A little thought and a little kindness are often worth more than a great deal of Money – John Ruskin
In a world of ‘print it off’ fiat currency, fractional reserve banking and the cold anti-human brutality of Neoliberalism, it is a breath of air to know that there are alternatives to the off the bone savagery that we are confronted with. There are many different ways in which people can trade, barter and swap their skills, the fact that we have one all consuming domination of a particular model, doesn’t mean that this model has won the fight, it simply means that it has been enforced upon us by willing Politicians, criminal bankers and the usual Selfish ‘I’m alright jack’ underpinning which has allowed this vicious model to perpetuate around the globe, forcing billions into poverty and destroying the natural world for the sake of economic growth.
Locally grown resources as economy
So with this in mind, I want to talk a little about seeds and how they offer their own model of economics when we interact with them in a meaningful and thoughtful way. Imagine that you have five hundred vegetable seeds, you sow two hundred of them, you keep a hundred to grow the following year, and you distribute two hundred between your friends and family, in itself this is a powerful thing because you are distributing seeds which will become plants, which become food, which becomes a resource that can then swap and exchange with others. But the story doesn’t end here, if you sow and grow your own hundred seeds during the following growing season, and allow some of the plants that you grow to go to seed, you can then collect the seeds from the plants starting the whole cycle all over again without any cost, and little in way of work other than picking and storing the seeds. So in this situation in the following year in your garden, you have allowed say twenty of your edible food plants to go to seed, each plant produces roughly around two thousand seeds, and once again, you give some away, you trade some, and you save some for the following growing season. Other people who you have shared or exchanged the seeds can then be encouraged to also allow some of the edible plants to continue growing so that they produce their own seeds.
Seeds for resilient local resources based economies
In a world that has been decimated by the economics of Neoliberalism in terms of both the worth of people and their skills, and the pulling apart of nature in the form of resources, we urgently need a model that will work for people and planet, seeds are one solution to this problem, there can never be too many seeds, unlike the preposterous idea of printing paper money that has no intrinsic value other than the promise of its worth by politicians, and our own belief in its worth. Seeds on the other hand, always have value, they will never depreciate in value, they will never suffer from inflation and stagflation, and their worth also goes above and beyond human need in that they help to maintain Ecosystems and provide food for other non human life in the planet.
Stock market v’s community seed swap event
On the stock market floors of the world, vital human resources are traded without our inclusion and input into how we best use and distribute these resources, and since we are consumers and not producers, we are further away from this access to making decisions and having an input into such things things. Stock markets work for their own ends, for the bonuses and salaries of traders and buyers, we are merely an end of the line cash cow for the retailers of of these vital human resources. Stock markets are prone to crashes that have a detrimental effect on people and their well being, they can be prone to greed if a vital human resource has become something that a lot of money can be earned from by the Markets as we have witnessed fairly recently with the global banking sector speculating on food prices in the market, which has resulted in huge prices in staple foodstuffs. A similar gathering where vital human resources are traded is the Community seed swap event, at these usually small yearly gatherings people who saved seeds come together to swap them for seeds that others have saved. The mechanisms at work here are community based, as opposed to being traded on a stock market floor, when seeds are swapped it provides both people in the interaction with vital human resources that are sustainable and resilient. There will never be a crash at seed swap events as is the case with stock markets, the prices of seeds will never become fetishistic objects of speculation because they are shared out between those attending these events who in turn generate their own supply free of charge, and most of all, we are control of our vital resources, unlike the stock market that is part of the control mechanism of our resources before they reach us in shops and local market halls.