A seed is the most powerful asset of a farmer.
With the transformation of agriculture into an industrial process over the last 50 years, high yield varieties of seeds and emphasize on standardization and monoculture have led to the disappearance of local seeds and the knowledge to cultivate and propagate them.
Desi seeds (or native/indigenous seeds or heirloom seeds) are the heritage of a community that not only represent the culture of a community but also holds the memory of its larger environmental context.
These seeds are open-pollinated and thus are diverse and resilient to changes in the climate they grow and evolve. Communities also save their seeds based on the food they like to eat, the health of the plant in their context and the needs of the plant that can be met easily.
Thus, a farmer saving her/his own seed is not only independent of the exploitative industrial seed corporation but also has autonomy and power in deciding what food they want to grow and eat creating a culture of food sovereignty.
Open-pollinated seeds are also resilient and more productive over the long term than the “high yield” varieties of seeds available in the market, especially in the rapidly changing climate and environmental context.
Saving seeds is a duty of every farmer and this is how they hand over the promise of a resilient culture of food to the future generations.
Shunya farm has grown and conserved a bank of diverse seeds, some native and some naturalized in Bir over the years and made them available to the local farmers and to urban migrants aspiring to grow their food.
All the seeds listed here are open-pollinated, saved at the farm and hand cleaned. These seeds continue to get better every year and are less resource-intensive and more productive for the amount resources they use.
Good seeds are the first requirement for good food and desi or open-pollinated seeds are indispensable for organic and natural farming practices.
To obtain these seeds, please visit the farm or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cape Gooseberry – Mulberry – Blackberry – Tree tomato
Basil Tulasi – Basil Genovese – Basil Himachali – Corriander – Parsely
Lettuce – Arugula
Kale – Collards – Spinach
Cherry tomato – Perennial Chili
Green radish – White radish – Turmeric – Ginger – Mango Ginger
French beans – Colombian bean piriguya – Rajma local v. Hema
Sparrow gourd – Bottle Gourd – Ridge Gourd – Cucumber – White Pumpkin – Orange Pumpkin
Corn desi – Corn Colombian – Amaranth
Black soybean – White Soybean
Carrots Nantes – Turnip – White radish – Green radish
Celery – Fennel
Lettuce – Arugula
Wheat – Barley – Oats