Today we are delighted to announce that the Hwb Hadau Cymru/Wales Seed Hub has launched! The Hub is a cooperative of growers producing seed on Welsh farms using agroecological practices. They aim to grow open-pollinated (OP) varieties that are not widely available elsewhere and grow well in the Welsh climate.
The Wales Seed Hub is offering two varieties for sale this season, available for purchase on the Open Food Network. As the Hub becomes more established and welcomes more growers, the seed available for sale will increase – they have already got new varieties in the ground which they hope to offer for sale next year! The growers are all participants of the Seed Sovereignty Programme’s Seed Production training which has been run over the past three years, and after witnessing the difficulties in accessing seed during the pandemic decided to take matters into their own hands.
They have worked with Wales Coordinator Katie Hastings to set up the Hub; on speaking about the launch, Katie said,
The Hub is also working in collaboration with the Heritage Seed Library to complement their vital work conserving the UK’s vegetable heritage and protecting our rich organic diversity for future generations by bringing some of their varieties into more regular circulation again. One such variety is the Kew Blue Climbing French Bean produced by Chris Vernon, which produces a gorgeous vibrant purple pod and a bean with a rich, nutty flavour.
Diversity is vital not only in the seeds that are available to growers, but also in the companies selling seed – the more seed initiatives selling locally-adapted OP seed to growers in the same conditions and climate as the seed has been produced and the more options available to growers, the more resilient our food system will become.
The Seed Sovereignty Programme will continue supporting the group as it progresses with the aim to help more seed-selling groups to establish in the coming years. Stay tuned for more news on the Hub as their journey continues, and in the mean time Da iwan to all involved!