Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Seed saving in paradise: A failure analysis

Admitting fault is not always easy. Our current social convention is based upon heroes and never to fail or mistakes.. and god beware even ADMITTING TO HAVE MADE A MISTAKE.. The fewer mistakes we make, the better. This brings us praise and approval from others. Gameshows like: “Who will be a millionaire” and others show it. Grades at school are based on “knowing everything” and not making mistakes, children’s comic heroes are based on the same thing. This indoctrinates in us from early stage, not even realising how much it affects us - the constant strive for perfection.

I truly believe the more mistakes we make, the more we can learn. The things we learn usually remain imprinted in our brains forever. We will certainly NEVER do these mistakes again. Moreover we become somewhat of an expert in this small but specific “mistake field”.

I wish for the future world to change the current convention and teaching based upon “not failing” or not “making mistakes”. But hey, there is a long way to go to what I see being a better learning environment by learning by failure analysis.. Therefore I came up with an idea:

I am starting with the man/woman in the mirror, I am asking him to change his way! The woman in the mirror is ME

My first failure analysis:

I spent some time in this project:
That is situated in this area: Link.. Pelion Mountains Greece., home of the Centaurs.

The area is extremely fertile and looks nothing like the rest of burnt Greece with olive trees as many of us are tempted to imagine. Chestnut trees, walnut trees, fig trees, brown berries, apple and pear treees, grapes, tomatoes and cucumber everywhere, it just pops up..! All surrounded by a wilderness of shrubs. I thought I was in paradise! Food as far as I could see and I could not pick up things fast enough before they went to rot!

I noticed that the centre didn´t have a seed-bank but a large vegetable garden. Shortly before I had become interested in seed keeping. Thank you Law of Attraction! 

So what happened was:
1. See: I noticed there were no seeds when I arrived to Spiti ton Kentavron.
2. Thinking: Because I myself was in need of seeds for planing winter vegetables, I realised the importance of autonomous seed availability. Moreover, I wanted the centre have everything ready once they started over again next spring.
3. Designing: I started collecting all seeds from veggies and fruit we ate. This lead to this output:

Within 4 weeks I had a box full of seeds ready for next year. I had documented everything and collected the information I could see while doing the process. I left it in a safe place for winter.

Back from the trip, I spoke to my tutor about this projekt. He asked me about the produce and where it came from, who planted it, ... etc . We quickly realised that there could be a possibility of having taken seeds from F1 Hybrids. his would mean the seeds are useless and moreover, would take away precious time of the person wanting to plant veggies next spring. We concluded that could not be entirely sure where it had come from and it would be too muchof a risk to use the seeds next spring. THAT was my mistake.. not enough survey done!

My precious mistake will make me an excellent gardener next time and helped me learn so much about seeds and seed saving..and most importantly: 

-> understad the necessity of following permacultural design methods..

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