Thursday, January 31, 2013

February Exhibition + Biodiversity Dialogue Events in Paddington, Brisbane

Recently I've been quite preoccupied with arrangements and studio time in preparation for this upcoming exhibition in Paddington, Brisbane.

With my studio underneath Percolator Gallery in Paddington its a pleasure to be planning a show for the upstairs Gallery... due to open in 2 weeks time ... from Feb 13th to 24th. Opening night kicks off at 6pm, Thursday, 14th of February. Today I've finished lining up all the presenters for the two dialogue evenings and have posted on the website where I will add updates and more info re speakers. 

ALSO watch the Homage to the Seed Facebook Page for updates over the next few weeks. If you want to make an outing of it and cant make the evening events note that the daytime cafes nearby are wonderful and I am keen to have you come visit and share a coffee from across the road or make cups of tea in the gallery!

Being in the gallery from midday to 5 pm over ten days is a prime opportunity for cups of tea and good conversation. Even if we haven't met come and introduce yourself... galleries are perfect places for connection and conviviality!

Percolator Gallery
134  Latrobe Terrace,
Paddington, Brisbane
rsvp to save a seat:  m: 0430 599 344  p: 3262 4296

Gallery hours are: 


OR BY ARRANGEMENT:  ph  0430 599 344




Program outline:

Tuesday, Feb 19th : Seeds and Biodiversity in the Habitat 
                       Guest speaker :  Corinne Unger, Sustainability + Mining Sector
                              on “Abandoned mines and biodiversity in Australia.”
                              Presentations from Jutta Godwin on Biodiversity Protection
                              challenges for a suburban catchment group.  
                              Denise Rivers on ‘Seeds and the habitat, a volunteer’s perspective’.
                              Caz O’neill on ‘The relationship of Seeds and Wildlife in bringing plants to life’.

Thursday Feb, 21st : Seeds,  Agrobiodiversity and food systems
                       Guest speaker :  Dr Carol Richards, UQ Sociology
                              onSeeds, Supermarkets and Sovereignty: The Often Wicked Story of Food’
                              Presentations from Nancy Kent of Urban Ag project ‘The Inspiration Garden’
                              and, by special request, Rozy Eslami, offering exquisite tastes + stories from her 
                              home country of Iran... a tribute to the Bio-Cultural Diversity of our planet.

This is a free event organised to coincide with the February Art show.  You are invited to attend Opening night :  Feb 14 from 6pm,  visit the gallery over the 2 week period (check times on website) or to come along to hear the artist's talk about the artwork. The Biodiversity dialogue program kicks off at 7pm sharp, but to ensure a seat   RSVP  here or phone : 0430 599 344.

For a comprehensive outline and info re speakers please visit the website : 
Note: ALL ARTWORK IS FOR SALE!  Please do share this invite with friends!

NB:On Tues, 19th Feb and Thurs, 21st Feb the Gallery will be open for evening viewings at 6 pm.  

At 6.15 pm Sophie will give a brief talk about the artwork, her 2012 Residencies and the range of ideas around bio-cultural-diversity and seeds which inform the ongoing project and artwork. 

Drinks will be available from 6.30 pm and the 

formal program commences at 7 pm (till 8.30 pm).

* Please share this flyer if you wish!

Its practical for me to leave this post up for the next few weeks... so I might not look in here for a bit. All comments come to my email so posting a comment will reach me...  always! Visit the other blogs for visual postings of the show and find me on twitter, tumblr etc in the top right hand navigation box here at this blog.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013


So much has been written about bread... so much history, such a variety of grains, across so many cultures... so many traditions, recipes and variations of recipes.

Its hugely political for a host of reasons ... debate rages over seeds and copyright, seed sovereignty, costs and availability, health properties, what's in the bread and how its made, who's missing out on their daily bread, and why!

There are updates coming in as to where bread-making might have begun and for how long humans have been cultivating grain for flour to be used for bread-making.

Now we have Molecular research adding layers of knowledge... and bringing more debate... and then there's the archeological research spectrum. There's a museum for bread and certainly the popularity of bread has not waned so much as been challenged for the fact it is not everyone's best friend!

In the West we thought we could rid ourselves of labour by having our bread come from huge factories. Sliced and ready. Well it speeded things up but it took away taste and nutrition too.

Some, by necessity or choice, make their own bread or if able to afford the option, buy from artisans bringing us quality breads. We've often tasted breads from around the world and delighted in leaving behind some of the more bland offerings that might have shaped our childhoods, if we could. 

What is your daily bread?  Where do the grains come from?  Do you know whats happening with seeds and 'wild relatives'? 

In my new book in planning I want to bring some focus to the place of bread in our lives. Its a big story... and there is plenty to think about!

Monday, January 21, 2013

tiny seeds of the quinoa plant: the stuff of nutritionists' dreams

Quinoa brings riches to the Andes

Bolivian and Peruvian farmers sell entire crop to meet rising western demand, sparking fears of malnutrition

Quinoa harvest in Bolivia
A woman carries quinoa in Bolivia. The 'pseudo-grain' may be the most nutritious foodstuff in the world. Photograph: Laurent Giraudou/Corbis
A burst of colour on a monochromatic panorama, a field of flowering quinoa plants in the Bolivian desert is a thing of beauty. A plant ready for harvest can stand higher than a human, covered with knotty blossoms, from violet to crimson and ochre-orange to yellow.
Quinua real, or royal quinoa, flourishes in the most hostile conditions, surviving nightly frosts and daytime temperatures upwards of 40C (104F). It is a high-altitude plant, growing at 3,600 metres above sea level and higher, where oxygen is thin, water is scarce and the soil is so saline that virtually nothing else grows.
The tiny seeds of the quinoa plant are the stuff of nutritionists' dreams, sending demand soaring in the developed world. Gram-for-gram, quinoa is one of the planet's most nutritious foodstuffs. Once a sacred crop for some pre-hispanic Andean cultures, it has become a five-star healthfood for the middle classes in Europe, the US and increasingly China and Japan.
That global demand means less quinoa is being eaten in Bolivia andPeru, the countries of origin, as the price has tripled. There are concerns this could cause malnutrition as producers, who have long relied on the superfood to supplement their meagre diets, would rather sell their entire crop than eat it. The rocketing international price is also creating land disputes.
"Royal quinoa has given hope to people living in Bolivia's most destitute and forgotten region," says Paola Mejia, general manager of Bolivia'sChamber of Quinoa Real and Organic Products Exporters.
Royal quinoa, which only grows in this arid region of southern Bolivia, is to the grain what beluga is to caviar; packed with even more protein, vitamins and minerals than the common variety.
Averaging $3,115 (£1,930) per tonne in 2011, quinoa has tripled in price since 2006. Coloured varieties fetch even more. Red royal quinoa sells at about $4,500 a tonne and the black variety can reach $8,000 per tonne. The crop has become a lifeline for the people of Bolivia's Oruro and Potosi regions, among the poorest in what is one of South America's poorest nations.
It is quinoa's moment on the world stage. This year is the UN'sInternational Year of Quinoa as the UN Food and AgricultureOrganisation recognises the crop's resilience, adaptability and its "potential contribution in the fight against hunger and malnutrition".
Evo Morales, the Bolivian leader whose government suggested the special recognition for the grain, said: "For years [quinoa] was looked down on just like the indigenous movement To remember that past is to remember discrimination against quinoa and now after so many years it is reclaiming its rightful recognition as the most important food for life."
However, there are concerns the 5,000 year-old ancestral crop is being eaten less by its traditional consumers: quinoa farmers. "They have westernised their diets because they have more profits and more income," says Mejia, an agronomist. "Ten years ago they had only an Andean diet in front of them. They had no choice. But now they do and they want rice, noodles, candies, coke, they want everything!"
Daysi Munoz, who runs a La Paz-based quinoa farming collective, agrees. "As the price has risen quinoa is consumed less and less in Bolivia. It's worth more to them [the producers] to sell it or trade it for pasta and rice. As a result, they're not eating it any more."
Bitter battles are being fought over prime quinoa-growing land. Last February dozens of people were hurt when farmers fought with slings and sticks of dynamite over what was once abandoned land.
Many people who migrated to cities in search of a better life are now returning to their arid homeland to grow royal quinoa, says Mejia. Most land is communally owned, she adds, so "the government needs to set out the boundaries or there will be more conflicts".
