SnowBall archive


GE -story of the seed harvest tour

sorry if I've already sent this to some of you.

Welcome to farmland. This is where your food comes from. Farmers in the 
Canadian prairies and midwest U.S. are often forced to grow huge tracts 
of monoculture crops just to survive. Often they have to use fertilizers 
to get loans, because the fertilizer/seed/"life" science trans- 
nationals tell banks that since their fertilizer and genetically altered 
crops guarantee a high crop yield, farmers are more likely to repay 
loans when using them. Because pesticides and fertilizers are designed 
to target one crop and its pests, farmers then must grow large fields of 
a single crop: mono-culture. With these large fields and initial high 
machinery and fertilizer/pesticide expenses, farmers need to minimize 
costs wherever possible to break even. Hiring labor is crazy expensive, 
so they invest in machines, which. . .in the long run. . .promise to pay 
for themselves, but often don't because of upkeep costs and new 
technology (developed for the purpose of companies making money). Pests 
grow resistant to pesticides, and with the diversity of plants ("weeds") 
on the land lost to chemicals, rain takes off running with all the 
soil's nutrients, only to clog, pollute, and sometimes kill vital river 
 We gotta do something. Governments can't be expected to, and I don't 
want to sit around waiting for them anyway. Hence, the

Story of the Seed Harvest Tour

 This harvest season, a few of us are travelling around this continent 
to share stories of agriculture and personal lives, to create and 
celebrate community across rural and urban North America. We want to 
talk with all kinds of people: school and community groups, commercial 
and small-scale farmers, people who've never thought about food much. We 
want to find out what it's like for farmers to make a living, and what 
the lives they make are like. We want to initiate street theatre to tell 
our story about how important the diversity and preservation of our 
seeds are, and we hope to conspire with the folks we meet to tell their 
stories. We're gonna play music, dance, build costumes, listen to 
Every seed has a story. . .if you grow it right
 One little poppy or tomato seed, potato or lentil, comes with stories 
of the land and the people who got it here. Now transnational 
corporations want to terminate that story. They want to fix the DNA to 
dead-end with the seeds they sell, so that we have to come back and buy 
more. They want to stop history from happening. They want us to stop 
telling and growing our stories so they can make truckloads of money. 
They'll tell you they need to recover costs from the billions of dollars 
of research they did to develop this technology. Nobody asked them to do 
this research, and in fact there's been so much violent opposition to it 
that most people probably would tell them not to do it at all. 
Transnational corporations are trying to close in on every end of the 
market: the seeds, the fertilizer for your seeds, the loans to afford to 
grow seeds. Our stories are not for sale.
 We want to gather seeds that people around the continent have saved and 
scatter them to the communities we meet, along with their stories. We 
want to hook people up with each other. We want to document what our 
culture is up to and how we can help each other out, and pass along our 
discoveries to everyone we meet, so we can all pass on the history we 
live. Because the corporations that connect us all, whom we sell to and 
buy from, aren't helping us out. We've got to start finding our own ways 
of connecting to each other. 
 In the long run, this can mean a lot of things. We think it means 
finding ways for urban communities to provide security for farmers so 
they can grow healthy crops without the risk of knowing if they can 
sell. It means people in the cities growing some of their own food, and 
helping the farmers who grow the rest of it to get out of debt. We'd 
like to hold workshops about theatre and music too, where we all can 
share our skills and create stories and tales, fun and sadness: the real 
things that happen to us kept alive by imagination and spirit. Because 
in the long run, the problems we're facing in agriculture are much 
larger than the question of sterile seeds or monoculture crops. The 
problems are about how divided and powerless we perceive ourselves to be 
through our culture. We're all trying to live good lives, where we don't 
have to worry about having enough food or shelter or people to love. We 
are not divided, as we hope to find out for real by travelling this 
harvest season. And we are not powerless, as we hope to draw out of 
ourselves and the people we visit. We can do a hell of a lot. Heck, if 
David Shapiro, Monsanto CEO, can spend a billion bucks in research and 
break the laws of nature, we can spend some energy rebuilding those laws 
and making our lives better.
 We will begin the Story of the Seed Harvest Tour in Prince Edward 
Island in the beginning of August. We intend to travel through Canada 
for the month, spend September on the west coast of the U.S, and travel 
in southern states in October. An integral part of our plan involves a 
seed scattering project. We'd like to leave a tangible, active 
connection between ourselves and the people we meet, especially those 
with whom we hold agriculture workshops. Being city dwellers this last 
year, and uprooted from our gardens last August when moving to Montreal, 
we need your help to make this project happen. This letter is, in part, 
a request to you for contributions to our project. We cannot offer the 
usual exchange of seed, nor can we afford to buy the quantities we'd 
like to disseminate. We can offer a documentation of our journeys and 
the stories your seeds will grow. We are a writer and photographer by 
craft, and will be documenting through these media as well as through 
music, audio, and whatever other methods show up and inspire us. We want 
to build stories that with time can become more powerful, imaginative, 
and beautiful than any expression of culture we've ever known. A 
community that provides for each other our needs and desires. This 
starts with food, imagination, you, and us. 
 If you'd like to join in this project with seed contributions, 
contacts, ideas, energy, lodging, information about networks out there, 
or whatever else you want to bounce our way, or if you want to get a 
copy of the stories we find and create, you can find us at the addresses 
below. If you know others who would be interested, feel free to pass 
along our contact info. We look forward to hearing from you--
 long live the seed!

 Andrea del Moral:
 Amy Lounder: 

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