In Ireland growers have had several wake-up calls in the last few years, first Covid and then Brexit have shown up the fragility of our seed systems. They are responding by taking ownership of the solutions and learning how to save seed, build networks, and organise. The Seed Sovereignty Programme for UK and Ireland is looking to facilitate this in every way we can.
We are looking for applications for our 2023 year long course in seed saving for commercial growers. We will be starting this in late November and applications close October the 15th, for further information and an application form contact me on the email above.
As a taster to a yearlong course, we ran a number of visits to vegetable seed farms over the summer of 2021. We also organised a one-day introductory course and then in November made a start on our Year long course in vegetable seed production aimed at commercial seed production. This will run until the end of this year 2022 when it is hoped there will be sufficient interest to start another one.
During the last twelve months we have also been engaging with cereal growers, bakers, millers, maltsters, and brewers with a view to animating an alternative non commodity grain economy.
A recent visit to UK Grain Lab has given us more inspiration and impetus to work towards something similar here. We are currently working on a social event for the end of this year.
Irish Seed Savers Association: We are very lucky in Ireland to have the Irish Seed Savers Association in Co Clare who have been big advocates for seed here for the last 30 years.
So many growers have learnt to save seeds thanks to their trainings.That coupled with the huge collection of varieties they have now have in their seed bank make this a very important resource for the island and beyond.
Brown Envelope Seeds: Based in West Cork, Brown Envelope Seeds are the Republic’s only commercial seed company growing all their varieties in Ireland. With 20 years’ experience and a profile both here and abroad they are a huge asset to the seed and gardening community in Ireland.
Airfield Estate: Based in Dundrum, Dublin, Airfield Estate are doing a lot of seed saving in their educational gardens. Its great to have these gardens so close to a large centre of population demonstrating best practice seed saving
True Harvest Seeds: In Co Down, True Havest Seeds have a dedicated ex- situ seed bank for wildflowers shrubs and trees which they collect and grow themselves. They also have an organic vegetable seed catalogue with some of their own seed available in it.