In the village of Lacaya, near Lake Titicaca, the farmers have recently sown quinoa. It grows faster in the wetter conditions but the varietyquinua dulce is less sought after than royal quinoa.
Under the perpendicular rays of the intense altiplano sun, Petrona Uriche's face is heavily shadowed by her felt bowler hat. She says in the three years her village has been farming quinoa it has become the biggest earner. "We produce quinoa just for export, it's more profitable," she said. An 11.5kg arroba sack of quinoa can fetch eight times more than it did a few years ago, around $2 a kg, she adds.
But the Bolivian government – which like its neighbour Peru is heavily promoting quinoa nationally to combat malnutrition – insists Bolivians are eating more of the grain. Annual consumption per person has increased fourfold from 0.35kg to 1.11 kg in as many years "in spite of the high international prices", Victor Hugo Vásquez, Bolivia's vice-minister for rural development and agriculture, said.
Previous government figures, however, indicated domestic consumption had dropped by a third in five years.
Judging by the supermarket shelves in Bolivia's de facto capital, La Paz, where quinoa-based products from pizza crusts and hamburgers to canapes and breakfast cereals are displayed, Bolivia's growing middle class appear to be the principal consumers.
Meanwhile in the Peruvian capital, Lima, shoppers at food markets complain quinoa is becoming a luxury product. Selling at around 10 Peruvian soles per kg (£2.44) it costs more than chicken (7.8 soles per kg) and four times as much as rice. Official figures show domestic consumption has dropped.
"Unfortunately in poorer areas they don't have access to products such as quinoa and it's becoming more and more expensive," Peru's vice-minister for agriculture, Juan Rheineck, said at a breakfast for under-fives at the Casa de los Petisos children's home in Lima. The children are fed boiled eggs and quinoa and apple punch, part of a government programme to promote nutritious breakfasts. "That's what we have to avoid, we have to produce better and more," he said.
Peru's government cut chronic malnutrition in under-fives nationally to 16.5% in 2011 but it is still widely prevalent in poorer Andean regions. According to the World Bank, 27.2% of under-fives in Bolivia suffered chronic malnutrition in 2008.
Peru's telegenic first lady, Nadine Heredia, is championing a colourful campaign to promote the Andean diet, of which quinoa is a key element, to combat infant malnutrition. In 2012 Peru banked nearly $35m from quinoa exports, tripling what it earned three years ago. In Bolivia exports tripled to around 23,000 tonnes, contributing some $85m to the country's economy,Vásquez said.
But experts say both countries need to boost production to meet the rising external demand and provide the grain at lower prices for internal consumption. Bolivia, which produces nearly half the global supply, says it has given more than $5m in credits to 70,000 quinoa producers and wants to industrialise production to bring added value rather than just exporting the raw material.
Hydrocarbons and minerals are Bolivia's two key exports, but Mejia believes if the country aggressively promoted quinoa agriculture "in 10 years it could easily surpass the income from gas and minerals".

What is quinoa?

Quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa willd) is actually a "pseudo-grain", not belonging to the true grass family but a member of the goosefoot plant family, which includes spinach and sugarbeet.
Its exceptional nutritional qualities led Nasa to include it as part of its astronauts' diet on long space missions. A 1993 Nasa technical paper says: "While no single food can supply all the essential life sustaining nutrients, quinoa comes as close as any other in the plant or animal kingdom."
Quinoa is the only plant food that contains all 10 essential amino acids for the human diet. Its protein content (between 14%-18%) surpasses that of wheat, rice, maize and oats, and can be a substitute to animal protein. Its calorific value is greater than that of eggs and milk and comparable only to that of meat.
It is a source of vitamin E, vitamin B2 (riboflavin) and contains more minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium and phosphorus than other grains.
Recent research found quinoa contains phytoestrogens, which are said to prevent or reduce osteoporosis, arteriosclerosis, breast cancer and other conditions that can be caused by lack of oestrogen after the menopause.
• This article was amended on 15 January 2013 to remove the following line: Studies at Kings College London have shown quinoa helps coeliacs (people intolerant to gluten) to regenerate gluten tolerance. This was removed because there is debate about the accuracy of the statement.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

