Arche Noah: English Pages, Open Letter and Workshop

Arche Noah (German for ‘Noah’s Ark’) is the Austrian organization I am working with most closely in lobbying for the new European seed laws.  In the last few months they have put up an English language section on their website, and included in this is their open letter (German, English and French) concerning the seed law changes, signed by a number of other well known European seed organizations.

Tomorrow I fly to Vienna again for a weekend workshop that follows from the one a few months ago.

Australian Seedsavers Portuguese Tour

Margarida of the Portuguese Seed Savers recently sent an email to a mailing list I’m on, telling everyone about the visit to their country by the founders of the Australian Seedsavers. One of the coordinators of the Australian organization is Kate, known to some of you because she has a blog and visited some of us in Europe too.

Anyway, the Australian Seedsavers met more than 400 people in Portugal. They visited food gardens at several locations and taught workshops on collecting and saving seeds, traditional plant varieties, edible seeds, permaculture, activism and kitchen gardens in schools.

You can read more about this in Portuguese here, or in English here.

Resilient Seed

Ella von der Haide has produced Resilient Seed, a film about the action days in Brussels last April.  The film includes interviews with many interesting people who attended and/or organized the event.  If you know where to look there are a few glimpses of me, and Bifurcated Carrots is mentioned in the credits at the end.

This is the English version, and they’ve promised to make versions in other languages as time permits.  Especially as someone who participated, it’s really nice to watch the film and think back on a great weekend, with great people, that so many worked so hard to organize.

Untitled from sab inee on Vimeo.

Another World Blog

A friend of mine who lives locally has a travel blog called Another World Blog.

Since he’s recently moved to the Netherlands he’s now writing a lot about the country from the point of view as an immigrant.  At the moment, he’s very interested in exploring Dutch customs and traditions.  He’s also travelled other places and written about those too.

I often don’t write much about living in the Netherlands.  For this reason I like to recommend other blogs with this kind of material.  I hope you have a look at his blog, and maybe leave a comment or two…

How the Netherlands Got Its Cycle Paths

From time to time I read about interest in the US or other places about how Europe does it’s traffic engineering.  For example I’ve heard a number of US cities are adopting traffic circles modelled after those in the UK.

A few Dutch cities with particularly dangerous and complicated intersections have apparently pretty successfully implemented the ‘hands off’ approach, and removed all signals and warning signs.  This is in the theory that everyone approaching a dangerous situation tends to see it, slow down and be more careful.  Apparently having too many signs is a distraction.  A lot of attention has been paid to these recently.

Anyway, the question comes up from time to time, how did the Dutch get their amazing network of bicycle paths, which can be found everywhere in the country?  If you’re like me perhaps you might think it’s just a natural thing, because the country is so flat or because cycling is so popular.  Actually, there’s a story about this, and a lesson to be learned.  Here’s a video I found recently.