Florence and Genoa, on April 28-29 and April 30 2014, respectively, will host the International Solidarity Caravan for Seeds, a travelling festival aimed at promoting organic farming, biodiversity, and the importance of preserving and defending local seeds.
Supported by Seed Freedom and Navdanya International – an organization founded by Indian activist and environmentalist Vandana Shiva – the “Seed, Food and Earth Democracy Festival” began in 2012 and will reach its climax in 2015, the year of the Expo in Milan.
A great number of participants have already signed up: around two hundred thousand people have registered with the Navdanya project, with the aim of improving the productivity of soil, thanks to diversification of crops, and promoting agriculture that’s free from poisons, without the use of chemicals.
In Florence the Festival will open on Tuesday, at the Orto Botanico (Botanical Gardens), with the signing of a “Pledge” between children and farmer-custodians, together with Vandana Shiva.
Farmers will hand-over seeds to the younger generations, a symbolic gesture to hand-down the knowledge and flavours of days gone by, so they are preserved for the future.
All the other initiatives of the Festival will take place in Piazza Santissima Annunziata, where everyone will be able to enjoy the Fierucola market, home-produced seed swapping, workshops, debates and music.
Seed Vicious are a group of Grow The Planet users who produce their own seeds to donate and exchange with people all over the world, they couldn’t miss out on such an occasion!
So far, along with Seed Freedom, Navdanya International, La Fierucola, the patronage of Regione Toscana and of Banca Popolare Etica, the other participants are: Rete Semi Rurali; Donne in Campo; Florence Natural History Museum, Botanical Gardens section; Community Garden with Orti Dipinti; Peliti; Associazione Italiana per l’Agricoltura Biodinamica; Coordinamento Toscano Produttori Biologici; Associazione Italiana per l’Agricoltura Biologica; Network of farmers markets; Associazione Permacultura Firenze; AAM Terra Nuova; Biblioteca delle Oblate; Sportello Eco Equo with Orti Volanti, Forum Nazionale Agricoltura Sociale, Coop El Tamiso, Federbio,Coop La Terra e il Cielo with Carta di Arcevia, Seed Vicious group from Grow the Planet, Arcoiris, Professors Concetta Vazzana and Stefano Benedettelli, Adipa, University of Florence, Laboratorio Sismondi University of Pisa and others are still signing up. Members of a number of other European associations, amongst which Demeter, Red de Semillas, Arche Noah, Open House, will also be present and more are still signing up.
Photo: Navdanya International