Will Bonsall joins us for lively talk featuring his work over the past forty years with the Scattered Seed Project and his newest release Will Bonsall's Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening. Books will be available for purchase and signatures.
The Scatterseed Project, as featured in the documentary "Seed: The Untold Story", was started by Will Bonsall in Industry, Maine over 40 years ago. His vision was to grow a diverse array of crops in order to protect diversity and connect people with their horticultural heritage. Currently the Scatterseed Project collects, maintains, and distributes thousands of varieties of crop plants, many of them rare or endangered.
In Will Bonsall's Essential Guide to Radical, Self-Reliant Gardening, Bonsall maintains that to achieve real wealth we first need to understand the economy of the land, to realize that things that might make sense economically don't always make sense ecologically, and vice versa. The marketplace distorts our values, and our modern dependence on petroleum in particular presents a serious barrier to creating a truly sustainable agriculture.
For him the solution is, first and foremost, greater self-reliance, especially in the areas of food and energy. By avoiding any off-farm inputs (fertilizers, minerals, and animal manures), Bonsall has learned how to practice a purely veganic, or plant-based, agriculture—not from a strictly moralistic or philosophical perspective, but because it makes good business sense: spend less instead of making more.
What this means in practical terms is that Bonsall draws upon the fertility of on-farm plant materials: compost, green manures, perennial grasses, and forest products like leaves and ramial wood chips. And he grows and harvests a diversity of crops from both cultivated and perennial plants: vegetables, grains, pulses, oilseeds, fruits and nuts—even uncommon but useful permaculture plants like groundnut (Apios).
** Can you include the following links above:
Will Bonsall (first pp)
Scattered Seed Project (first pp)
Will Bonsall's Guide.....
Seed: The Untold Story (second pp)