We support Small-scale Commercial Growers, Community Groups and Home Gardeners & Allotmenteers with useful networks, resources and information to help protect and restore seed diversity across the UK & Ireland.
We support budding small-scale commercial growers looking for training in seed production and access to useful networks and information. The majority of seed used in crop production in the UK & Ireland is grown in Europe or further afield, so farmers and growers hoping to use local agro-ecological seed are limited by availability. There is both an urgent need and a market for those looking to grow agro-ecological seed for themselves or as a commercial crop, particularly following Brexit. We’re here to help realise that potential, and to support an increase in production of UK & Ireland agro-ecological seed.
If you're part of a community group dedicated to seed saving and sharing, or the revival of indigenous seed, oat or grain varieties and related knowledge, we may be able to support you by webbing you into our network. The Resources page is full of seed saving information and our trainings are offered at a range of levels that might suit your needs. We're particularly interested in groups looking at variety trials, participatory plant breeding or living seed libraries and would love to hear from you!
If you’re a home gardener or an allotment grower and you’re interested in growing a wide range of varieties from your own saved seed, we can support you. There are many resources and references available to introduce you to the basics of seed saving or to support UK seed companies by buying local. On the Near Me page you can find suppliers of agro-ecological or organic seed in your area, Events and Trainings are listed and there's a page full of seed saving resources. You may also like to screen our short films to engage the wider community or allotment association.
The Gaia Foundation is a charity that has been working at the nexus of climate resilience, seed diversity and indigenous knowledge for over three decades, both in the UK and overseas. Across Africa we support local and indigenous communities to revive their local seed diversity, by restoring confidence in their traditional knowledge and governance systems. We also use communications to raise the voices of traditional seed keepers and small-holder farmers and fisherfolk around the world. In 2012 we released Seeds of Freedom, a documentary film narrated by Jeremy Irons, exposing the true story of the corporate takeover of seed. The film was followed by Seeds of Sovereignty and Seeds of Justice, and the later photographic campaign, We Feed the World. In the UK and Europe we have collaborated on seed and food justice campaigns alongside partners including GM Freeze, GRAIN, the UK Food Group and the Landworkers Alliance. We’re proud to work with inspiring global change-makers including Dr Vandana Shiva, Ethiopian plant geneticist Dr Melaku Worede and organisations such as USC Canada and the African Biodiversity Network. Find out more about our work by visiting our main website (www.gaiafoundation.org).