Who’s Involved?: A-Z
The Great Seed Festival is brought to you by food growing networks, seed and food justice organisations and individuals from across the UK, coordinated by The Gaia Foundation, Beyond GM, Heritage Seed Library and the UK Food Group.
At the heart of Bristol’s harbourside, Arnolfini is one of Europe’s leading centres for the contemporary arts, presenting innovative, experimental work in the visual arts, performance, dance, film, music and events, accompanied by a programme of learning and participation activities.Visit Website
Beyond GM is a new, independent initiative in the UK. Its aim is to revitalise GM campaigning and re-engage the public with an issue that directly affects their daily lives, their health and well-being. The campaign has several planned public-facing initiatives – of which GM Free ME is one – as well as a mission to rebuild and inspire the UK grassroots to speak out with confidence about GMOs. Watch this space…
Capital Growth is London’s largest food growing network, with 2000+ members, providing support to those growing food in the capital including advice, training, events and materials to help schools, housing estates, community groups, and many others with their food growing projects. It is also open to people growing at home or on allotments.
Capital Growth have online information and tools to help growing projects, including the Harvest-ometer, which records and calculates the value of your harvest. They also work to promote of the value of urban agriculture to policy and decision makers, including production of a number of useful publications.Visit Website
Situated in the heart of London, Chelsea Physic Garden has a unique living collection of around 5,000 different edible, useful, medicinal and historical plants. Celebrating the beauty and importance of plants, this ‘hidden gem’ is also a peaceful green oasis in which to enjoy a relaxing stroll and lunch or afternoon tea at the Tangerine Dream Café.
The Physic Garden is the oldest botanic garden in London and was founded in 1673 by the Worshipful Society of Apothecaries for the purpose of training apprentices in identifying plants. It subsequently became one of the most important centres of botany and plant exchange in the world.Visit Website
The Community Centred Knowledge Group is a multi-skilled collective, who are passionate about changing the world through advocacy and support to individuals, families and communities who transform themselves using their own, meaningful knowledge.
We have a range of skills and experience in food resilience, permaculture, sustainable living, lifelong learning, intergenerational work, health and well-being and creative arts. More importantly we use these things interdependently to draw out human to Earth centred empowering solutions.
We recognise the many disparities in how people know, learn and act. Our work is to bring greater balance and awareness to these things, especially in groups deemed ‘hard to reach’ or marginalised.
“Food is the heart of human experience and seed is the heart of food”
Cordwainers Garden was set up in 2011 by a group of neighbours on a disused piece of land belonging to the London College of Fashion in Hackney. The space was transformed to grow vegetables, fruit, flowers, medicinal and dye plants as well as housing a pond, beehive and up-cycled pallet shed.
The garden hosts regular open days and workshops to encourage participation and learning within the the local community. Our aim is to raise crops beneficial to wildlife, the environment and the local community and we have recently been awarded an ‘Outstanding’ from the RHS It’s You Neighbourhood scheme for our achievements.Visit Website
We live in amazing times but face huge environmental and social challenges.
Inspiring people to contribute energetically towards the emergence of a socially just, environmentally and economically sustainable presence on earth is at the heart of Embercombe’s work.
As a charity and social enterprise we run programmes for individuals, businesses, educators and young people. We invite you on a journey to discover what you love, what your gifts are and how you use them to take action in our world.Visit Website
Join the Food Growing Schools: London challenge and together we can reach our ambition to see every school in London growing food by the end of 2016!
Grow Your Own Business – Sow it. Grow It. Sell it!
A city-wide celebration of school food growing, enterprise and learning during Sept-Dec 2014 – creating young entrepreneurs and healthier local communities. With our expert guidance, learn the secrets to starting your own school food growing business, raising money for your school, developing employment skills and selling healthy, home-grown food in your local community.
Find out more and register for a free Grow Your Own Business activity pack: www.foodgrowingschools.org/events/gyobusiness
We are a family run farm and winery just outside Burford. All the fruit we use is grown organically by us on the farm, before being pressed transformed into premium liqueurs and bottled in our small winery on site.
We think you will be able to taste the generous amount of high quality fruit that goes into every bottle. The liqueurs are designed to taste great on their own (not too sweet and sticky) but also go well with bubbly or in cocktails.
