“In a world where voting with your money can be an act of protest, buy from your local farms food you trust. If you want to be totally defiant, plant seeds and grow your own food.”
– Me (today)
Change can be slow or fast. Major change takes a critical mass of people seeing a new vision. Today I witnessed some ‘fast’ change. After today’s March Against Monsanto, I took a detour at the James Bay Farmer’s Market and ate some beautiful oatcakes hand-made up Island by a strapping laddie in a Scottish kilt and accent to match. Munching on those oat cakes, I was ambling down the road when I espied a beautiful couple wrangling with a strange contraption. Was it a bed, I wondered? It had wood and some kind of white material at the bottom. What was it and why were they dragging it about the paved walk in front of their house?
These people smiled at me as I walked by, putting this contraption on the ground. “Thank you for your great speech!” they said with warm smiles.
“Glad you liked it!” I responded slowing my gait.
“You motived us to grow vegetables!” they said still panting a bit with the effort.
“Fantastic!” I smiled, touched and was about to continue on my way.
Then it hit me.
“Hang on,” I said backing up, “Do you mean right now? You’re going to grow vegetables right this very minute? Because you heard what I said? Like today? Like an hour ago?”
“Yes!” they merrily chimed.
So…that’s what the wooden contraption was – duh! They had made a bed to grow veggies since there was no soil in front of their house. This was the best moment of my day.
As of 2010 in the US, 93% of soy, 86% of corn, 90% of canola (the list could go on) are GMOs and essentially mono-crops (recipe for catastrophe as every biologist knows). Growing your own seeds and preserving biodiversity is paramount. In the Film “Bitter Seeds” about the staggering number of Indian farmer suicides, farmers in India’s “suicide belt” cannot buy non-GMO seeds any more. Monsanto’s promise of high GMO yields didn’t pan out. The farmers are in perpetual debt to buy seeds they would normally save. In a perfectly sustainable system, Indian farmers used to use cow dung for fertilizer. They were poor but they would save their seeds and replant year after year the seeds they saved. Now these poor and mostly illiterate farmers have to buy fossil-based pesticides as fertilizer and an abundant, stable water supply to grow these GMO seeds. In debt and unable to climb out, these farmers drink the Monsanto pesticides as their final act of desperate misery. At last count as per Dr. Vandana Shiva in March, there have been 278,000 (two hundred and seventy-eight thousand) of these suicides. One Indian farmer commits suicide every 30 minutes. May these GMO companies be brought to justice and tried at the International Court for Crimes Against Humanity. Let’s begin to digest this news of unutterable horror. Let’s take a moment and think of all those kids without dads, mothers widowed. Let’s take that despair and double our efforts for food democracy.
When India was fighting for independence, Gandhi suggested Indians spin their own cotton to protest the English law forcing Indians to buy only English cotton. Like then, these are undemocratic times. Now the pesticide companies control and patent life (after splicing in a couple toxic genes). They own the seed companies as well and limit supply to sell seeds that need to be re-purchased every year. One simple but powerful gesture to safeguard life, biodiversity, and ourselves is to grow plants and save and share those seeds.
Logan and Kirk invited me back to see their bed when it’s blossoming. I can’t wait. Their positivity made me feel even more positivity and we were cycling higher and higher in this feedback loop. If we send out the focus to the positive, we can achieve everything. Here is the handsome couple again:
“Use your imagination not to scare yourself to death but to inspire yourself to live.”
― Adele Brookman