On 28 July Peter Brinch, of Open Pollinated Seeds, provided a day of seed production training in Lewes to an enthusiastic group of mostly new-entrant growers. Although the eleven participants included experience from the Sussex Community Seed Bank, which is a great regional resource, most were very new to seed saving. One participant commented that the training had developed his understanding of seed production “tremendously”, with a “very thorough overview” of the basic principles of growing for seed.
The group represented several commercial horticultural operations, community growing projects, allotments, a forest garden, and community supported agriculture (CSA) projects. Many were from Lewes or the surrounding area, but a small group joined us from Forest Row and others came as far as Farnham.
Several of the participants already save a few seed crops for their own use or to exchange with others, but all expressed an interest in increasing their seed production and several commented that the information provided would allow them to take on more challenging crops or to be able to harvest and store their seeds more effectively.
Looking to the future, several participants shared the sentiment that they’d like to learn more and organise some practical events in the region. “There’s so much more to explore in this subject so future workshops and hands-on events would be great,” commented one participant. There was also discussion of setting up a regional seed saving Facebook group to share experiences, advice and organise future skills sharing and other events.
If you’d like to get involved, please email regional coordinator Page Dykstra (firstname.lastname@example.org), or check out the newly created FB group, Southeast England Seed.