Riddells Creek Seed Savers (RCSS) is a group of home gardeners dedicated to preserving traditional, non-hybrid, open-pollinated food seed varieties which do well in the Macedon Ranges. Over the past 100 years or so, we have lost 80-90% of our fruit and vegetable varieties worldwide, this threatens the genetic diversity of our food plants. The big seed companies are focussed on profit, so can’t be relied upon to maintain our plant heritage. Home gardeners have a crucial role as the stewards of food plant biodiversity. This becomes increasingly important as we experience the effects of climate change on our food sources.
Locally successful varieties may be maintained through genetic selection the old fashioned way: collecting seed from plants which have the characteristics we want to encourage, eg tomatoes which set early, or continue fruiting into autumn, or coriander which does not bolt. In this way we are adapting the variety to our local conditions.
Members of Transition Town Riddell will be hosting a seed winnowing and hulling display at the festival throughout the day, where you can also learn more about local seed saving techniques and plant varieties.
Festival Permaculture Garden, Rear of 47 Forest St, Woodend.