On Saturday 11th – Sunday 12th of February 2023, The Gaia Foundation’s UK & Ireland Seed Sovereignty Programme will host our second Seed Gathering: a space to share, learn, and celebrate all the incredible work with seed going on throughout our lands.
This weekend will be the culmination of #SeedWeek, from Monday 6th – Friday 10th February 2023: Britain’s annual, flagship, social media showcase of all things seed.
Taking place online to ensure it’s accessible and affordable, the Seed Gathering will be a weekend of international discussions, workshops and talks highlighting the diversity, innovation and deep cultural connections of our seeds.
Tickets are available via Eventbrite and joining instructions will be issued in advance. We will also record all of the sessions so you can catch-up afterwards.
What to expect:
The Seed Gathering 2023 will celebrate the seeds we work with and those people who cultivate them, through sharing, learning and connecting across our local and international networks. The full programme will be announced in January and includes:
- Keynote by journalist, broadcaster and author of award-winning Eating to Extinction, Dan Saladino
- Celebrations of the diversity of our seed and the communities who grow them
- Legislation Action workshop in light of upcoming changes to UK seed legislation
- Practical sessions on DIY low-tech seed machinery and record-keeping
- Exploration into landrace gardening with Joseph Lofthouse
- Tips on seed saving for market growers
About the artwork:
We’re thrilled to have collaborated once again with artist Isla Middleton. With a popular series of foraging posters and calendars, Isla caught the attention of the team and we knew that her earthy style would suit the Seed Gathering perfectly. This year, her artwork tells the stories of three key crops – chicory, amaranth, and heterogeneous wheat. Keep your eyes outs for merchandise featuring her beautiful designs…
Chicory/raddichio fever is spreading rapidly throughout our networks, both for its ability to help us embrace our bitter side and for the opportunity it represents to diversify our winter veg offering. For us, it represents our ties with sister networks internationally and inspirations such as the Culinary Breeding Network.
Amaranth is a favourite of the London Freedom Seed Bank, a community seed organisation. This plant represents the cultural diversity found across communities here in the UK and Ireland, and the importance of celebrating their contributions.
The YQ/Wakelyns Population was bred through a collaboration of the John Innes Centre and the team at Wakelyns from the Elm Farm Research Centre (as the Organic Research Centre was then known). In population wheats, each plant is genetically distinct meaning the crop is diverse, and therefore resilient. It represents the importance of these traits for both nutrition and a future of climate chaos.
The Seed Gathering has been organised with support from four of our allies – The Organic Growers Alliance, the UK Grain Lab, Hodmedods, and the Custom Food Lab. Each of these organisations represents collaboration in key areas: inspiring, connecting, and generally making good stuff happen.
The Organic Growers Alliance – a peer-to-peer network of growers, farmers and horticulturalists.
UK Grain Lab – an annual meeting of farmers, millers, plant breeders, bakers, cooks, scientists and academics providing an opportunity to bake together, eat, drink, learn from each other and talk about the future.
Hodmedods – works with British farmers to provide pulses and grains from fair and sustainable UK production.
Custom Food Lab – is our arts programming partner, joining as part of their Arts Council funded project Seeding the Commons, which explores art-making as a practice of commoning knowledge systems around food and growing.