Beer farmers. A fair deal for a good drink

 

Last June, we visited the plots where population varieties of cereals gleaned from all over Europe are being tested, as part of a close collaboration between Belgian cereal growers and the Brouwerij 3 Fonteinen. Giving us the opportunity to reconnect with old partners, this field trip demonstrated the extent of their success, both in terms of varietal development and the support gained from a wide range of local players, who turned out in force to admire the many different cereals sown. Continue reading...

 

Conversation with Anders Borgen, the nerd of the niche and bunt disease

 

In July 2023, Hannes Lorenzen had the chance to return to the fields of Anders Borgen, in Denmark, well known to the European seed movements for his valuable scientific work on bunt disease affecting wheat and his breeding and polyculture trials promoting seed diversity. Hannes and Anders visited his plots while discussing breeding companies, GMOs, money and growing food intolerance. Continue reading...

 

Old varieties and short circuits to rebuild "rural solidarities"

 

In June 2023, we took advantage of the first fine summer days to visit a project co-run by the Réseau Meuse-Rhin-Moselle, one of our close partners. As part of its commitment to the regeneration of agrobiodiversity, it has recently been supporting the development of short supply chains such as “Au Cœur du Pain”, aiming at reintroducing local varieties of bread cereals adapted to the specific characteristics of the Condroz region, located in the south of Belgian Wallonia. Continue reading...

 

Irish-grown textiles from seed to fibre: challenges and opportunities. Ireland, part 3

 

Last part of our series dedicated to the revival of textile production in Ireland, this article looks back on a round table we organised in March at the Feeding Ourselves event, questioning the motivations and obstacles encountered by alternative players relying on agrobiodiversity to offer "Irish-grown textiles from seed to fiber”. Diversification, territorialisation, cooperation - what are the keys to success? Continue reading...

 

Reviving local agrobiodiversity, revitalising traditional skills. Ireland, part 2

 

In March 2023, Adèle Pautrat travelled to Ireland for a series of visits to projects led by various partners tackling the need to enhance agrobiodiversity and restore self-sufficiency and resilience in rural territories. In this second article, the focus shifts from food crops to textile production and the centrality of agrobiodiversity to efforts to revive and reimagine the Irish textile industry. Continue reading...

 

 

Adapting agricultural practices to climate change

 

On July 5th 2023, the European Commission tabled its proposal for revised seed marketing legislation. Exploring institutional shortcomings to prioritise and safeguard agrobiodiversity in a changing climate, Seeds4All project co-ordinator Adèle Pautrat and policy analyst Mathieu Willard zoom into the case of white bean production in southern France, before presenting broader issues that the future seed law should address. Continue reading...

 

Agrobiodiversity as a key driver for rural revolution. Ireland, part 1

 

In March 2023, Adèle Pautrat travelled to Ireland for a series of visits to projects led by various partners. In this first of a series of three articles, Adèle meets the Irish Seed Savers, discovering the success of a three-decade-old commitment and questioning the close link between seed diversity and local pride. As the visit progresses, one question keeps coming up: what role can agrobiodiversity play in territorial transitions and rural revolutions? Continue reading...

 

The Balkan Seed Network leading the way to agrobiodiversity

 

Adèle Pautrat and Hannes Lorenzen travelled to Serbia to meet members of the Balkan Seed Network. Three days of on the ground visits, brainstormings and discussions have been used to shape the launching of a long-term partnership between both our organisations, which will aim at promoting seeds and crop diversity and inspire appropriate policies both in the Balkans and in the European Union. Continue reading...

 

Seed marketing reform - Commission hints at Faustian hybrid

 

In preparation of the Commission’s expected proposal for a new seed marketing legislation on June 7th, MEP Sarah Wiener and MEP Martin Häusling called a conference to discuss what is needed for a just transition to agroecology. Policy analyst Mathieu Willard reports on the next form of seed legislation, the secondary space for agroecology and the main concerns about GMOs. Continue reading...

 

Organic and Biodynamic viticulture: adapting the vine in a changing climate

 

How is a new generation of French winegrowers responding to the rising temperatures and droughts? In summer 2022, project manager Adèle Pautrat visited Sainte Marie des Crozes, an organic and biodynamic Domaine in southern France, cultivating 15 different grape varieties and aiming to adapt and transform viticulture in light of climate change challenges. Continue reading...

 

Let's talk Global Bean!

 

Suddenly, everyone is interested in the crops we grow and import in Europe. The war in Ukraine has really focused our minds on feeding people – or is that feeding animals? Agriculture in Europe is highly dependent on animal feed inputs. As a consequence, we lack independence in protein crop and legume production, leading to environmental and food security problems.  A a member of the Global Bean Network, Seeds4All adresses these issues and promotes legume consumption. Continue reading...

 

Growing seed diversity in the middle of the north sea, Germany. Pellworm island, part 2

 

In July 2021, Seeds4all organised a seminar on the German island of Pellworm, gathering several seed breeders and farmers. Our main goal was to launch a discussion on the future possibilities for local agriculture to develop, specialise and adapt through seed breeding and production, to the already changing climate and environmental conditions. Continue reading...

 

Growing seed diversity in the middle of the north sea, Germany. Pellworm island, part 1

 

The island of Pellworm belongs to the archipelago of the Frisian islands, which extends over 450 km along the North Sea coast, from Den Helder in the Netherlands to Esbjerg in Denmark. For centuries, it has been under serious threat from rising sea levels. A vulnerability that has allowed the emergence of a local citizen's movement, at the origin of inspiring experiments in ecological transition. Continue reading...

 

A journey through time, jazz and seeds...

 

Policy analyst Hannes Lorenzen embarks on an exciting journey back in time to meet the famous ethno-botanist Nikolay Vavilov, discover one of his "centres of origin of cultivated plants" in the heart of the Middle East, and promote a contemporary Turkish family committed to cultivated biodiversity. With Adèle Pautrat, they interview Tuna and Hakan Hanim, whose collection of local varieties is based on the generational commitment of the women in the family. Continue reading...

 

 

The big issue of low seed diversity in the organic seed market

 

Meeting with Stefan Doeblin - who organised in 2014 a study on “how to reach 30% of organic farming in Europe”, jointly with the University of Brussels and two scientists from Cambridge and Athens. During these investigations, he identified organic seeds as the field he wanted to dedicate his life to. Organic Food from Organic Seeds was born as a slogan - and path to go. Hannes Lorenzen and Adèle Pautrat interviewed Stefan on his seed commitments and views for the future. Continue reading...

 

Rediscovering old varieties of cereals for preserving traditional beer practices

 

Did you know that less than 1% of cereals used for Belgian internationally famous beer production, is actually grown on Belgian territory? A situation affecting not only the diversity of cereals cultivated in the country but also the quality of beers brewed from varieties less well adapted to their specificities. We met Lucas Van den Abeele and visited the brewerij 3 Fonteinen exploring inspiring solutions.  Continue reading...