The Grove Fountainbridge Community Garden is a mobile community garden making temporary use of two sites in the heart of Edinburgh. Their aim is to grow an active community as well as growing food and mobile gardens are a great and appealing challenge! They have beds based on the container type collars and bed, containers, cabins, pallet based build projects, and other mobile ideas. Members have access anytime and anyone is welcome to join the group: focus is on the space, rather than organisational hours.Visit Website
We believe in – food for free for all, food for us and food for nature, food for the future. We aim to – create a community garden of Lancaster, grow our skills, grow together, grow better, garden abandoned land with food and flowers. We’re not just any project, we’re a local project made up of local people nurturing neglected land and planting open access community gardens and orchards so that everyone can gather food for free. Much more than a few people growing vegetables, we care passionately about our communities, our well-being, our environment, the right-here right-now, and the future. We can build a kinder, greener, healthier community.Visit Website
The Landworkers’ alliance are an organisation of people who make their livelihoods from producing food, fuel and fibre using sustainable methods of production.
The Landworkers’ Alliance works to raise the profile of the role of small-scale producers and family farms, and the obstacles they face, both to the public and to government. In doing this we campaign for better policy to support small-scale producers and family farms, agro-ecology and food sovereignty.
We are members of La Via Campesina, the international peasant farmers union, and work in solidarity with our fellow land workers across the globe.Visit Website
The London Freedom Seed Bank provides a space to remember, grow, store, celebrate, and share what is truly precious to us – our seeds – through a living seed bank and a network of seed savers. We provide trainings in how to save seed, raise awareness of the issues and actions threatening our seeds, and distribute and share seeds returned to the Bank by the Freedom Seed Savers. An important part of our program is a yearly celebration, which will be held this year on the Battersea Barge on Saturday October 11th, as part of The Great Seed Festival.Visit Website
Matthew Larkinson is a freelance artist and educator working for museums and galleries across London. Matthew worked at the Garden Museum this year to design and deliver Seasonal Saturdays, a family learning programme offering practical growing and craft activities based on museum themes and collections. Matthew previously set-up and managed Evergreen Gardeners, a two-year horticulture project for isolated older people at the Geffrye Museum.
Nutiva® is the world’s leading brand of all-organic coconut oil, chia seeds, hemp foods, and red palm oil. Nutiva is committed to operating in a just and socially responsible manner that honors our community, customers, team and environment. We are dedicated to a healthy and sustainable world and actively demonstrate our mission to nourish people and planet. Through the Nutiva Nourish Foundation, we donate 1% of net sales to sustainable agriculture. Since its inception, Nutiva’s 1% Program has donated more than $2 million to a diverse collection of exemplary organizations. Nutiva is sponsoring the planting of 35,000 coconut seedlings for small farmers in the Philippines , with a goal to give away 100,000 seedlings by 2015. In five years, these seedlings will grow into producing coconut trees and provide farmers additional income. When you support Nutiva you support the farming communities we work with.Visit Website
Open pollinated seeds’ was set up in 2010 as an initiative to bring to attention the fact that availability of Open Pollinated seeds for food production in Europe drastically has been reduced during the last 30 years. Open pollinated varieties which are reproducible have largely been replaced by non-reproducible F1 hybrid varieties, which are used in Industrial farming. This fundamental change in use of seeds has placed seed corporations in powerful positions as they hold the all-important genetic material in ownership. The open pollinated seed initiative aims to reach the public in giving seminars, workshops and talks to those who wish to know how to save seeds and help to take matters into their own hands.Visit Website
OxGrow is a thriving community garden that is open to everyone – it’s for kids and adults of all ages, interests, and backgrounds to learn to grow food together. It’s an exciting, creative edible laboratory where we’re experimenting with organic, climate-friendly growing techniques, and harnessing local knowledge to grow produce you won’t find in the shops. We have regular work parties every Sunday from noon-4pm, and, during the summer (May to September) every Wednesday evening. Come dig with us! No experience necessary!Visit Website
Polly Higgins is a barrister, award-winning author and world renowned advocate for an international law of Ecocide. Polly has seeded the emergence of a whole new body of law, called Earth law, where the health and well-being of people and planet are put first. Ecocide law embeds a legal duty of care and gives power to the right to life – the right to life of humans, nature and future generations.
Polly has received various awards for her work, has been named as “one of the top 10 Visionaries of the World” by the Ecologist magazine and is daring to be great.Visit Website
The foundation ProSpecieRara is a non-profit organization and has been founded in 1982 to protect and promote the diversity of domesticated animals and cultivated plants. We are coordinating a network of seed savers and farmers that care for 26 different rare breeds. About 2500 people are active in this network. Every year ProSpecieRara organizes about ten different workshops to train farmers and volunteers to conserve varieties and to breed animals or to categorize or evaluate different varieties. The foundation rules a gene bank with over 1’000 different vegetable and field crop varieties and conserves over 1800 fruit varieties in over 120 different orchards with 10000 trees in all. The staff of ProSpecieRara is involved in several training courses of different institutions for agriculture research in Switzerland. ProSpecieRara offers 14.5 full time jobs. 20 people are working at three different places (Aarau, Geneva and Stabio/Mendrisio).Visit Website
Rachel Phillimore is a textile artist, making rugs and wall hangings by hand which enables her to incorporate her love of textures, colours and natural forms. Rachel’s work reinterprets an old and traditional form – rug making, the staple of many a home across the north of England until a generation ago.
Rachel will be showing work related to seeds and their many shapes and forms. She will be demonstrating the traditional rug making technique called “hooky ” and “proggy” and there will be an opportunity to have a go yourself.Visit Website
Reseau Semences Paysannes is a French Farmers’ Seeds Network established in 2003 consisting of 75 associations including national and local farmers’ organisations, organic farming organisations, national environmental organisations, small-scale seed producers, nurseries and North/South cooperation NGOs. RSP aims at supporting farmers, technically, politically and scientifically towards autonomy in seeds on farm through self sustainable farming processes: (1) networking initiatives related to the conservation, development and renewal of cultivated biodiversity in fields and gardens (2) facilitating the dissemination of knowledge and know-how through exchange and training opportunities (3) developing partnerships with the scientific community in the public sector, through several participatory and innovative research projects. RSP supports capacity building and advocacy for its members and other civil society organisations, and the implementation of ITPGRFA-FAO at national level.Visit Website
Resurgence & Ecologist magazine’s current issue includes a three-part feature on seeds and the struggle to preserve biodiversity – with articles by Liz Hosken celebrating women agriculturalists; an interview with food campaigner Simran Sethi and Vandana Shiva on why we must resist the privatisation of Nature.
Resurgence & Ecologist, which celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2016, is Britain’s leading magazine for environment, activism, social justice, the arts and ethical living, while the Ecologist website is one of the best sources for up-to-the minute environmental news. Find us at www.resurgence.org and www.theecologist.org.Visit Website
Rete Semi Rurali is an Italian Farmers’ Seeds Network established in 2007 consisting of 31 associations: national/local farmers organisations, national environmental organisations, small-scale seed producers and NGOs. Main aims: relocation of agriculture and agricultural research; support of community seed systems based on the role of farmers; enhancement of farming systems of short chain on cereals, vegetables, fruits and animals; enhancement of agricultural policies at national/EU level; supporting capacity building and advocacy for its members and other civil society organisations. Main activities: dissemination through websites, newsletters, meetings, publications on agrobiodiversity and its legal and political aspects; training programs with exchange of knowledge among farmers, technicians, researchers; awareness of younger through VET courses. It works both in the technical fields (participatory selection in farms) and regulatory (RSR supports the implementation of ITPGRFA-FAO national level).Visit Website
Chantal Coady OBE, Founder and Creative Director of Rococo Chocolates, has been pioneering the real chocolate movement in Britain for 30 years. Now with three central London stores and a fourth in Chester, Rococo also owns their own cocoa farm in Grenada. They include beans from the farm in their house blend of chocolate which is used across their range. The cocoa beans are also used in Rococo’s single origin chocolate Gru Grococo, made bean-to-bar on the farm in Grenada.Visit Website
Sipsmith is a small, independent distillery crafting truly artisanal spirits of uncompromising quality. Launched in Hammersmith in June 2009, it is the first copper distillery to open in London for almost two hundred years, and is bringing the art and craft of distillation back to the capital.
The spirits are distilled by hand on a unique 300L copper-pot still, affectionately called Prudence – just a few hundred bottles a time. This delivers stunning products that are smooth, full of character and have true intensity of flavour. Although less than two years old, Sipsmith has won eight prestigious international gold and silver medals.
Slow Food London is the London Group of the International Slow Food Movement. We campaign for Good, Clean and Fair food for everyone, and seed sovereignty projects are core to what we do: from building traditional gardens in Africa, to ensuring we can grow the seeds we wish to here in the UK. We run substantial urban garden projects, featuring heritage and endangered fruits and vegetables “forgotten foods”, in many London schools and in our wider community, and campaign politically for a better, safer food system for all. www.slowfoodlondon.comVisit Website
The Soil Association is a campaigning charity working to deliver solutions which secure healthy, humane and resilient food, farming and land use. The charity was founded in 1946 by farmers, scientists, doctors and nutritionists to promote the connection between the health of the soil, food, animals, people and the environment.
