Over the last 100 years, 80% of plant biodiversity in Europe has been lost. Not only is our world’s biodiversity rapidly reducing, but we are also losing the local knowledge, culture, and skills, needed to farm in a sustainable way, and with seed saving at the heart of the farming system.
With young people as co-creators, ambassadors, and ‘Seed Sisters,’ the Seeds for a Better World project aimed to connect to and replenish our diverse natural heritage, through gardening workshops to train, educate, and inspire children, young people, local residents, and teachers on the natural cycle of growing and seed saving. Through the collection of stories of food growers and seed savers in London, the creation of a mobile interactive seed bank taking heritage seeds and the stories of their growers to new audiences, and a Seed Festival, this project brought together diverse groups of people, to swap seeds, learn from each other, and so much more.
The project culminated in a fantastic celebration at the Skip Garden, exhibiting the Seed Sisters’ work including photographs, film, the sharing of oral histories, and the mobile seed bank.
Read Silvia, Nicole, Emma, and Vero’s blog posts on the project, and enjoy the film, photos, and recordings below.
London Mobile Seed Bank
In collaboration with London Freedom Seed Bank, researcher Sara Heitlinger and artist Franc Purg, the Seed Sisters contributed to making the London Mobile Seed Bank.
Oral History project
As part of the project, the Seed Sisters were trained by the Oral History Society to carry out interviews with gardeners and seed-savers across London, collecting stories of the opportunities and challenges of growing in the city, and across the world. The Seed Sisters approached individuals carrying seed-saving knowledge and other traditional growing methods in order to help preserve our natural heritage in the face of a world which is rapidly becoming less biodiverse. Excerpts of recordings were shared in the Glasshouse at the Skip Garden during the celebration, and guests were invited to reflect on the questions and share their own stories.
A big thank you to:
Syeda, Roxana, and Syria from Islington Bangladeshi Association
Mama D from Community Centred Knowledge
Clarissa from Culpepper Garden
Karla from Regents Park Allotment Garden
Camilla from Castle Climbing Centre Garden
Hasna and Fajana from Medway Court Garden
Haleluya from the Heritage Seed Library
Elisa Nader from Collective Studios Garden
Ciara Wilkinson from Growing Communities
and Lucy’s mum, Cassie’s Dad, and Veronica Lopes da Silva.
who contributed their time and memories to the Oral History Project