Canadian seeds for a charity project (CBC News Canada)

Read at :

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/story/2011/03/14/calgary-seeds-for-food-africa-malawi-rasula.html

A Calgary man with a passion for seeds is trying to grow his charity project.

Nik Rasula has sent thousands of fruit and vegetable seeds to Africa, his own unique way of giving back as best he can through Seeds for Food.

The Belgium-based charity will replant the seeds in community gardens in developing countries.

Rasula saves seeds from some pretty exotic fruits, including papaya, Mexican ancho chilis, and even dragon fruit, but said it doesn’t have to be that involved.

“Lime seeds work well. Oranges, anything tropical, anything citrus works very, very well. Grapefruit — grapefruit, especially,” said Rasula.

Last fall, he collected, counted, and sent more than 6,000 seeds to Malawi, where they can be prohibitively expensive for many people.

“Effectively what you’re doing is you’re escalating the growth … improving the life for people in need,” said Rasula.

Retired Calgarian Nik Rasula collected more than 6,000 fruit and vegetable seeds last fall and sent them on to Malawi.

Retired Calgarian Nik Rasula collected more than 6,000 fruit and vegetable seeds last fall and sent them on to Malawi. (CBC)

“It’s a great, user-friendly way to provide nutrition, to provide a hand up to people who don’t have the opportunity.”

His next step is to make the trip to Malawi himself to see the fruits of his labour. Until then, he’d like to see more donors sprout up in Calgary.

It’s easy to help out. Instead of throwing away seeds from your fruits and vegetables, rinse them off, let them dry out and send them in the mail.

“All it takes is a little bit of time and a little bit of effort…. You don’t have to be concerned with where your money or funds or goods are ending up,” said Rasula.

To find out more about the project, including where to send the seeds, visit www.seedsforfood.org.

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.