In this blog we cast our eyes back over our fifth annual Seed Week and share our top 5 highlights – from a beguiling new film to the launch of new seed hubs in Scotland and Wales.

We would also like to encourage everyone who can to take our Seed Packet Pledge and give the cost of a packet of seeds (£2.50) each month to support our work to restore a biodiverse seed system alongside growers and seed savers from across the UK and Ireland

TAKE THE PLEDGE HERE

Now, on to some highlights…

 

1. A Quiet Revolution

A Quiet Revolution

During Seed Week our South East Seed Sovereignty Coordinator Helene launched our new film, A Quiet Revolution,which celebrates the work of London’s little-known urban seed savers and the London Freedom Seed Bank, which connects the city’s seed custodians.

You can watch A Quiet Revolution and take a tour around London through the words of the Capital’s seed savers and stunning images from award-winning photographer Andy Pilsbury in the interactive story shared above!

 

2. Stories of Seed

For many of us, our connection to seeds runs much deeper than just the practicalities of food production. Our seeds represent hard work, the growing season to come, and the belief that we can build a better future.

On the third day of Seed Week we co-hosted our second ‘Our Seeds are Our Stories‘ event (back by popular demand). We were joined by Col Gordon, Ione Maria Rojas and Dennis Touliatos, who told us all about the seeds they are working with and the cultural, political and personal contexts seeds bring with them.

We also hosted a sold out, open-access community seed forum in which participants learned how to set up a community seed swap from Bristol Seed Swap’s wonderful Diane Holness. You can watch the recording of that event here.

 

3. Land of Seed

Our wonderful Seed Sovereignty Coordinators took over our instagram during Seed Week 5 to share stories of seed revival from across the UK and Ireland.

(Clockwise from top left) Richie shared more about the revival of bere barley in Scotland, his love of brewing and bread. Jason gave us insights into the monthly activities of a seed growing year in County Clare. Ellen and Robyn highlighted the unbelievable wealth of seed growers, savers, bakers (etc) in the South West. Helene took us inside the hidden world of London’s urban seed savers. Charlie shared about Seeds of Hope- a new Northern seed venture out of Bradford. Last but not least, Katie told us more about the brand new Wales Seed Hub / Hwb Hadau Cymru.

To read all of their stories, accompanied by beautiful images, visit and follow our Instagram (you don’t have to have an account!).

Gaia’s Instagram

 

4. Seed Heroes

During Seed Week we asked you all to nominate your seed heroes – the people quietly building the diversity of our seed system and the vibrancy of our communities at the same time.

We also put forward and celebrated five of our own heroes, namely:

Dee Woods (pictured) – Dee is an award-winning cook, community food educator, urban agriculturalist, and co-founder of the Granville Community Kitchen in NW London. Dee champions the cultural and social connections behind seed and the vital connection from seed to plate.

Gerald Miles – Gerald is the owner of Caerhys Farm on the beautiful Pembrokeshire coast. A legend of the food sovereignty movement in his own right, Gerald is a member of our Llafur Ni heritage grains network in Wales and a passionate advocate for heritage grains and our deep personal connections to them. His work on reviving black oats can be viewed in (link to film)

Kimberley Bell – Kimberley is the founder and baker for Small Food Bakery as well as the UK Grain Lab. She advocates for change in the way we grow, produce, trade, cook, eat, think about food, and is an inspiration in the way she brings the whole grain supply chain together from growers to millers to bakers in order to connect and empower the movement.

Col Gordon – Col is a seed researcher, baker and grower in the Scottish Highlands. Through his innovative work on grain and his research on our relationship to the land and the role we have to play in the farm ecosystem, Col urges us to question our conceptions of what farming is and what it could be in the near future.

Josiah MeldrumCo-founder of Hodmedod’s, Josiah provides that vital link between growers and viable routes to market. Josiah leads pioneering work on British pulses and grains, challenging the existing supply chain and creating new pathways for regenerative crops and the farmers who grow them.

Kate McEvoy – Kate is a seed producer and co-founder of The Real Seed Catalogue. For over 20 years Real Seeds has been at the forefront of seed sovereignty in the UK, providing unique and diverse open-pollinated seed and seed saving knowledge to growers in the UK and beyond.

Do check out their incredible work!

5. New seed hubs

Seed Week 5 saw the launch of the brand new Scottish Seed Hub, a cooperative made up of growers who have been through Gaia’s seed trainings and are dedicated to producing regionally adapted, open-pollinated seed grown in Scotland.

Meanwhile, the Welsh Seed Hub, which launched in 2021, has a whole host of new seed varieties for sale that are being adapted to Welsh conditions by growers in our networks.

The emergence of these new agroecological seed hubs is a massive step forward for the diversity of our seed system. Having more groups of dedicated people growing seed means greater abundance for us all. We are so happy to see them up and running!

Take our Seed Packet Pledge

If you’d like to see a locally adapted, resilient, abundant and nutritious seed system take root across the UK and Ireland, take our Seed Packet Pledge.

By donating the price of a seed packet – £2.50 – per month you can meaningfully support our work for the transformation of our broken food system from its very heart- seed.

MAKE YOUR PLEDGE