A new film from The Gaia Foundation’s Seed Sovereignty series celebrates The Leakey Bean Collection. This is a story of seed as a source of connection to the plants and people who have come before, as well as those yet to follow; rooting us, but always evolving.

Watch the film:

Read the interactive story:

A Legacy Imbued in the Seed

Since the dawn of agriculture, our seeds have travelled with us, over landscapes, across oceans, through time. Each generation passes these tiny bundles of life on to its descendants. No one owns these seeds. They are a gift from the past and a promise for the future.

A Legacy Imbued in the Seed is the latest film in The Gaia Foundation’s Seed Sovereignty series. It follows seed keeper Tamsin Leakey as she strives to sustain the beans bred by her father. Colin Leakey was a world leading botanist, himself the son of palaeontologist Louis Leakey whose renowned research proved that mankind evolved from east Africa.

Featuring beautiful images from filmmaker Andy Pilsbury, the film documents Tamsin’s determination to start a ‘bean revolution’ in her father’s name. It comes at a time when beans are much needed to provide locally grown, low carbon protein for all. As plants that also improve the soil, their regenerative role in a food system facing climate chaos has never been more important.

The film explores the weight of responsibility Tamsin feels as the inheritor of her father’s seeds. It also celebrates the importance of community in alleviating this, allowing seeds and seed keepers alike to flourish.

It is a story about seed keeping as an intergenerational practice, and seeds as a source of love, legacy and connection to those who have come before and those countless generations yet to be born. We hope you enjoy it.

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The Gaia Foundation’s Seed Sovereignty Programme is working to (re)establish a resilient seed system in the UK and Ireland. We support small-scale commercial growers, community groups, home gardeners and allotmenteers with workshops, networks and resources to help restore seed diversity across our isles.


Take the Seed Packet Pledge:

If you’d like to see a locally adapted, abundant and nutritious seed system take root in the UK and Ireland, join our Seed Packet Pledge. By donating the price of a seed packet – £2.50 – per month you can meaningfully support the transformation of our broken food system, starting at its very heart – seed.