Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Radical Farming

I recently saw a post on FaceBook which pointed out that raising your own food has become a radical act.   Not only have most people in the US and Canada become dependent on supermarkets, the unprocessed foods in the supermarkets have drifted farther and farther from nature.  The GMO controversy aside, the breeds of animals and strains of fruits and vegetables are so cultivated and groomed that our ancestors would not recognize them.

Being dependent on anything is not heathen.  Being separated from our ancestors is not heathen.   These things being true, Sven’s and my intention is to grow lots of heritage variety vegetables.   Heritage vegetables are hardier in their local environment, never artificially modified, and have flavours unlike the ones you buy in the store.  They’re also living pieces of history.

Enter Native Seeds/SEARCH ( ).  While it’s possible to buy heritage seeds from any number of sources, Native Seeds/SEARCH is near us, and Sven and I have been devotedly locavore and intent on using local businesses for years now.  Native Seeds/SEARCH has a seed library where you can borrow seeds, “returning” them by keeping some seeds aside from the plants grown and bringing them to the library.   It sells collections of seeds bundled by ability to thrive in the seasons specific to our part of the desert.  Furthermore, they are seeds for foods grown by the local indigenous people, the Tohono O’ohdham.  As their “about us” page says:

“Our story began in 1983 following a profound realization. While working on a Meals for Millions project to assist the Tohono O’odham Nation with establishing gardens, NS/S co-founders Gary Nabhan and Mahina Drees presented tribal elders with broccoli and radish seeds. “What we are really looking for,” the elders replied, “are the seeds for the foods our grandparents used to grow.” This revelatory remark inspired the formation of Native Seeds/SEARCH as a collector and preserver of these endangered traditional seeds.”

Moving to a remote place in search of freedom and starting a farm there is really the Asatru activity par excellence.  Going a-viking was done for revenue in order to pay for a farm, or make money after a bad year on one.  The Norse who went to Iceland, Greenland and even further did so because they were discontent with some condition under which they had to live.  Sometimes it was a king being too heavy-handed with his power.  Sometimes it was a sentence of outlawry.  Towards the end of the Viking era it was religious persecution by Christians.  Moving out of California so that we can grow our own sustenance from non-corporate seeds, raising free-range chickens for eggs and making cheese from milk produced by our happy goats is not a hippie dream-come-true.  It’s our gods-blessed heritage.

Hail, and blessed be!

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