written by Arne Bollinger on March 30, 2015, 6:40 p.m.

Gifts of seeds

On our http://community-tours.org/ 2014, we have transported many things between sustainable communities that were passed as gifts in a gift economy network.
Seeds had been proved to be the best possible gift. It is one of the most important resources for self-sufficiency or community care. And it is a very personal gift, which establishes relationships unlike few:

  • You know from which garden the plant is coming from and who has tasted its fruit before.
  • You can find out information about site conditions and tips from the origin and so perhaps you find a reason to visit.
  • Independent seed diversity is more important than ever, in times of Monsanto and Co.

We have collected a lot of seeds from different places and wanted to share them with people at an event we hosted in http://sharehaus.net, Berlin last weekend.
This year we are again swarming into communities to distribute seeds as well as our knowledge and experience. And people can give us something to take on the road and know that their sunflower seeds will grow on a mountainside in Romania for example :)

In addition to the seed-gift-market, there was a film screening of our short documentation "Community-Tours: a gift economy experience".
People brought cakes and and we had many gifts to give from the previous gift-bazar we organised and from Emanuel, a team member who quit his job and moved out of berlin to go on community-tours.

It was a strong family feeling, watching the documentary together with half of the people that are in it :)
We all got great gifts and seeds and community-tours seedbank is even bigger now! We are also richer in new connections and open hearts.

Swaping seeds
Seeds are most important for self-suffciency, food souvereignity and a healthy independent community. It gets harder and harder to get non-GMO organic seeds and
monsanto is buying all companies, so it really makes sense in a lot of aspects to grow your own seeds!
Many sustainable communities and CSA projects do this already and you can exchange seeds with them! It makes sense to swap seeds locally, so the plants are already adapted
to your climate, soil etc.
Also this creates local relationships: People will think of your community when they see the plants growing or eat them. It is a very deep and emotional connection to your place
and many priceless things can come out of such a relationship.

How to organise a seed exchange
1. Prepare some tables with chairs so people can sit by their seeds and answer questions to them
2. Have some bags ready for people to pack seeds (can be upcycled)
3. You can prepare cards, so people can add information to their seeds, like:
   a. Origin, location, altitude
   b. Needs for water, shade, wind, moisture
   c. Date the seeds were harvested
   d. Contact of the gardener for further questions