In March 2014 we launched our ‘Save Our Seeds’ campaign to raise awareness of the plight of seeds and to help us continue our work influencing the regulations in the UK and EU, representing and supporting the interests of smaller seed companies. We are also working with farmers and growers to encourage seed saving and sharing.Visit Website
ASEED is coordinating “Sowing Diversity”, a youth exchange (project funded by the EU) on the topics of seeds, biodiversity, farming and activism. This will take place in Amsterdam between Oct 1st and Oct 5th and gather 31 participants from 5 countries and organisations (the Netherlands, Austria, France, Denmark and Germany). The group will attend workshops, lectures and practical activities as well as visit local initiatives. People will also share their collective and individual experiences and keep in touch to implement longer term seed projects.
On Oct 4th, we plan a festive night to end our 5 days gathering. We are organising a night with a vegetarian dinner, concerts, seed swap and a small exhibition with seeds and plants art.Visit Website
I have been very lucky that going around the countryside collecting plants, seeds and berries is part of my full-time occupation as a potter. I originally qualified at Bath Academy, and since then have concentrated on making moulds of natural objects to use for ceramic tiles, three-dimensional ware and framed pictures.Visit Website
The A Team Foundation is a private charitable fund, which supports food and farming projects. They seek to encourage a better understand of the relationship between our approach to food, its production, consumption, and its implications on health and social wellbeing by improving food access, quality, education, research and environmental stewardship through funding inspired projects and charitable organisations with like-minded goals.Visit Website
The Art of Dining is a London-based pop up restaurant with a great track record of putting on fantastic events that provide stunning eating in inspiring and unusual surroundings.
Each pop up has a different theme and the food and art work together to create this. They have popped up in a wide variety of venues from warehouses, to a National Trust stately home, gardens, a chapel, a pie and mash shop and army barracks.
The Biodynamic Association is a charity that champions this unique approach of organic farming and growing. It offers information, training, membership and certification services. For 90 years, Biodynamics has been addressing the most pressing issues of our time; the health of the soil, the production of nutritious food and the well being and sustainability of the planet itself. Our area’s of focus are: Long term soil fertility, food quality, animal health, bees, seeds and social and economic renewal.Visit Website
The Dusty Knuckle aims to be London’s first artisan bakery with a sustainable model for youth employment (17-24yrs old). We shall target the most marginalised youth, training and employing those furthest from the labour market: youth offenders, early school-leavers and the long-term unemployed.
They will learn time-honored techniques to bring nutritious, beautiful handmade bread back to the British table. By enjoying the bread, our customers will contribute to the turnaround in fortunes of youth in the prime of their lives – early adulthood – when unemployment can have devastating repercussions.
We are currently renovating our first production premises – a 40 foot freight container in Dalston, from where we shall start our lives as full time bakers and begin piloting the youth program.
Please follow us @thedustyknuckleVisit Website
The Family Foraging Kitchen is a wild food and hedgerow cookery school in South East Cornwall. There is a good deal of fear and misinformation surrounding the use and consumption of wild plants, and we believe that the best way to combat this is to share knowledge about how these plants can be used. We run foraging courses that teach you how to safely identify wild edibles – and then how to turn those ingredients into inspiring and exciting dishes. We also run workshops and activities for schools, colleges, charity groups and more! Get in touch for more information.Visit Website
The Gaia Foundation (Gaia) works internationally to restore cultural and biological diversity, of which seed is at the very heart. For almost 30 years Gaia has been accompanying local partners and communities to reclaim and revive their seed, water and food sovereignty through processes such as intergenerational dialogue, eco-cultural maps and calendars, and agro-ecological farming practices.
