I am a small farmer in Central Brazil, near Brasília, and I am trying to recover the plant diversity that is being destroyed by the soybeans monoculture and beef cattle for export. I intend to create a small seed bank. I would very much appreciate seed donations.
Can you help, please?
I am sure looking forward to establishing a fruitful partnership with you.
I am a 49 years old single man who worked most of my life as a school teacher and also as a volunteer in small agricultural communities, some of them land reform projects. I was born and raised in a rural area. I watched an unbelievable change in our environment in my life time. From a poor but well fed rural population with a tremendous biodiversity we went, in only some 30 years, into an urban and hungry high tech, grain and meat exporting society.
Small rural properties were turned into large farms and soy beans and corn became the solo cultivars.
When I was growing up we had a great variety of vegetables, grains and fruits available in almost every farm and town homes backyards. This variety disappeared and now we can't even find their seeds anymore. Peasants buy vegetables in stores that buy them from gardens 800 kilometers away.
Our diversity of cultivars not only disappeared but also the culture of gardening.
Now we have a land reform movement intended to take people back to the land and easy the big cities miserable outskirts. The drama is that the small farmers are also trying to raise cattle or plant soybeans. Our State of Goiás has a larger population of cattle then of people. Of course the native savannah and forest like vegetation was almost completely destroyed.
My dream is to help recover diversity and teach people to appreciate and practice gardening. A seed bank is a very important step to make this dream come true.
This region in Central Brazil is a high plateau of between 1500 to 2000 meters above sea level. The climate is mild with 6 months of dry season and 6 months of rainy season. Water is abundant all year over. It is possible to cultivate all vegetables as in the USA and Europe, fruits from oranges to grapes, but not pears or apples, although strawberries and blackberries do well here.
Researching in the internet I learned to my surprise that all the gourds, squashes, watermelons, melons, tomatoes, amaranths, cucumbers, hot and sweet peppers, mazes, sweet potatoes, beans and berries that were common here as I was growing up and now have disappeared completely are offered by many organizations and stores in the USA and Europe. Seeing some sites lists, for example, was like going back in time and after many years I saw yellow watermelon, the dark colored tomatoes and so on.
My land is 12.47 hectares, rich in stream water, very good fertility being that in some spots we can plant without any fertilizer. I plant in it for one year now. Pests are normal caterpillars and in the rainy season some fungi. I have been able to control all pests with neen, tobacco and ashes, plus tagets, hot peppers and onion.
I do have space for seed storage but have to develop better techniques.
I am open to answer any of your questions. I can also try to send you some pictures on our land. It is called by the name Ivy Porã, which means “beautiful land” in Tupi, one of our native people's dead languages.
I am very exited about any thing that may come out of our dialog.
Wishing you the best!
Onaldo Alves Pereira
Caixa postal 114
CEP 74 001 970 Goiânia,
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