Seeds of Currency

By John Metcalf

In this Article...

John Metcalf discusses the concept of seeds being used as a currency form in bartering and trading.

Throughout history seeds and food were always an important trading commodity. It has only really been the past 100 years, where most people in the western world have become not only detached from their food source, more importantly we have lost our connection to the cycle of planting seed, nurturing seedlings, maturing the plant, harvesting and saving the seed for next year. Within that seed is my future, your future and humanities future. 

A seed (of varying sizes) contains within it, all the information it needs to continue its species life cycle. Not only from all the previous generations’ growth and fruiting, but also a seed will record other changes in the environment; temperature, precipitation and disease etc. This enables the next generation of seed to be able to adapt to our ever changing climate. 

To myself, apart from knowledge, I ask; What will be the next trading commodity? Food, especially seeds will emerge as a currency of sorts, especially as food and other imported goods become more expensive and harder to obtain. Our knowledge and skills will also become seeds of exchange in the future. 

Investment in seeds is an investment in yourself, in your bright future. It’s true that nothing can live in isolation, there needs to be support mechanisms for each organism so it can thrive. Seed exchange will be the channel of trade in the future. 

Trade or Barter, is in its very essence the freest and most equal form of exchange, simply because both parties agree on a win/win outcome and the trades only outcome is that both parties need the product or service. Moreover, the continued exchange with your neighbour, etc, will lead to a relationship of trust and mutual fulfilment. 

Our souls are seeds that need to be nurtured too. For me; seeds are the future and because they represent the potentiality for life they ought to be held in the highest regard. 

To believe that all life on Earth generated from seed and within that shell-sometimes so small we can’t see it with the naked eye-has the potential life force to carry on the evolution of that species. 

For the past century since the introduction of monoculture farming and the advent of chemical fertilisers and GM seeds produced by companies like Monsanto, Syngenta and Bayer, there has been a direct yet subtle and covert attack on the natural order of things. 

Any natural system including our food and mind, are part of a wider web of life. Most of our actions are based on learning through subjective experience, which form ideas and belief systems to influence further the actions we take and how we feel on a daily basis. Without an understanding of how any system works effectively, it never will flow naturally. 

Heirloom seeds contain within it, all the previous generations experiences, its ability to adapt and become stronger. This is the direct lineage to our ancestors’ stories. Although we have been cultivating and breeding seeds in one way or another for millennia, we have done so by partnering with nature not against it. 

Heirloom and open -pollinated seeds give us the genetics of health and abundance. Seeds that have a heritage of natural selection, express their highest attributes, which means when we save seed from the plants we grow, we can continually grow healthier, stronger plants that become resistant to attack from pests and disease. 

I have come to realise the depth of knowledge that can be gained from observing how a natural eco-food system continually creates, decays and reinvents itself, constantly seeking homeostasis, in the pursuit of growth and life. This cycle begins and ends with seeds. 

Our mind and society is like this too. To become aware of these functions and how it influences society and our minds, is essential if we are to truly grow. 

Seeds are our past, they are our future. We can continue this heritage by sowing seeds today.


By John Metcalf,

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