10 Words that Change the World | Slow Food International

Here's a post I drafted two weeks ago and just found. I'd come across this post on Slow Food International's website  10 Words that Change the World | Slow Food International - Good, Clean and Fair food and wanted to share it here.

First to fill you in if you are not familiar with this global organisation:

Slow Food is a global, grassroots organization with supporters in 150 countries around the world who are linking the pleasure of good food with a commitment to their community and the environment.

A non-profit member-supported association, Slow Food was founded in 1989 to counter the rise of fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world. 

Today, we have over 100,000 members joined in 1,500 convivia – our local chapters – worldwide, as well as a network of 2,000 food communities who practice small-scale and sustainable production of quality foods.

NB: 2008 
Founder Carlo Petrini named one of the '50 people who could save the planet' by the British newspaper The Guardian.

Slow Food Philippines
Pasil Traditional Farmers' Day

10 Words that Change the World
Italy - 25 Oct 12
At the opening ceremony of the Salone del Gusto and Terra Madre, speakers from Alice Waters to Vandana Shiva and FAO Director José Graziano Da Silva interpreted the key words of the event - earth, seeds, water, education, biodiversity and more – in front of a packed auditorium of thousands of representatives of Slow Food and Terra Madre food communities from around the world.

“Terra Madre is the celebration of diversity. Of languages, cultures, colors and tastes. Diversity is essential for food security and the importance of food in our lives is clear… There was a time when humans used tens of thousands of vegetables, cereals but today we rely on just a few cereals. But now is not the time to complain. We must focus on going forward and promoting sustainable models.”
José Graziano Da Silva, Director-General of the FAO 
“Life renews in seeds. Food begins with seeds. In India the word for seeds means ‘that from which life arises’. Today, the very source of life is being appropriated and privatized. A seed by its very nature gives. This apple seed doesn’t say “give me a royalty or I won’t give you the apple.” Seeds give back and that’s a problem for greed. A seed is not invented; it is millions of years of evolution, thousands of years of breeding. Every patent on a seed is a theft, it is biopiracy.”
Vandana Shiva, president and founder of Navdanya

“Pleasure and justice must go hand in hand. The power of Slow Food is connecting the two. Pleasure and taste bring people together, bring people back to the table, establishing a new relationship with food and each other. In schools we can reach all children, and if we feed all children delicious wholesome sustainable food it can become a right for all and not just a privilege. We know the unrelenting forces of fast food nation are indoctrinating our children, and that’s why we need the universal and very-possible solution of an edible education.”
Alice Waters, chef and founder of the Edible Schoolyard Project 

“Today we are here as one big family to celebrate what was started 20 years ago. What we have built takes dedication, time and working and thinking together. In Uganda we have managed to connect farmers, volunteers, traders, cooks, journalists, local leader, consumers, schools and so on to defend our agri-biodiversity, culinary traditions and values. A sustainable food chain necessarily involves many stakeholders and to defend it we must stay connected and continue building the Slow Food and Terra Madre network.”
Edward Mukiibi, Slow Food Mukono, Coordinator of Thousand Gardens in Africa project in Uganda 

“The earth has always been violated, misused and mistreated, but its voice never stops talking to us with passion. We love our earth, it’s the only thing that truly exists, producing baskets of sacred food that end up on tables of the world. The earth can be a huge wonderful garden, where we harvest the ideas of human knowledge. With respect, determination and creativity, this immense knowledge can ensure the earth offers not only the daily bread, but gives rise to dignity, freedom, quality, joy, for all living creatures.”
Carlos Vanegas Valdebenito, CET Expo Movil, Chile 

