“These are exciting times for the revival of rare welsh grains and oats. There’s renewed interest, rare varieties being refound and replanted, and a next generation determined to learning from elders and restoring lost heritage to the landscape.”
Katie Hastings, Seed Sovereignty Coordinator for Wales

 

Across Wales, Programme Coordinator Katie Hastings is working alongside a swathe of committed farmers, grain growers and seed savers to strengthen the seed diversity of the country. Here’s a quick overview of some of the work taking place and the community groups taking root.

Contact

Email: katie@gaianet.org
Twitter: @walesseedsov

Llafur Ni (Our Cereals)

Llafur Ni are a network of farmers and growers working together across Wales to increase grain diversity. Over the past four years the group have collectively bulked up the seed from 14 rare oat varieties, all on the brink of extinction, in the hope of bringing them back to our fields. They share knowledge, grain and machinery by working inter-generationally, with older farmers teaching younger farmers about the seeds from the past.

They have also been working on solving some of the processing issues with oats, including how to dehull and process them for human consumption. The Llafur Ni group is facilitated by the Seed Sovereignty Programme, and benefits from the involvement of experts from IBERS Aberystwyth University. More on how this network works can be found here.

Wales Seed Hub

Our Wales Seed Hub is a fledging new seed selling coop. All of the growers have taken part in our seed production training over the years, and are now working together to sell ecologically grown, open pollinated seeds across the country. The seeds have been grown in Wales and are suited to local conditions.

Seeds can be purchased between Dec – May via their online shop, or at select events such as the Royal Welsh Show. New members are invited to join the coop, provided they have taken part in the Seed Sovereignty Programme Year Long Seed Production course, or have equivalent experience.

Vegetable Seed Network

For those who already have some expertise in Seed Production, or have already taken part in our trainings, we run an informal Vegetable Seed Network across Wales. The network consists of an email list, occasional celebration events and occasional advanced training courses.

We also aim to link this network in with the wider Seed Sovereignty Programme networks, providing opportunities to take part in international exchanges, national seed gatherings and more.

To join the network email list, please contact katie@gaianet.org.

Also in Wales... 

Real Seeds: Well known and loved by growers cross the UK. Advisors and friends of the Seed Sovereignty Programme. You’ll find no F1 hybrids or genetically modified seed here!  Just varieties that do really well and taste great when grown on a garden scale: a catalogue of real seeds for real gardeners wanting to grow proper vegetables.

Lampeter Seed Library: With over 100 members, Lampeter Seed Library is community run and holds the seeds for over 150 varieties. Members can ‘borrow’ seeds and then return seed to the library the following year.

Incredible Seed Library: Based in South Wales, the Incredible Seed Library aims to make seed freely available to anyone who asks for it! Operating on an ‘honor system’ to maintain a well stocked collection of pure healthy viable seeds for the community to use. You become a member automatically when you withdraw seeds to plant.

Aberystwyth Seed Library: Hosted in the ECO Food Sharing Hub, where you can collect and drop off your seeds. Take the seeds, grow some food, save some of the seeds, and bring them back in!