With all the tremendous hard work put in throughout our network in growing, milling, baking grains, cultivating and processing veg seed, overcoming barriers and paving routes to market, it’s vitally important that we take time for the most important thing – celebrating all this hard work! Our Southwest England networking took time out this autumn to do just that…
From small scale veg, flower or herb seed producers to community groups, grain growers, millers, bakers and chefs – all who are part of our network from Cornwall to the Cotswolds were welcome! Who would have thought that this mild, wet corner of the British Isles would become a centre for seed sovereignty? Yet, this part of the world is brimming with pioneering farmers, growers, millers, bakers and brewers who are trail-blazing their way to a human scale, community-controlled seed system. From rolling Cotswold hills to coastal Cornish farms, we are in awe of the seed work we see happening here.
The feeling of “belonging to a seed sovereignty movement” that is created through events like the South West Seed Sovereignty Pizza Party 2022 is hugely important in a time when small-scale commercial seed production is not the norm. It takes conviction that growing seed in a country that hasn’t got ideal seed growing conditions is the right thing to do, and by connecting with a wider network of seed producers and grain activists we get inspired and feel the need to keep our work going.
– Ronja Schlumberger, Vital Seeds
Some of the amazing people and small businesses collaborating on the event included:
- Pizzalogica which created a Seed Sovereignty Special on the menu, showcasing seasonal produce grown from our South West Seeds.
- New Lion Brewery which launched a special Seed Sovereignty Beer 🍺 at the event made from our networks locally grown, diverse grains.
- Artist Ione Maria Rojas led a clay workshop making seed-inspired pots and sculptures to either take home as a memento or return to the land as a gift.
Coordinators Ellen Rignell and Robyn Minogue also put together a zine for the event as a way of sharing the network’s stories. You can check it out here:
The whole day was very inspiring. It emphasises the need for these gatherings- to share knowledge, build connections, build community and grow from the ground up. My thus far short journey has convinced me that the most important aspects of this movement are the connections and relationships I make with bakers and end users and building that support and collaboration.
– Henry Astor, Bruern Farms
Photos by Gregory Burns