Last few tickets for training day this Sunday

We still have a few tickets left for our Day of Learning at Walworth Garden this Sunday, 17th November, from 10.30-4.30.

The morning will be an introduction to different types of seed bank, and cover the basics of good practice in drying, cleaning, storage, and record keeping, with guest speaker Fred Groom, from independent seed company Vital Seeds.

The afternoon session will be more hands-on, as we clean, sort, pack and label the London Freedom Seed Bank 2019 harvest, in preparation for distribution through community events and outreach. You will gain experience of cleaning and sorting seed, including use of the London Freedom Seed Bank’s seed cleaning machine. You are also welcome to bring your own seed for cleaning with our seed cleaning machine.

This event is free to attend, but incurs a £10 refundable deposit, which will be returned to you after the day. Booking essential, please book your ticket here: https://walworthgarden.org.uk/caring-for-a-community-seed-collection

We hope to see you there! 🙂

Caring for a Community Seed Collection

You are warmly invited to our Day of Learning, taking place at Walworth Garden on Sunday 17th November 2019, 10:30-16:30. 

Have you ever thought about creating your own community seed collection or do you worry that your saved seeds aren’t stored correctly? Then join us for Caring for a Community Seed Collection. We have teamed up with Community Seed Banks Academy and Vital Seeds to cover the basics of good practice in drying, cleaning and storage of seed. There will be hands-on experience of cleaning, sorting, packing, and labelling as we process the London Freedom Seed Bank 2019 harvest, in preparation for distribution through community events. You are also welcome to bring your own seed for cleaning through our seed cleaning machine!

This event is free to attend, but incurs a £10 refundable deposit, which will be returned to you after the day.

Booking required, limited places: here.

LONDON FREEDOM SEED BANK News

Dear friends,

Have you ever thought about creating your own community seed collection or do you worry that your saved seeds aren’t stored correctly? We’ve got just the event for you! Join us for ‘Caring for a Community Seed Collection’ on Sunday 17th November at Walworth Garden. We have teamed up with Community Seed Banks Academy and Vital Seeds to cover the basics of good practice in drying, cleaning and storage of seed. There will be hands-on experience of cleaning, sorting, packing, and labelling as we process the London Freedom Seed Bank 2019 harvest, in preparation for distribution through community events. You are also welcome to bring your own seed for cleaning through our seed cleaning machine! Booking required, limited places: here

Before that, we’re co-hosting Seeds Stories and Symbionts with the Roving Microscope and Connected Seeds Library on 27th October. Part of Spitalfields City Farm’s wildlife appreciation day, we will explore the human and more-than-human stories that are carried by our seeds, taking a closer look at their shapes and textures and meeting some of the microscopic communities that inhabit them. Bring some seeds or seed stories along. Tickets here.

Field-drying seed at Shoulder to Shoulder Farm, Oregon

Field-drying seed at Shoulder to Shoulder Farm, Oregon. Photo: Richard Galpin

It’s been a busy few months for us. Back in August LFSB’s Richard Galpin caught up with Frank Morton in Oregon, USA, the legendary seed farmer and experimental plant breeder. “I turned up unannounced to Frank’s farm towards the end of the working day and found Frank enjoying the hazy sunshine amongst the flowering lettuce heads at the edge of his four acre plot,” Richard says, “Frank was gracious enough to show me around the farm. It was incredible to see the 150 seed crops he’s growing this year alone, and pick up some tips for field-drying seed crops, and see the way he harvested and cleaned seed, including the awesome Winnow Wizard a seed cleaning machine designed by Mark Luterra, one of the farm hands.

Most exciting of all, I got the answer to the question I went there to find out: What were the parents of the Mayan Jaguar lettuce? (One of Frank’s farm-bred lettuces which is itself, one of the parents of my London-bred Bloody Marvel lettuce). The answer was Crisp Mint crossed with  Forellenschluse’ (meaning speckled like a trout’s back) AKA ‘Flashy Trout Back’. No surprise that the red flecked heritage variety Flashy Trout Back was somewhere there in the mix.”

