Welcome to our web site. As well as our SEED SHOP you will find a good deal of background information about what we do, why we do it and where we do it, plus details of how people can get involved.
Food should be vibrant, look enticing, have a distinctive texture, taste great, smell delicious and provide you with all of the energy and nutrition that your body needs. It should make you healthy and support your body’s ability to grow, and maintain and heal itself throughout your life. Our bodies process food through natural processes, and like all natural systems they rely on diversity to function successfully and adapt to changing conditions.
Around 90% of global food originates from seed, but globally 60% of the protein and calories that humans derive come just 3 species; rice, wheat and maize; not much diversity for our bodies to work with. It is thought that there are 10,000-50,000 edible plant species of which only 150 are currently cropped. Since the 1900’s the FAO estimates a loss of 75% of the genetic diversity within agricultural crops.
We only sell open pollinated seed which is genetically diverse (unlike F1 hybrids) maintaining the natural ability of the seeds to be resilient and adaptive. We are developing a plant breeding programme, using natural open pollination, to increase the diversity of vegetable varieties that are available. Our selection criteria focus on taste, texture, nutrition and keeping qualities, and suitability for growing in agro-ecological farming systems in the UK. The vegetable, herb and flower seed we sell is all certified as biodynamic or organic, produced without the use of chemical inputs, using systems drawn from nature.
As a Community Benefit Society we need to be financially viable but our main driver is not commercial, it is in providing benefit to the community; our community could be defined as people who eat food! We seek to work with farmers, growers, gardeners, chefs, nutritionists, herbalists, scientists and the whole community of people working towards improving access to healthy food produced on a healthy planet.
What we do
We are working to provide a future for OPEN POLLINATED SEEDS. These seeds are vital for our food future. Due to genetic diversity these seeds are able to naturally adapt to their local conditions and changes in climate.
Anyone can save seed from an open polinated plant and use the seed the following year, meaning that growers can be more self sufficient, and the seed adapts for the local conditions.
We work in three main themes:
• Breeding new strains of open polinated plants.
• Producing certified biodynamic and organic seed.
• Sharing knowledge and skills about seed saving, plant breeding and the importance of seed and food sovereignty.
Why we do it
Our food system, inherited from the 20th century, is approaching obsolescence. Natural resources are depleting fast. Corporate control is putting the fate of the many in the hands of the few. Combined with the impacts seen on the health of the planet and people, the whole system is becoming increasingly hard to balance. Many mechanisms have been employed to try and stabilise this system including F1 hybrid and GM seeds.
We are at the beginning of a transition to a new food system that will be based on resilience thinking, ensuring that balance is embedded, re-built on health and social equity, to put people and planet first.
A resilient future food system needs open pollinated seeds.
WE NEED TO ACT NOW!
Where we do it
We have a new home in Lincolnshire. With grade 1 land glasshouses, buildings and accommodation we have everything we need for seed production, processing and sales, as well as plant breeding. We will also have facilities for courses and sharing the wonders of seed!
We are forming a network of biodynamic and organic seed growers across the UK. Now is your chance to JOIN OUR NETWORK OF SEED GROWERS.