Alfred Reed Bishop and Doris William Butler

The picture above is the very tap root of Bishop's Homegrown/Face Of The Earth Seed. My grandparents shortly after moving to Pekin Indiana from Greensburg KY in 1947 where they purchased the farm that is now Bishop's Homegrown. This picture was taken in Pekin in front of the old co-op next to the old railroad depot, neither of which exist today.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A Brief History Of Homegrown Goodness/Hip-Gnosis Seed Development

Written By: Alan Reed Bishop/Hip-Gnosis Seed Development/Bishop's Homegrown/Homegrown Goodness.

Mike and some others on the Homegrown Goodness Message Board had asked me to write an intro to a couple of projects we are working on, I decided to wax philosophical about this history and this is what I came up with:

A brief history of Hip-Gnosis Seed Development and the Homegrown Goodness Forum.

10,000 years ago a paradigm shift occurred. Humankind, in short order, went from a hunter-gathering society of nomadic peoples and evolved into a focused agrarian society centering much of their life on taming the wild plant and animal life and parlaying them into domesticated species for specific use as human food.

Even the earliest forms of agriculture were close approximations of “eco-logical” webs in that they mimicked to one degree or another what was naturally occurring in the pastures, forests, and desserts of the locale in which the gardens were planted.

For 10,000 years this system supported our entire food web.

Unfortunately during the 20’th century our evolving ancient technologies was commercially ripped from under our very feet and replaced by “modern” hybrids, unsustainable fossil fertilizers, and an inordinate amount of so called agricultural knowledge, but this is not the knowledge of our ancestors and certainly not the genetic memory of our 10,000 year agrarian history.

It is into this world that Hip-Gnosis Seed Development and the Homegrown Goodness Forum was delivered from the spiritual and physical womb of the earth herself. It was in this modern agricultural system that I first felt the alienation of what we were doing to the bio-diversity, the soil, the water, and the air of our planet and how this affected all of us and the extant “human condition”.

In the spirit of all the generations of our ancestors Hip-Gnosis was created to both foster the seeds which were saved for us by generations of our agricultural ancestors and to further their work with agricultural crops by creating new varieties and returning their genetics to the public domain in such a way that would allow others to affect the outcome of these genetics and leave their own fingerprint on our future food crops and their history. A public domain seed breeding and genetic material exchange. For the people and by the people, and with an emphasis on exploration. Seeds for inner and outer space explorers. Hip = New, Gnosis = Knowledge.

The Homegrown Goodness forum became an essential extension of such an endevor as a seed is only of value if it is shared, disseminated, and grown by others. As I gathered knowledge of self sustainable systems and plant breeding as well as agricultural history I knew that I had to have a way to let this excitement and enthusiasm for what would be possible in the future and for what has come by way of the past in order for this project to live outside of my own being, as such it was important to find like minded individuals who were interested in self sustainability, love, and knowledge and to share what I had with them and them likewise with myself. At first it was slow to grow, now it has a life of it’s own. It has become a self sustainable loose association of interrelated cells, each working towards a common goal.

This flower, this project, this fertility of Gnosis is blooming now.

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