[permaculture] Re: permaculture Digest, Vol 20, Issue 50

J Hobbs hobbsj at efn.org
Wed Sep 29 14:24:59 EDT 2004

  Hello All,
I'm back reading this list after  several months absence. Here are a 
few thoughts and references...

Quite the verbiage surrounding the cost/pay of a PDC...seems  the key 
is no dogma- no absolutes-- what works with one region/person will 
not in another.

What I love to hear about is the life of Meg in Kansas--we need 
examples of how these whole integrated systems  work... beautiful-- 
thanks, Meg.

References for Anne:
* Water For Every Farm. P. A and Ken Yeomans.
* Earth Ponds. Matson, Tim. Countryman. in McClarney

Response to Sandra regarding the question:  Who was the seed Keeper? 
(Sandra Beerman)

Below is an An excerpt of an article I wrote for  Oregon Tilth's In 
Good Tilth 2004 summer publication.

"..... My curiosity of what roles women played in agriculture have 
led me to this research."}
In developing tribes and nations the cultivation of soil was 
primarily in women's hands. Many ancient religious myths credit the 
invention of agriculture to the goddess. For example, in Egyptian 
records the goddess Isis is referred to as the inventor of 
agriculture and in Mesopotamian the goddess Ninlil was revered for 
teaching people to farm. The ancient Greeks called Gaea the Earth 
goddess and "Great Mother," and the Romans called her "Terra Mater," 
the earth mother.
As you see, many names represent women's connection to the land. 
Scientist Nancy Tanner wrote that in earliest civilization, "Women 
were the gatherers," which played a critical role in the evolution of 
the species. The children of these women shared food and improved 
gathering techniques. Women planted seeds in their encampments and 
began to tame young animals as they did their children.
This evolutionary period represents the birth of agrarian culture. As 
food gatherers, inventions attributed to women include the digging 
stick, carrying sling, sickle and other knives. Other discoveries 
connected to food processing and preservation were the mortar and 
pestle, drying, roasting, grinding and fermenting technologies, and 
the storage of food in baskets or clay-lined storage pits. Women also 
discovered propagation by shoots and cuttings, seed selection and the 
construction of seedling beds. Cultivation methods credited to women 
include the use of ash as fertilizer, work tools such as the hoe, 
spade, shovel and simple plough, fallowing and crop rotation, 
mulching, terracing, contour planting, irrigation and land 
restoration through tree planting. Women are known for domesticating 
the eight most important grains: rice, maize, barley, oats, sorghum, 
millet, rye and wheat.
According to Murdock's ethnographic atlas, in one half of the 142 
advanced horticultural societies, farming was the exclusive domain of 
women. Women have tended the soil, garden and farm since the earliest 

A wonderful resources on this topic is: With these Hands: Women 
Working on the Land by Joan Jensen

In hopes of Peace and a sane outcome for the U.S. election,
Please VOTE!

Agro-Ecology Northwest                                  Oregon 

>Message: 8
>Date: Fri, 24 Sep 2004 19:18:22 -0700
>From: "Sandra Beerman" <sbeerman at tymewyse.com>
>Subject: [permaculture] Who was the seed Keeper?
>To: "permaculture" <permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org>
>Message-ID: <004201c4a2a5$f00835f0$eda0f3cd at yourw04gtxld67>
>Content-Type: text/plain;	charset="iso-8859-1"
>Hi, I have a question and was wondering if you all could  help. In 
>groups through history Who was the "Seed Keeper"?
>Native Americans started out as hunter-gathers but at some point in 
>time turned to "farming"? How about older groups? How were the 
>future crops seed entrusted and to who?
>Any information you may have will be helpful.
>The reason I ask is as I was sorting my bean seed I noticed I had 
>not taken care of them as I should have, Some had mold. Witch I 
>surely would have been able to stop if I had made sure they were 
>exposed to more air all along.
>If this was the only food for my group I be in deep trouble.
>  This started me thinking about the history for seed saving, and 
>wondering how different groups saved seed and who was in charge.
>I'm not sure this has any thing to do with Permaculture but with out 
>seed I guess there would be no need for Permaculture.
Thank for your input.  Sandie OR.


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