Funded! This project was successfully funded on June 6, 2011.

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A film & cross-media project about sustainable agriculture in Iraq.


NEW: All backers contributing $50 or more will be listed on The Iraqi Seed Project website, those contributing over $100 will also be listed in the credits of the film.

We are now in Iraq.  For all of our backers, at any level, we will be posting exclusive photos and updates from our trip along the way.

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The Iraqi Seed Project wants to start a conversation about sustainable agriculture in Iraq. 

We are getting ready to go to Iraqi Kurdistan for a 3 week filming trip.  On two previous trips we met with many Kurdish and Iraqi farmers and agricultural officials.   We learned a lot on these visits and now we are ready to start filming so that we can share the stories of Iraqi agriculture with all of you! 

Once complete The Iraqi Seed Project will be a film, interactive online media experience, and real life exchange. Together these three elements explore the history and current trials of agriculture in Iraq, seeking innovative solutions to restoring Iraq’s farmland after 30 years of war and bringing Iraqi farmers into the global dialogue about sustainable food production.

We are seeking $8,000 to help fund our trip and enable us to hit the ground running with editing and web development when we get home.

To learn more about The Iraqi Seed ProjectVisit our website!

Read:

Renewing Agriculture in Iraq, The Solutions Journal May/June 2011

Planting Seeds for Change in Iraq, Malibu Grange October 2010

Listen:

Seed Stories, Splendid Table August 2010

Some Background: 

The story starts 10,000 years ago when ancient farmers in modern-day Iraq began domesticating wild plants- important global staples such as wheat, barley, grapes and chickpeas. Through The Iraqi Seed Project's film and interactive website we learn about these important Iraqi crops, ancient relics that give clues to agriculture’s early origins in the region, and meet a wide array of characters who introduce us to what it means to be a farmer in the Fertile Crescent today.

Until the First Gulf War, agriculture employed 30% of Iraq’s population; today the country cannot feed itself and imports the majority of its food supply. The region’s agricultural history spans thousands of years, but after years of war and sanctions, what is left of this legacy for modern day farmers? As foreign aid and ideologies flood the country amidst the reconstruction, it is important to take a moment and listen to the voice of local farmers; what can we learn from them and their history?

With an aging population, dwindling numbers, and difficulties competing in a global economy, small-scale farmers across the world are experiencing similar hardships. The Iraqi Seed Project starts where agriculture began, but speaks to far reaching issues affecting farmers and farmland worldwide, seeking to build bridges between the rural population of nations that have been at war.

More details about our upcoming trip:

The filming trip is scheduled for May 19th - June 10th, we will be filming in and around Sulaimaniyah and Erbil in Northern Iraq. During this time we will follow young farmers in the region, botanists from the Iraqi National Seed Bank in Abu Ghraib working to save endangered native plants, and the production of a Kurdish TV show for farmers.  We will also visit local farms and record messages from Iraqi farmers, documenting their knowledge & needs to share their message with the international community.

Thank you!

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    Thank you!

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    7 backers

    Postcard mailed to you!

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    14 backers

    Access to behind the scenes video clips from our filming trip.

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    15 backers

    Personalized video postcard from our filming trip to Iraq.

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    28 backers

    Iraqi Seed Balls: start your own guerrilla garden with a trio of Babylonian herbs.

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    2 backers

    Ask a farmer! What do you want to know about farming in Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan? We will ask a farmer on our filming trip and post a video recording of their answer.

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    Learn all about ancient Iraq with your very own copy of History Begins at Sumer by Samuel Noah Kramer (1959 Paperback edition), dedicated to you by us.

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    Field Journal entry on a topic of your choosing... Are you interested in a particular plant, ancient farming artifact or agricultural issue? Tell us! We will research it and post our findings for you on The Iraqi Seed Project website.

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    7 backers

    Set of 6 Iraqi Seed Recipe Cards, featuring our interpretations of modern and ancient Iraqi dishes, plus a 30 minute cooking class over skype (or in person if we happen to be local).

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    6 backers

    Souvenir from our trip to Iraq.

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    16 x 20 photographic print of agricultural life in Iraq, you choose the image from a selection of photographs.

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    1 backer

    Weekend for 2 at Play Farm in Wendling, Oregon (http://playfarmproductions.com). We'll have a craft night in the barn, take you on a walk through the ghost town of Wendling, cook you fancy breakfasts, delicious dinners and serve you tea. (Transportation not included).

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    An Iraqi Seed Project event--host a screening, discussion or dinner, we'll provide materials to share the story of Iraq's farmers with your community. We'll come in person if possible, or be there through Skype if necessary.

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    Everything. All of the above.

Funding period

- (30 days)