Seed Saving Development

Tags: organic farming organic gardening sustainability non hybrid seeds
seed saving and development_fa25_mSustainable farm needs a sustainable supply of seeds, water and nutrients. Seeds that are grown and saved on the farm develop characteristics that enable them to grow even better in the particular environment of the local place where the farm is situated. It is a step forward to making sustainability an integral part of farm production.

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Seed Saving Development

We in Buddha garden have been involved in seed saving for some years and we try to grow as much non hybrid seeds for ourselves as we can.  Hybrid seeds are not developed for organic farming and they need special care and attention with more water and nutrients (in the form of fertilizer) to grow.  They often have difficulties while growing and are more open to pest and disease attacks.  Up to now we were successful to get our non hybrid seed lines of Long beans, Pumpkins, Sweet basil, Chilly, Basella spinach, Papaya, Coriander, Snake gourd, Bottle gourd (we lost these but are trying again) Maize, Okra (we lost but are trying again). Those which we have yet to develop are Tomatoes, Eggplants, Rocket and Lettuce, all plants that we grow only once a year so it takes several years to develop the seed lines.

Non hybrid seeds are very good compared to hybrid seeds as they produce more diverse plants that can deal with a wide range of different conditions, which is very important in this time of climate change. Using non hybrid seeds has had a direct effect on production for us as we have increased our production by using them. We have found that with these plants we do not have much of a problem with disease causing organisms.  Since two years we have not used any sort of control method against disease, we just paid attention to improving the soil and using our non hybrid seeds. In organic farming the disease causing organisms are one of the main causes of reduced harvests.  



Related video: Buddha Garden

Source: Exploring Alternatives; Airang Television



To control such diseases either takes a lot of human labor to make on the farm or getting it from outside increases the cost of production. In Buddha garden we have overcome this difficulty by using non-hybrid seeds. Now we don’t have a problem with disease and the soil is able to relate with the non hybrid plants and grow well generation after generation.In Buddha Garden we are trying to get all the seeds that we grow here non-hybrid and to start a process of disseminating the seed saving idea to local farmers. India used to have mostly non-hybrid seeds, but now it’s hard to find any.

To get non-hybrid seeds is not easy, it’s not generally available in the market, and if you find some it takes some time to localize them for your garden or farm. To save seed successfully takes some infrastructure, especially in our very hot and humid climate.  We have had several failures in seed which we have tried to save without using a refrigerator.  Although we put the seed in ash and in air tight jars this hasn’t been enough to stop some of the bugs or to stop some seed drying out so that it doesn’t germinate. We have also lost seed during natural calamities like the cyclone of 2008 when we lost all our Maize, and Okra seeds and it will take another few years to get them back.  When a farmer loses the seeds it is like loosing the best resource from the farm. We were just on the brink this year of loosing our long bean seeds when our saved seed got fungus at the time of the Monsoo.


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