SAVE OUR SEEDS – an inspiring gathering of growers
Last weekend Embercombe hosted an event organised by The Soil Association and The Landworkers’ Alliance, as part of The Great Seed Festival. The event brought together food producers to be informed about the realities of the crisis we face regarding seeds, and to empower each other with skills, inspiration and knowledge to take strong and committed action to reclaim seeds into the hands of people, not industry.
The vast majority of the crop varieties that existed 100 years ago are no longer grown. The biodiversity of our fields and of our diets has been reduced starkly. Seeds are increasingly in the hands of – even owned by – large companies, no longer the free, unownable part of our world that they always were. And the skills of seed saving – once, one of the most important practices of every farmer and grower – are now largely lost in our society. This is where we are.
This weekend it was evident that there is a strong fire that burns inside people to reclaim control of our seeds, reskill in the art and science of seed saving, and stand up for the biodiversity of our land and of the future.
Seeds are full of wonder – they hold the potential of life within them in all its myriad forms. They are our inheritance from the countless generations who have gone before and shaped our world. They are what we will leave for our children.
This weekend we launched a network of seed savers who commit to standing up for our seeds and reclaiming some of what has been lost – who commit to learn the ways of saving and breeding seeds, of recreating locally adapted varieties, of exchanging seeds and knowledge and stories and rebuilding a strong land-based community.
Whether you are a grower or an eater (or both!) the choices that we make about our food are political, environmental and spiritual. If you wish to learn about open pollinated seeds, about the politics of our seed industry, about the practice of seed saving, about the seed savers’ network or much else besides, then perhaps the following links will prove useful.