The Altaura Farm, a recent Earth Charter endorser from Italy, held an event on February 17th that heavily featured the Earth Charter. The event was also in support of organic farming using self-produced organic seeds.
The event featured a guided proposal for organic seed exchange led by Dr. Silvia Ferro of an association called Diversamentebio. Each guest at the event provided his or her own seeds and then explained the characteristics of the species. Afterwards, there was a free exchange of seeds among the guests. Following the seed exchange, Maria Francesca of the Altaura Farm introduced the fundamental principles of the Earth Charter and a copy was provided for each family involved in the exchange.
Afterwards, the old “game of seeds”, known as Mancala, was played. Mancala is a family of board games played around the world. These games are also referred to as “sowing” games, or “count-and-capture” games and seeds are used for pieces. The seeds are no one’s property, they may only be moved! In some versions the player’s object is to bring all the seeds to his or her own side. In other versions, losing can be avoided by a player performing a sow that brings seeds into the ranks of a player in famine, thus saving them. In many mancala versions, rescue (or feeding) of your opponent is a requirement.
One of the activities proposed for children was making seed balls of assorted varieties from several seeds and soil mixed together, taking a walk in the countryside and throwing these ‘farm-balls’ in the bushes. Through this method, rainwater dissolves the farm-balls. From this self-sowing method, many different plants will be born in the spring season, and the hedges will thicken from their growth.