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Slow Food vs invasive species  RSS feed

 
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HEy Folks,
First post  Nice to have a place to reach out to others, thanks.

This weekend slow food Oahu is having a seed exchange event.  I noticed the protocols and am surprised by the first tenet(with an exclamation point no less).

"Seed Sharing Protocol:
1. Do not share seeds of invasive species!
2. Do not share brassica seeds as spread of blackrot can happen, it is a seed-borne disease and many of the seed companies are having a problem with this.
3. Do not share old seeds as germination may be low.
4. Label or bring a description of each of the seeds you share including date of harvest.
5. Bring your own seed envelopes or baggies and markers for labeling.
6. Do not take more than 25% of any seed or cutting; leave some for others."

Is the invasive species issue a firm stance with the slowfood org?   I was reading Tree Crops by Russell Smith and it has a whole chapter lamenting the benefits of the Kiawe tree(a nitrogen fixer that thrives where many trees can not) having been introduced in Hawaii back in 1840.   Permaculture, in my mind, thrives on plant diversity.  Does anyone know why slowfood holds the stance they have? I'm assuming many permies are slowfooders.  Thanks again,
Eric
 
eric collins
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The slow food seed exchange is tomorrow and the event organizers never got back to me concerning the invasive species issue.  No response here at permies either so probably no slow fooders are actively checking the forum this week.  Its too bad that the two movements dont meld together better.  I dont see invasive species as the enemy.  Was paid once to cut down a bunch of douglas fir from an old growth oak forest due to the invasive species issue.  Felt bad cutting 45 foot plus trees down.  I degress...  Going to to the seed exchange and maybe I can trade some of my heirloom stock for something cool.  Eric  
 
steward
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My local Slow Food people have never mentioned anything about any of those rules to me. I'm guessing that it's purely a local issue with the Slow Food chapter that you are dealing with.

 
pollinator
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Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
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Aloha, Eric. Welcome to Permies!

I'm over on Big Island and have attended numerous seed exchanges over here, and have run a couple. Rules tend to be set by the organizer. So someone on your end has objection to what they deem to be invasive species (and apparently experienced black rot, too). But as you pointed out, what one person deems invasive, another may term as an easy to grow successful crop. Personal example -- I call Bermuda grass an undesirable invasive, but my cattle raising neighbors deem it to be a valuable forage crop in their pastures. Two options, two different points of view....because we have different goals. Another prime example is strawberry guava, deemed an invasive so serious that the State brought in an insect vector to help control it. But on my farm I purposely grow strawberry guava because it is my number one go-to for garden stakes, trellises, and making livestock hurdles. Plants become invasive because landowners don't want to do anything to steward their land, especially land investors.

On my island, some seed exchanges at one time banned soil because of coquis. Then once coqui frogs had spread everywhere, the soil ban disappeared. Banning soil didn't do a lick of good in reducing the spread of coquis. Most exchanges don't scan for diseases or pests, and frankly, you simply can't prevent much by bans. If you garden enough years, just about everything will find you anyway even without going to seed exchanges, bans or no bans.

I love seed exchanges. I normally arrive with a backpack full of bagged, labeled donations. I takes time and a little expense to prepare, but I dose out seeds into little snack baggies and label them using a sharpie pen. Cuttings go into larger baggies, gallon size if need be. Taro huli, sugar cane, and banana keikis I simply write the variety name right on the stalk. Then I take assorted baggies and sharpie pen along with me to put my gatherings into. This system works well for me.

I often find new material at the exchanges. Like today, though it wasn't an exchange, I found two new taro varieties at a local hula festival. How cool! I picked up Mama Ulu and Mana Opelu. Great additions.
 
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