Two Fires Festival 2015

Carrying the flame of Judith Wright's passions …

Two Fires Festival 2015 - Carrying the flame of Judith Wright's passions …

Our heirloom seed inheritance

Clive Blazey

Information session with Clive Blazey

Calling all home gardeners, market gardeners, farmers and lovers of fruit and vegetables!

Well-known gardener, writer, Digger’s Club co-founder and vegetable enthusiast Clive Blazey presents an information and question-and-answer session about our vegetable seed heritage. Since the introduction of agriculture from the small beginnings of wild edible species, there have been the open-pollinated heirloom cultivars developed and improved over generations which are owned by the public, the seed saved by farmers and gardeners to re-plant next season, and the seed grown for sale by companies large and small to assist the home gardener and commercial grower. Later, having observed that nature will occasionally cross two related plants with mixed but sometimes excellent results, F1 hybrids have been developed by individuals and seed companies which give specific characteristics but the seed of which may not be saved as they tend to give unstable offspring with unknown characteristics or no offspring at all. In the last decade we have seen the new challenges posed by the rapid and largely untested introduction of GM seed by international corporations.

Open-pollinated vegetable seed has been everyone’s food heritage since humans commenced agriculture. Our ancestors have worked to give us a legacy of fruits and vegetables of endless variety, seasonality, size, shape, taste, texture and climate suitability, the seed of which is owned by everyone and available to all. As more and more of us experience the pleasure and sheer satisfaction of taking back control of our food supply and growing our own food, and of supporting farmers and market gardeners who supply local communities with fresh seasonal produce, what questions are there to be answered by a billion-dollar GM industry which would like to take control of our seed heritage from us?

Clive and Penny Blazey recently retired from the Digger’s Club, which they founded in 1978, and which is now the biggest mail-order garden club in Australia.

Information session followed by questions and conversation, approximately 45 minutes total.

Two of Clive’s books will then be available for purchase, which he will be happy to sign:   The Australian Vegetable Garden (2nd ed, 2013, Clive Blazey) and The Australian Fruit and Vegetable Garden (2006, Clive Blazey and Jane Varkulevicius).