“If we managed to cut total food loss and waste by half we would have enough food to feed one billion more people, without having to increase production and without placing additional pressure on national resources... With hunger, the only number acceptable is zero.”
José Graziano Da Silva, Director-General of the FAO 

“Water arrived on earth bringing us the gift of life. We, human beings, are organized water. Soil absorbs water as if a treasure, nourishing the countless other crops of the world’s biodiversity. Streams and rivers cross continents, finally reaching seas and lakes, and offer us resources. But once polluted, water is no longer a source of life but a carrier of poisons that cause diseases and kill. We can bring back life and ensure the source of life is pure again by cleaning up environments.”
Carmen Martinez, Coordinator of Slow Food Amaranth Presidium, Mexico 

“Following the nuclear incident in our area and the resulting very high level of radiation, we have been looking for ways for food producers to save their land and products from the contamination. Nuclear policy could radically destroy principles at the basis of the Slow Food movement and we believe it is necessary to promote the use of alternative energies. It doesn’t make sense to use energy sources with high potential to pollute our environment and which destroys connections between people and food, life and our precious land.”
Yoko Sudo, Slow Food Fukushima, Japan 

“In my region, the Balkan cultural and food biodiversity is the result of the wide variety of traditional agricultural practices and gastronomic heritages. The region is home to many old breeds and plant varieties. Facing globalization, intensification and industrialization of agriculture, demand has risen for animal products and livestock development, concentrated on very small number of breeds. This is something very very dangerous. Safeguarding rare breeds is also a tool for ensuring the future of communities. Only in this way and only together can we preserve agrobiodiversity for future generation and save these valuable genes.”
Ivanov Sergez, Stara Planina breeders food community, Serbia 

“In these years, Terra Madre has been observed with curiosity, seen in terms of anthropology, folklore. No. This reality must be seen as a big political phenomenon. The politics of Terra Madre will come with serenity and celebration...This crisis won’t be overcome with sadness. At Terra Madre, politics has taken joy by the hand.”
Carlo Petrini, Slow Food International founder and president 

I have mentioned at this blog frequently and posted on Vindana Shiva (see Seeds above) on several occasions.

Slow Themes

To read this page... the Slow food Education Manifesto ... go to the pdf magazine Slow Foods Almanac 2011 where pages or the whole magazine are able to be downloaded. Its a wonderful document of all aspects of the work of Slow Foods International. Artfully presented and comprehensive in its depth of focus.

Istanbul, TURKEY
Genç Çevre Girişimi organized an event in their office in Istanbul, coming together to prepare Aşurem Bereketim their traditional dessert made from all natural fruits and cereals.

Slow Food Magalies Valley, SOUTH AFRICA
We celebrated Terra Madre Day with an Earth market where convivium members sold food products grown and processed in the valley, many with a Christmas theme. Products on sale included free-range pork and suckling pig, free-range chickens and geese, seasonal vegetables, preserves, smoked hams and local olive oil. All items were made seasonal produce grown in the valley, including artisanal beers.
Slow Food Mauritius
Launch of our Towards Organic Planting (TOP) workshop - to build knowledge about sustainable planting and local food production in the community to increase to food gardens in schools, communities, restaurants, hotels, companies and institutions.
Merida, MEXICO
Convivium Slow Food San Jose, Costa Rica
An eco-gastro festival, with traditional foods, crafts and organic producers, was held at the Parque de Curridabat.

Slow Food São Paulo, BRAZIL
"Um dia de campo urbano"
A day of urban foraging for food...
Slow Food Jabotedabek, INDONESIA
Purple rice, gudeg, noodle from ganyong, krecek and papaya leaf.

