there are thyme, rosemary and bay trees growing wild;

· figs and grapes grow wild and are fruiting heavily and

· we’re picking and cooking copious quantities of the leaves of purslane, amaranth and a wild relative of silver beet, or Swiss chard. See film clip at

Wild beet by sea



Wild beet by the sea near Privlaka, Dalmatia, Croatia.

Our Enriched Website

Check our website where you can view Seed Savers’ Network Facebook page (images and messages) and Seedsavers Twitters (very short messages) without having to join them.

Youtube Clips

We have uploaded a hundred clips, with more coming. The latest is on purslane, slated as a “longevity plant”, shot in a cemetery here on the Dalmatian coast where it grows wild and where folks happen to be long-lived.

You can view clips without registering on Youtube. However if you do register and choose to join the seedsavers channel, you will be notified each time we upload a clip.

Long lives in Croatia

Purslane is often claimed as one of the reasons that Mediterranean people are long-lived. Our visit to the cemetery of a small Croatian fishing village, Privlaka, out from the ancient city of Zadar on the Dalmatian coast, was revealing. The local cemetery reveals the average life-span is eighty. There are many lively elders like this woman who kept us entertained for an hour with no common language.

See film clip "Purslane for long life" shot in the Privlaka cemetery on




..... and just as a contrast, but no less meaningful -

First Lady Michelle Obama Offers Tour of White House Kitchen Garden

1 comment:

Nermina said...

I really like your article about purslane in Dalmatia ! I discovered it recently here in Chicago at local Farmer's Market. After my mother-in-law saw it she was very happy and excited. She is from Dalmatia and she grew up eating purslane. I use it in soups and salads. It is delicious.