I sat down with Chris Hardy recently to talk about seed gardens, permaculture, and the fight against bio-tech and GMO's in Jackson and Josephine Counties. Several years ago Chris noticed that a nearby farm was growing GMO sugar beets, and he would go on to become an key player in the movement to ban GMO crops from the Rogue River Valley. After a long information war with big bio-tech companies who outspent the GMO crop ban advocacy campaign ten to one, our local community voted to ban GMO crops in two different counties.
Chris and I met while taking a permaculture course with Tomi Hazel (aka Tom Ward) in 2010, and we have stayed in touch over the years. In this interview we discuss permaculture, seed farming, and some of the challenges we face trying to transition out of industrial food systems and back to more natural, sustainable practices.
We took a walk through one of Chris's gardens, where he is growing a variety of heirloom grains and vegetables, mostly for seed, though also for eating.