Did you know that you can borrow seeds just like you borrow books from the library? It’s true and it’s called a seed library. You can make a withdrawal, plant the seeds and enjoy the fruits of your harvest. In order to be self sustainable and regenerative, some plants must be left to produce seeds. These seeds are harvested to grow during the next season. This is called seed saving and closes the loop so producing food is like a cycle that feeds itself. Once you have saved some seeds, you then return a small portion back to the seed library so others can borrow seeds to add to their varieties of food crops.
You don’t need to pay to borrow seeds however being an active part of the library helps build stock and keeps the seeds fresh. You can also donate seeds to the library which increases the diversity. Maintaining a large variety of seeds helps us to protect food biodiversity and preserve heirloom seeds from privatisation, destructive and deadly monoculture and genetic splicing. For more information about why this is an important issue, read ‘Protecting Our Seed Biodiversity‘. Click here for information aboutsaving seeds.
What can you borrow from Milnerton Seed Library?
Here is a list of what we currently have:
Bean – Broad Bean Bean – Dwarf Bean Contender Bean – Non GMO Soy Beetroot – Crimson Globe Beetroot – Early Wonder Broccoli – Green Sprouting Carrots – Nantes Calendula – Orange Cauliflower – Snowball Coriander Corn – Non GMO Bloody Butcher from Transkei Cosmos – Sensation Mixed Cucumber – Ashley Eggplant – Black Beauty Leek – Giant Carentan Melon – Honeydew Green Flesh Melon – Hales Best Onion – Australian Brown Onion – Caledon Globe Peas – Antique Pepper – California Wonder Radishes – Cherry Belle Squash – Caserta Squash – Rolet Squash – Waltham Swiss Chard – Fordhook Giant Sunflower Tomato – Floradade Turnip – Early Purple Top Globe Watermelon – Charleston Grey Watermelon – Congo Watermelon – Crimson Sweet Zulu Clover
Communal effort or communal work is where the major goal is not personal but in the benefit of the community. The word Harambee appears in the Kenya coat of arms and translated this means ‘all pull together’ and there are many other translations for this word in many languanges and the importance of this concept is discussed.
The sum of what people can do together far outweighs what one can achieve individually and by embracing community effort, we can benefit individually too on many fronts.You acquire life skills and knowledge by engaging in community. Connecting and communicating with other individuals teaches us a lot about ourselves. We have an opportunity to grow from new experiences and we realise our strengths and weaknesses. We develop better interpersonal communication skills and learn how to share information in a more usable way. Being in different situations can help us discover hidden talents that may change our self worth. You may learn that you have good skills coping with a crisis or stressful situations. Perhaps you struggle to take charge and this experience helps develop skills in leadership, manage time better, work well with a team as well as finding solutions to real world problems with critical thinking.
Community work is a wonderful way to unite people from diverse backgrounds and be exposed to multiculturalism. We also become aware of issues like social injustice and dispelling stereotypes and as we understand our community, we learn to foster more empathy and self efficacy. As we build bonds of trust and generate social weaves, we are also creating strong support networks with camaraderie and teamwork. We learn about functions and operation of government and local resources that are available to solve community needs. We also save resources by leaving more money to be available for local improvements. Volunteer work sometimes provides services to those who need it the most.
Volunteering is a great way to find work that suits you best because by working in different projects where team players have different roles, you get a better picture of where your interests lie. Volunteer work also looks good on a resume as this shows employers that you are a team player and that you have experience in work related skills. You may even be able to network with future employers and make contacts.
When people work together towards a common goal for the benefit of the community, self esteem improves and these people are more likely to get involved in current events and local affairs. The psychological effects are numerous. Volunteers experience overall life satisfaction and feel good about themselves because of helping others. Community work decreases depression by interrupting usual tension-producing patterns and focusing on something other than oneself. Community is a strong support system for participants and often they can be physically healthy incorporating exercise like a beach or park cleanup. Moods like optimism, joy & control over ones fate strengthen the immune system. A human who tries to better himself and the planet earns the respect of those around.
It’s time we value creative co-operations and collaboration. Let’s produce, promote and protect social networks and by being active members in your community, you will have a long lasting positive effect on society at large