Companion planting is not just about the plants.  Returning to our own back yards to embrace the once-declining skill of food-growing, we're rediscovering neighbourliness as well. Growers' markets are social centres. Knowing those whose produce we're eating makes for cooperative relationships.

Local food is an increasingly valuable resource.  Fresh food is highly nutritious. Long-distance food leaves us dangerously dependent on fickle supply lines - exposed to high risk and cost. A viable food economy is created when farmers and backyard growers work together.  

There's nothing to beat dining out of our own back yards.  A food revolution is building momentum fast. Food localisation initiatives around the country include community gardens, rooftop gardens, open orchards, food pools, farmers' markets, urban foraging and neighbourhood fruit collection.

Start a food pool in your neighbourhood:

        We can get a lot more mileage out of our meals

        Making local food the easy option

        A grow-your-own foodbank: the Bank of Real Solutions

        Farmers' Markets

Why is seed saving important?

Seed saving used to be one of a community's most important roles  – our ancestors survived because they saved the seeds that could be depended upon to nourish people.  Over the past 60 years we’ve left seed saving to multinationals who focus on returning a profit to shareholders rather than nourishing people.


The right to save and grow seed is being systematically transferred from farmers to large corporations.  The process robs farmers and communities of a fundamental human right - the right to manage their traditional seed crops - the link with their heritage and the foundation of rural economies - the basis of sustainable family and community sustenance.  The resulting loss of diversity poses a threat to natural ecosystems and to adequate food supplies for future generations.


Furthermore, the need to purchase seed each season – as well as the fertilisers and chemicals on which new varieties depend – has resulted in an alarming level of farmer suicides - just at a time when the world is in great need of experienced and skilled traditional food producers. In India alone, 16,000 farmer suicides were reported in 2004.  The trend toward corporate control of seed is global.


Renowned environment and human rights activist Vandana Shiva predicts a world seed famine – perhaps within as little as four to five years.  However, although the situation is challenging, people are mobilising against this threat.  In her book Earth Democracy, Vandana Shiva reports a movement begun in 1994 that saw five million Indian peasants pledge to save and exchange seed, and to disobey any law that prevents them from doing so.

Seed evolves and adapts to local conditions, and is therefore best saved locally. Some varieties are easily saved by home gardeners.

Back your local seedstock - and learn how to grow and save your own seed: