Seeds of Change PT I
The start of the year is when we traditionally plant our metaphorical seeds of wishes that we want to manifest throughout the year. The focus and effort made now build-up to what we reap later.
At Bedstraw + Madder, we like to plant real seeds too.
By doing this, we can follow the entire journey of our clothing, from start to finish, so our customers have full transparency about what they are buying. When you know how things are made, you choose to support the changes you want to see in the world through your buying habits.
We partnered with Oshadi Collective and Fibreshed in Erode, India, to plant our cotton harvest.
The process of planting the organic cotton seeds there is done by hand. The traditional way it was always done. Organic seeds in India are a precious commodity. Each one is planted with attention and purpose during the monsoon season to make the most of the rained irrigation. We await our 2nd organic cotton harvest with excitement in the Spring.
In the 1950s, the Green Revolution shifted the focus of Indian agriculture away from biodiversity to increased yield. Agricultural practices and cropping patterns changed with the modernisation of agriculture, and genetic diversity began getting lost.
As a result, the genes of traditional seed varieties reduced considerably, and several conventional seed varieties are now facing extinction. These varieties were more compatible with local farming conditions and economically practical and environmentally sustainable than the wide yielding varieties. They were also more resistant to pests, diseases, droughts and floods.
We plant organic, non-GMO seeds because we want to revive and protect our traditional seeds and the livelihoods of our farmers. When are seeds are not being planted, they are stored in seeds banks which enable diversification, enhancing farmers’ ability to buffer environmental and economic stress by planting several crop varieties adapted to a range of environmental conditions.
At the same time, seed banks facilitate farmers’ access to markets and give farmers more choice over what they grow. They enable rural tribal villages to become less dependent on engineered high-yield varieties and expensive fertilisers and pesticides.
Traditionally, seed preservation has been women’s role, and their knowledge of seeds has been extensive. Therefore, women play a significant role in conserving diversity at the farm level.
Seeds like our actions are powerful. They can facilitate significant change. Let's plant them wisely.