All images are from the Terre Madre Day 2012 celebrations shown on Facebook by Slow Food International. Read more on Terre Madre Day here.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

A new colour for Australian weather maps: climate change is loading the weather dice

Australian Bureau of Metereology temperature map
Australian Bureau of Metereology temperature map - with a new colour for 52-54C.
Photograph: BOM. 
Click the image to see a larger version

IN the news this week in Australia are stories of fires currently burning in most states of Australia. A Sydney Morning Herald story I read in a cafe this morning was also reported on the Guardian Environment blog... so I am sharing the images and excerpts of that story here. Click to read the full Guardian blog article.

From the Guardian:

Global warming is turning the volume of extreme weather up, Spinal-Tap-style, to 11. The temperature forecast for next Monday by Australia's Bureau of Meteorology is so unprecedented - over 52C - that it has had to add a new colour to the top of its scale, a suitably incandescent purple.
Australia's highest recorded temperature is 50.7C, set in January 1960 in South Australia. The record for the hottest average day across the nation was set on Monday, at 40.3C, exceeding a 40-year-old record. "What makes this event quite exceptional is how widespread and intense it's been," said Aaron Coutts-Smith, the weather bureau's climate services manager. "We have been breaking records across all states and territories in Australia over the course of the event so far." Wildfires are raging across New South Wales and Tasmania.
Australia's prime minister Julia Gillard said: "Whilst you would not put any one event down to climate change, weather doesn't work like that, we do know over time that as a result of climate change we are going to see more extreme weather events and conditions."

Heatwave in Australia : Bushfires in South Wales

Listening to the National Radio the past few days has meant hearing harrowing stories but also some very uplighting ones too. 

This image below taken at the waterside in Tasmania reminds of a story of an oyster farmer who was interviewed yesterday. Someone managed to put on facebook a call out for help at their Oyster Nursery... things looked grim indeed. Soon enough anyone in the area with a refridgeration vehicle turned up and all the stock was taken to safe keeping and, sure enough, the place was later burnt out completely.

Australia heatwave: A melted fibreglass boat at the jetty
A melted fibreglass boat at the jetty after bushfires swept through the region over the weekend at Boomer Bay, on the Tasman peninsula in TasmaniaPhotograph: Rob Blakers/EPA
Communities are increasingly seeing the need to pull together. Old established communities always saw that need... whereas often now people relocate to regions from urban environments with no prior knowledge of living in the bush. Tree-changers and sea-changers come from places where often no-one knows their neighbours. Life in the Australian Bush requires preparedness for all kinds of extreme weather conditions and circumstances. 

These kinds of events are highlighting the need for a great reckoning with how best to live with changing weather conditions in the uncertain future we are now countering.

On the issue of seeds. especially in the wild habitat regions which are under threat, one thing that has been keenly observed for some years now its the increasing problem of seed viability. Too much heat, prolonged heat waves can have a dire impact on many species... and it is only when seeds are collected and tested that the real story is revealed. Plants may appear to be enduring the heat yet their seed can be largely, or completely unviable... that is... unavailable for reproduction.

In 2010 when working in the Mt Coot-tha Seed Lab (a joint project with the KEW Millennium Seedbank) learning from seed technologist Jason Halford he was already reporting loss of seed viability from his field trips across Queensland during over previous few years. Long years of drought had impacted significantly and the MSB partnerships had dramatically scaled up the monitoring of climatic impacts on seed viability in 2000 with the opening of the award-winning architect designed new Millennium Seedbank at Wakehurst Place in West Sussex.

Hyaenanche globosa seed
Wolfgang Stuppy - read his blog post here:

Fire destroys and then there is renewal. 

What concerns scientists and the like in this country are the changing conditions occurring around this age old phenomenon. To look at the map of Australia is to see a very large continent. The population in 2012 stood at   22,866,048

Its easy to do the maths and think it a massively underpopulated country.

However, when I saw the map of Australia yesterday, and fires burning across the continent, I was reminded of tough facts we've been hearing about for some years...  heat begetting more heat and creating conditions that tip easily into extreme fire danger ... one can only think of this continent as being extremely vulnerable and NOT quite the paradise our brochures tempt us to believe for the most part.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

May the seeds you've planted bring forth abundance in 2013!

