Growing Vigorously with Vandana Shiva

Gardening wants Vigour - bringing energy, effort and enthusiasm to grow plants with vitality, strength and good health.  At this time of year, as I plan my garden and urban agriculture plot -  I am trying to choose vigorous crops, open-pollinated seed and plan organic methods mindful of the soil.

Last November, I had the incredible opportunity to see Vandana Shiva speak at Ontario Institute for Studies in Education / University of Toronto.  Her words and ideas are certainly influencing my thoughts as I plan for the upcoming growing season.
(I will be returning to this wise woman's words, and this lecture, many times again as there is far too much to fit in one post)

Vandana Shiva: 

everything is connected

"Non-separability in quantum theory is precisely what in ecology we learn as the interconnectedness of life."

seed patenting = biopiracy

"I see it as a deep aberration in humanity, because we did not invent that life.   At best we modify it, at best we take it from a community.  And when we take it without permission, we have given the name biopiracy."

microbe > human being

One of the ideas that sticks with me most from Vandana's talk is the idea of nurturing soil ecology.  "The smallest of microbes in the soil, that eyes don't see" she says "this is the real source of food security." She explains that humans have a misconception about our place on this earth, he human being is less than the microbe, not the top of the pyramid.  

Vandana gives us just one example of vigorous abundance: the millets - each tiny seed gives you a MILLion seeds, for a "miracle crop".  She tells us of these plants for the future: using 1/10th the water of industrial crops while producing 40 - 50x more nutrition.  She reminds us that every morsel of food we eat, becomes our body and that some of the tiniest of little plants, even weeds, bear the only cures we have for certain diseases.

"I absolutely love this room, because it is a teacher of how the world really is.  The world is circular, it is not linear."

Vandana left me pondering the idea that cycles tell us: life renews.

"In diversity and multiplicity lies resilience, monocultures are highly vulnerable."


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