Kitchen Garden Guides

Monday, January 20, 2014

Seed: The Untold Story

Seed is not just the source of life. It is the very foundation of our being. – Vandana Shiva

The third film in a trilogy that began with the award-winning films Real Dirt on Farmer John and Queen of the Sun, SEED: The Untold Story unearths the dramatic story of seeds and the global struggle to preserve them. “The very diversity in our seed stocks, of the plants we depend on to stave off hunger, are is as endangered as a Panda or a Golden Eagle, or a Polar Bear right now.” Says Gary Paul Nabhan, featured in the film.  SEED also  features well-known voices ranging from Jane Goodall, Vandana Shiva, Raj Patel and Winona LaDuke.


SEED: The Untold Story, a feature-length documentary film, tells the harrowing and heartening story of humans’ 12,000-year relationship with seeds. As many irreplaceable seeds are nearing extinction, SEED unveils a David and Goliath battle for their future. The film follows an absorbing journey into “doomsday” seed vaults, the colorful dedication of seed savers, and the world of indigenous tribes, who strive to protect our sacred seed ancestry. SEED celebrates the mystery, power and essential nature of seeds. Entertaining and engaging, SEED will ignite the imagination of audiences, inspiring them to be part of a brave new movement dedicated to safeguarding our world’s sustainable future.

Through the filmmakers unique way of funding this film, largely through Kickstarter, they have been more public, building together a vast community around the film to start creating a dialogue. Says Jon Betz, who is directing the film with Taggart Siegel.

“The seed issue is changing every day, and from research to funding, our community and our audience has been a very key part of creating the story for SEED.”

SEED is on Kickstarter, Facebook, and Twitter.

Friday, January 3, 2014

Summer …….. or what?

Nothing illustrates the topsy turvy summer we are having in Tasmania more than the confusion in my garden and hot house. At last the basil has moved on from being only millimetres high to being centimetres but at the same time and less than a metre away there is self-sown miners’ lettuce germinating and growing fast. Normally miners’ lettuce germinates well into autumn and grows through the coldest time of the year!

I absolutely LOVE the red amaranth but have struggled to get it going here. Right next to the self-sown miners’ lettuce this year are a dozen or more magnificent, self-sown amaranth (and a few tomatoes too). Why would these things all come up within the same square foot of soil and, so far, no where else?? The most annoying bit is that this is where I planted 2 eggplant seedlings which are now totally outgrown by all this self-sown stuff!

I dare not shift the amaranth as it is the first sign that it is possible to grow good, strong plants of the green and the red amaranth here in southern Tasmania. I have shifted some the tomatoes away though. Interestingly the self-sown tomatoes, that only appeared a week or 2 ago, look fabulous compared to those I sowed months ago and nurtured through spring. I think I will have to shift the eggplants. Oh lalalala, gardening is so incredibly unpredictable and consequently it is never boring.

Side by side on my lunch plate are basil and miners’ lettuce!
Amaranth are just the prettiest  of vegetables
The square foot of multi-seasonal vegetables
Here, basil is best sown in December but it is soooooo tempting to sow it before
Full germination of some old Bari cucumber seeds. Only 1 germinated last year and this was to be their last chance!
I have a crop of 2 cranberries!!!!
….and about a dozen blueberries. Ok for their first year.
I can’t resist putting in another photo of the amaranth!