Allocasuarina duncanii germinating on 1% Agar at the Tasmanian Seed Conservation Centre. Allocasuarina do not shed seeds but winged fruits called samara. These usually contain a single seed but occasionally you get two sprouting from a single fruit.
Allocasuarina duncanii germinating on 1% Agar at the Tasmanian Seed Conservation Centre. Allocasuarina do not shed seeds but winged fruits called samara. These usually contain a single seed but occasionally you get two sprouting from a single fruit.

what seeds have you planted for 2013?

I've been reflecting hugely on my work on the 'homage to the seed' project as 2012 came to an end and 2013 begins to unfold. Its a project of many parts really. First and foremost I draw, paint and make work out of the musing and research I do on seeds.

Ive been writing about this and weighing up my direction and projects within the project.  More on this in posts to come!

On a different tangent I've been following the Agricultural Biodiversity Weblog for some time, recently posting on their work. Scanning their blog tonight I found articles I wish to share... and this statement under "about" first-off.

"Separated by half a world but united by their passion for agricultural biodiversity and the internet, Luigi Guarino and Jeremy Cherfas decided to create a space that would allow them to indulge their passions and maybe do some good. This blog is it.
Our aim is to collect in one place anything we find on the internet that relates somehow to the notion of agricultural biodiversity (or agrobiodiversity, though we don’t particularly like the word), a big tent but one that the whole of humanity shelters beneath. If that helps others to find things of interest, so much the better."
I noted this new year's resolution at their blog:

New Year Resolution No. 8: Disengage from the whole are-GMOs-good-or-bad? thing. It’s the wrong question, and nobody is listening anyhow.

That took me to the Nature Education KNOWLEDGE PROJECT:

History of Agricultural Biotechnology: How Crop Development has Evolved

By: Wieczorek Ania (Dept of Tropical Plant and Soil Sciences, University of Hi at Manoa) & Wright Mark (Dept of Plant and Env Protection Sciences, University of Hi at Manoa) © 2012 Nature Education 
Citation: Wieczorek, A. M. & Wright, M. G. (2012) History of Agricultural Biotechnology: How Crop Development has Evolved. Nature Education Knowledge 3(10):9

Soil: The Foundation of Agriculture

By: Sanjai J. Parikh (Department of Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California, Davis) & Bruce R. James (Department of Environmental Science and Technology, University of Maryland, College Park.) © 2012 Nature Education 
Citation: Parikh, S. J. & James, B. R. (2012) Soil: The Foundation of Agriculture. Nature Education Knowledge 3(10):2

Soil, Agriculture, and Agricultural Biotechnology
  •  |  Lead Editor:  Sanjai J. Parikh

Sustainable Agriculture

By: Brodt Sonja (UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program and Agricultural Sustainability Institute), Six Johan (Department of Plant Sciences, UC), Feenstra Gail (UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program and Agricultural Sustainability Institute), Ingels Chuck (University of California Cooperative Extension, Sacramento County) & Campbell David (Department of Human and Community Development, UC) © 2011 Nature Education 
Citation: Brodt, S., Six, J., Feenstra, G., Ingels, C. & Campbell, D. (2011) Sustainable Agriculture. Nature Education Knowledge 3(10):1

There's some serious reading in those links... and important things to consider!

I'll finish with this pdf I put together from photos taken straight from the TV screening of David Attenborough's Kingdom of Plants in November last year of ABC TV. Its a 3-part series and during the final show there was a brief overview of the Kew Garden's Millennium Seedbank Partnership.

I was excited to see Attenborough tell the story of a plant I had been fascinated by in the greenhouse during my three week residency in 2011 onsite at the Seedbank. 

Also filmed was Wolfgang Stuppy who'd been my contact person at the MSB. As a seed morphologist he is often called on to talk about the work being done onsite and to explain the world of seeds.

New posts at my Visual Eclectica blog and Studio Archives blog refer to early 2013 plans... its off to a very busy start in terms of prep for an exhibition and other projects to come whilst also traversing a major life change involving selling a home and finding a new residence.

If I'm a bit absent from the blogs in the coming months you'll know why!

cheerio till next time!

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