Richard and Frank

Richard and Frank

At the start of September, we helped launch the Wellcome Collection’s new permanent gallery, Being Human. For the next 10 years, London Freedom Seed Bank seeds (Latte Calaloo, Fiesta Corn and Bloody Marvel Lettuce) will be on display. The work of the seed savers within our network is celebrated as a hopeful response to environmental breakdown. It is so encouraging to see large, mainstream organisations like the Wellcome Trust recognise the important work seed savers do. Read more about the exhibit here.

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We’ve been busy too with a late summer/ early Autumn full of workshops, talks and activism. It seems like there’s a real appetite for fully closing the loop to community self sufficiency and sourcing organic, open-pollinated seed. On a larger scale, increasing work with the UK food sovereignty movement and Extinction Rebellion, highlight the important contributions seed savers make to fighting biodiversity collapse, increasing resilience to climate breakdown and building a more just, healthy food system. More on this soon!

Finally, if you haven’t already, it’s time to get cracking with your seed collecting. In-breeders like tomatoes, french beans, lettuce and peas are a good place to start. Julie Riehl guides you through it here.

Get in touch if you have any seed to donate to the bank! We’d love to hear from you.

 

Charlotte, Richard, Julie and Helene

London Freedom Seed Bank Team

Lead image: CC: Wellcome Collection 

Two seed swapping opportunities this weekend

Are you keen to get your hands on some London-grown, organic vegetable and flower seeds for FREE? The London Freedom Seed Bank will be taking seeds from our collection, grown by our network members, to a couple of events this weekend. Come and get your hands on some interesting varieties and find out more about what we do:

Biggin Woods Allotment Seed Swap, Saturday 23rd February, 1-3pm

@ St. Oswald Green Lane, Norbury, London SW16 3SB

AND

OrganicLea Open Day (12-4pm) and Seed Swap (1.30-3pm), Sunday 24th February

@ OrganicLea, 115 Hawkwood Crescent, Chingford, E4 7UH

OrganicLea’s monthly Open Day features a whole host of activities including a family art & craft session, farm stall, locally-produced lunch, coffee and cake, and site tours. For more details:  https://www.organiclea.org.uk/2019/02/february-2019-open-day/

We hope to see you there!

 

Out and about in February

The London Freedom Seed Bank will be out and about in February. We will be taking our collection of locally-grown, organic seeds to three upcoming events taking place in London. Come and find out more about what we do and pick up some seeds to take home.

Incredible Edible Lambeth’s Seed Swap, Saturday 9th February, 12-3pm

@ the Garden Museum, Lambeth Palace Road, SE1 7LB

The Seed Swap will be held in the main nave space of the museum. Please let front desk know that you are coming for the Seed Swap and entry is free. Bring seeds to share. Free seeds from Franchi Seeds will also be available.

 

Walworth Garden’s Seed Day, Sunday 17th February, 11am-4pm

@Walworth Garden, 206 Manor Place, SE17 3BN

A free day of training about why save seeds, how to save seeds, and a guide to successful seed sowing. Booking open to Lambeth and Southwark residents only: www.walworthgarden.org.uk 

 

Seed day poster

 

OrganicLea’s Open Day, Sunday 24th February, 12-4pm 

@ OrganicLea, London E4 7UH

The Seed Swap will be held at OrganicLea’s monthly Open Day. There will also be delicious lunch, cake and drinks available, plus kids activities, farm stall and site tours.

https://www.organiclea.org.uk/whats-on/open-days-at-hawkwood/ 

 

 

 

 

Join us at IEL’s annual Seed Swap – Sat 9th Feb

Come and join us at Incredible Edible Lambeth’s annual Seed Swap at the Garden Museum on Saturday 9th February from 12-3pm.

Are you keen to get your hands on some seeds that have been grown and saved in London using organic principles? This could be your chance! The London Freedom Seed Bank will be there with a selection of seeds saved by our network members including heritage tomatoes, lettuces, beans and pollinator-friendly flowers.

If you are interested in learning about how to save the seeds from your favourite vegetable crops then some of our network members will be on hand to answer your questions. We are also looking for donations for the seed bank so if you have surplus quantities of any seeds that you have saved then please bring them along.

Incredible Edible Lambeth (IEL) have secured a large donation of seeds from Franchi Seeds, a reputable Italian seed distributor, and will be giving these away for FREE!

For more info: https://www.incredibleediblelambeth.org/event/iel-seed-swap/

We hope to see you there!

Seed Saving in South London – Tues 20th Nov.