Having advocated against genetically modified foods since the 1990’s, Gaia continues to be an international voice for food justice and in 2012 released the landmark film Seeds of Freedom Narrated by Jeremy Irons, the film exposed the corporate takeover of seed. Last year Gaia released Seeds of Sovereignty, a film exploring the inspiring ways in which communities across the world are reviving their seed to counter this threat.Visit Website
The Heritage Seed Library (HSL) aims to conserve and make available vegetable varieties, mainly of European varieties, that are not widely available. Over the decades many varieties have been dropped from popular seed catalogues. The collection contains many of these but also a large number of family heirloom varieties that have never been in a catalogue. We are not a gene bank and all our collection, once we have enough seed is made available to our members.Visit Website
Secret Seed Society are a social enterprise, started by mother and daughter to engage children in growing vegetables from seed. You can order their famous Story & Seed packs online. Each little storybook comes with seeds and will send you and your family on an adventure with vegetables from planting to cooking and finally eating your own vegetables. Everything can be grown on a windowsill or doorstep.Visit Website
The international transition network is a movement of local communities – towns, villages, cities . . . creating positive, practical locally based responses to global challenges such as climate change, resource depletion, food shortage etc. See http://transitiontowns.org for info on the worldwide network. Transition’s focus is on building local community resilience to major global challenges.Visit Website
Transition Network is a charitable organisation founded in Totnes in 2006, aims to engage communities in adapting to a new lifestyle which will reduce our vulnerability to power cuts, fuel shortages, food scarcities and cut-backs to local services, which are likely to occur as a result of climate changes and continued austerity.
Transition in Kings, or TiK, was founded in 2011 to develop a local response to the challenges of creating similar initiatives on a local scale. Today, TiK is a thriving community of volunteers engaged in local energy production (Grand Union Community Energy Ltd), a community farm (TiKoff), a monthly fresh food market and developing plans for a regional currency for South West Herts.
Transition Town Totnes began in 2006 as a response to the challenges our community is facing from diminishing oil and gas supplies, coupled with climate change and economic uncertainty.
We realise the future is going to look very different from the oil age we have grown used to, and over 5 years ago people in the town decided to act and plan in order to create the kinds of changes that would prepare us.
When considering our future resilience as a town, some obvious areas spring to mind; food, livelihoods, and housing. Over the last 5 years people have been meeting in groups around 8 key themes, initiating over 30 projects to take this work forwards.Visit Website
USC Canada promotes vibrant family farms, strong rural communities and healthy ecosystems around the world. With partners in Africa, Asia, Latin America and Canada, USC Canada supports programs, training and policies that strengthen biodiversity, food sovereignty, and the rights of those at the heart of resilient food systems – women, indigenous peoples and small-scale farmers.
USC Canada’s core program, Seeds of Survival, works to ensure a secure source of food and livelihood for small-scale farmers without losing the resource base essential for sustaining it. USC Canada’s newest program, The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security, has brought the Seeds of Survival model home to Canada – working with farmers and seed producers to build a seed system that provides a solid foundation for food security, climate resilience, and vibrant local communities.Visit Website
Vintage Roots is the award-winning and leading, fully organic, ethical wine and drinks business, and has been since 1986. We are a privately owned business run by Neil Palmer and Lance Pigott, and we believe passionately about placing the environment, sustainability and people’s welfare at the centre of our trading – we work hard to provide the very best organic wines, and other drinks with attentive service to our customers, at the best possible prices.Visit Website
War on Want (WoW) fights poverty in developing countries in partnership with people affected by globalisation. We campaign for human rights and against the root causes of global poverty, inequality and injustice. Together with our partners in Brazil, Sri Lanka, Mozambique and Kenya, and in the wider movement of La Via Campesina, we are committed to the alternative model of food sovereignty, an approach to the food crisis that prioritises people’s right to food, agro-ecology and a global food system free of corporate control.Visit Website
Whole Food Action is a new network of independent wholefood shops working together for a better food system. Use our website to ‘Find a Shop’, ‘Take Action’, and follow links for more info. Our first campaign is the GMO OMG! stunt month, and we will be running an activity over the festival weekend.Visit Website
Women’s Environmental Network is a registered charity based in Tower Hamlets, East London. Our mission is to make the link between women’s health and well-being and the environment. Since forming in 1988 we have campaigned on issues ranging from urban food growing and household waste, to real nappies, breast cancer prevention, climate change, and natural beauty products.
WEN has championed community food growing projects in some of London’s poorest neighbourhoods for over 15 years. We specialise in delivering inclusive, participatory training and events, mainly working with hard-to-reach groups such as low-income and unemployed women from minority ethnic backgrounds. We provide support in setting up food growing spaces on housing estates and other urban areas, and we help people to grow food in small spaces like balconies and window boxes. We provide high quality information and advice on organic food growing, and empower communities to improve their local environment for the benefit for all Londoners.Visit Website
Following the call of Vandana Shiva last year in London for the creation of a “festival of free seeds” and to encourage local initiatives around the issue of seed, the Urban Ecology Center, Demeter International and many partners are organising the first edition of the Festival Zaden Seed in Brussels.Visit Website