About The Festival

What is the Great Seed Festival?

The Great Seed Festival is a UK-wide celebration being held to recognise and celebrate the importance of seed. It will be held throughout October 2014 which is Food Sovereignty Month and also hosts World Food Day each year on the 16th.

Where is it happening?

The festival will take place around the country, with a host of collaborators putting on events nationwide at various times throughout the month.

London will host a hub of activity at the Garden Museum on the 11th and 12th of October with many different activities on offer.

You can find out more about what we’ve got planned and what’s going on near you by checking out the programme.

Seed festivals are also being organised by partners across Europe – in Brussels, Amsterdam, Athens and Warsaw.


Put quite simply, our entire lives depend on seed. So does the beauty of nature and the continuance of the world all around us.

Almost all of the food we eat starts out as a seed. From the vegetables, fruits and roots that grow from them, to the bread we bake, the milk we make and even our meat, which mostly comes from animals that live on food grown from seed. The trees, grasses, flowers and plants in our parks, gardens, forests, fields and even wastelands, all come from seed too.

However, despite the central role seed plays in our daily existence, we seldom recognise its importance. Whilst the UK is home to a vibrant food movement, seed remains hidden, tucked away in the dark strata of the soil. It isn’t spoken about or celebrated.

We think it’s time that seeds got their deserved recognition for the silent work they do to allow everything else to flourish. And what better way to do that than organising a festival that gives people the chance to reconnect with the magic of seeds, to learn about them, and begin to celebrate and cherish them once again.

Why Now?

Whilst many of us have forgotten the value of seed, others have not.

Around the world seeds are coming under threat from multinational companies and bureaucrats who know that if you can control seed, you can control the world’s food supply. Through restrictive policies, economic muscle, genetic modification and patent laws they are seeking to control seed, and profit handsomely from our basic need to eat.

Today the majority of seeds that provide our food are controlled by a handful of corporations, and that means our food is too. The seeds they don’t control are now under threat from policies that seek to stop us from sowing, growing and exchanging them. The result of this trend is that in the last 100 years alone, 75% of plant genetic diversity has disappeared globally.

This loss of diversity means that there are now fewer and fewer types of seed available to feed us, and the worlds food crops are at far greater risk from shocks like pests, and extreme weather events. If you grow 10 crops and a pest comes and kills off one type, then you still have 9 to choose from. If you only grow one kind of crop it’s a different, and much darker story. Seed is under siege, and the more diversity we lose the bigger trouble we’re in.

Now is the time for society to send a message to those who want to take seed from us, and to support those farmers, growers and gardeners who support seed diversity and produce food in a life-enhancing and ecological way.