We warmly invite you to join us for a Seed Saving Evening at the South London Botanical Institute on Tuesday 20th November from 6.30-9pm.

We will be screening the Seeds of Freedom documentary, sharing top tips on how to start saving, and hearing from Richard Galpin about his experience breeding new lettuce varieties. Richard will also be demonstrating his DIY Seed Cleaner, built using an Open Source design on the Real Seeds website – come and see it in action!

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For tickets, please go to the Eventbrite page.

We are happy to be collaborating with Incredible Edible Lambeth and the South London Botanical Institute on this event.

Three seedy events in October not to miss

We’re delighted to share news of three seedy events coming up in October:

Screening of Seed: The Untold Story, Monday 15th October, 4.15pm, at the Bertha Doc House. Melanie Fryer from the Gaia Foundation will be joined by food activist Anna Lappe for a Q&A afterwards

http://dochouse.org/cinema/screenings/seed-untold-story-qa

Talk: A food revolution starts with seed, Tuesday 16th October, 11am-12.15pm, at the Bargehouse Gallery. 9 out of 10 bites of food we take owes its origin to seeds. And yet seeds are often overlooked in discussions about our food system. As part of a full-day of exciting events organised by the Land Workers Alliance, learn how small-scale seed producers are boosting the quality and amount of locally-adapted, organic seed as part of Gaia’s Seed Sovereignty UK & Ireland Programme.

https://www.facebook.com/events/920686064790693/

Both of these events form part of a busy programme surrounding the launch of the Gaia Foundation’s photographic exhibition, We Feed the World

Seed Swap at the Jetty, Saturday 20th October, 12-3pm. Learn about seed saving and swap seeds for the season ahead. Come in the last hour and enjoy a tour of this quirky, floating garden. This event is organised by Urban Growth Learning Gardens.

https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/seed-swap-at-the-jetty-tickets-51016352283

London Freedom Seed Bank is happy to support these promise-to-be-excellent events.

Peas and Solidarity!

 

 

Skip Garden Harvest Festival, 22nd September

Join us at the Skip Garden on Saturday 22nd September for their Harvest Festival. Come and celebrate the bountiful harvest and learn about seed saving at this time of year too. Enjoy a delicious afternoon tea prepared by the wonderful community kitchen, stalls packed full of homemade produce, and drop-in activities to keep the littles ones busy.

Tours of the garden will be taking place throughout the afternoon, lead by the Skip Garden’s Seed Sisters, a group of young women dedicated to raising awareness about seed saving and heritage.

Charlotte from the Freedom Seed Bank will be sharing her knowledge about the theory and practice of seed saving, and seeds from the bank will be available for people to take home for free.

Tickets are FREE but must be reserved in advance, here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/skip-garden-harvest-festival-tickets-49328257145

We hope to see you there!

 

 

 

Inspiring talks & a garden tour

We are hosting a Network Get-together on Wednesday 23rd May at St Luke’s Community Centre from 7-8.30pm. If you are already a member of the Freedom Seed Bank Network or you’re interested in finding out more, then please come and join us.
 
The evening will feature talks by our network members, plus drinks and nibbles, and a tour of the St Luke’s ‘Edible Yard’
 
Our speakers on the night are:
 
Helene Schulze, co-director of LFSB, writer and editor 
Here’s an intro from Helene…’Why do we save seed? Last summer I did my masters research on UK seed savers. The premise was simple: visit savers in their gardens and greenhouses, over cups of tea and packets of seeds, and talk. I wanted to know what their motivations were, how saving seed changed their relationships to the soil and their surroundings, what it meant it meant to them and whether they felt themselves part of a larger, global community of seed guardians. I returned with a wealth of tales far too long to squeeze into a dissertation and I would like to share them with you.’ 
 
Maria Precedo, Seed Guardian for the Heritage Seed Library 
Will speak about her seed saving journey and her work with the Heritage Seed Library 
 
Marco Bottignole, Community Gardening Officer at St Luke’s Community Centre
Will talk to us about the seed saving that they have been doing at St Luke’s and explain why he’s passionate about seed saving 
 
The full address is St Luke’s Community Centre, 90 Central St, London EC1V 8AJ.
 
Please email freedomseedbank@gmail.com to reserve a space. We hope to hear from you!