Free-Market Fundamentalism versus Food Democracy
by Devon G. Peña
People frequently ask me why I save seeds. I reply, “Because I want my corn to dance.”
When I am not teaching at the University of Washington, I work on a 200-acre flood-irrigated farm that also serves as the home for my family’s foundation, The Acequia Institute. We run the farm as an almunyah, which is essentially a private, non-profit “agricultural experiment station”. We serve acequia farmers who are among the oldest family farms in the United States, dating back to well before the arrival of the Spaniards in 1598.
As an experiment station we take our business of preserving and protecting plant genetic resources very seriously. Without the diversity of seeds developed by native farmers, the traditions of sustainable agriculture as we know it today would not exist. (more…)