New network members get skilled up

Our network of seed savers grow seeds to donate to the Freedom Seed Bank each year. This year we recruited 20 new members to join the network, all of whom have experience gardening and growing food, but haven’t necessarily saved seeds before. Earlier in the month we held a training session focussed on pollination and its role in successful seed saving to bring the new network members up to speed on this important topic.

We invited Peter Brinch of Open-Pollinated Seeds to lead the session. Peter has been working in the world of seeds since 2001 and currently grows vegetable and flower seeds for the Seed Co-operative. He spoke about the history of seed saving, before looking in more detail at the difference between self-pollinating and cross-pollinating crops and why it’s important to recognise which you’re growing before saving any seed.


Peter with his DIY Seed Cleaner (an Open Source design available at Real Seeds).

Check out the full range of open-pollinated, organic and biodynamic seeds available from the Seed Co-operative: download the catalogue.


Seeds Festival Fully Booked!

We are delighted to announce that the Seeds Festival has sold out.

Thanks so much to everyone who has shown an interest and reserved a place. We look forward to seeing you on Saturday at the Skip Garden.

Full details here:

Incredible Edible Seed Swap – 27th January

Our friends at Incredible Edible Lambeth are holding a Seed Swap at the Garden Museum next Saturday 27th January from 1-3pm.

We will be there with a variety of seeds grown and saved in London in 2017 by our network of seed savers including some heritage tomato varieties, climbing french beans, Amaranth ‘Latte’ originally collected from a Pakistani women in Leyton, and more.

You can bring seeds and/or plants to swap and Incredible Edible will also be giving away Franchi Seeds for FREE!

More info here:

We hope to see you there!

Seeds Festival, Saturday 3rd February

Come and join us at the Skip Garden in Kings Cross to celebrate seeds, the first signs of the emerging Spring and the stirrings of new life. We will be growing, cooking, sprouting, swapping, creating, wondering and marvelling at the knowledge, qualities and life that seeds hold.

The London Freedom Seed Bank will be leading an Introduction to Seed Saving workshop (from 11:15-13:00) and distributing FREE SEEDS, grown and saved in London by members of our seed saver network.

The event is broken down into morning and afternoon. The morning activities are geared to adults, including the home-cooked lunch. The afternoon activities are geared to families with children.

Timings for the event are as follows

10:30 – 11:00 – Arrivals, hot drinks and seedy nibbles

11:00 – 11:15 – Welcome by Global Generation and young people

11:15 – 13:00 – Workshops for participants to choose, including

  • Workshop 1: Introduction to seed saving
  • Workshop 2: Exploring and milling ancient grains
  • Workshop 3: Creating batiks inspired by the beauty of seeds through the microscope

13:00 – 14:00 – Home-cooked communal lunch cooked by our Skip Garden Kitchen chefs and young people

14:00 – 16:00 – Family activities including cooking, growing and making with seeds

The event is free but please register your interest by following the link below so that the cafe can cater accordingly:

The full address is: Skip Garden, 1 Tapper Walk, N1C 4AQ.

We hope to see you there!

Seedy goodies at the Winter Market

Join Global Generation for their Winter Market on Wednesday 7th December (5.30-7.30pm) at the Skip Garden. Celebrate the beauty of winter and enjoy the magic of the handmade products made by young people for the festive season. The young people have created a gorgeous array of goodies including some inspired by, or made from, seeds.


The young ambassadors are taking part in Seeds for a Better World, a partnership project between Global Generation and the London Freedom Seed Bank. They are part of a year-long programme to learn about the natural cycle of growing and seed saving and to educate and inspire others about the tradition of saving seed.

The Winter Market takes place at the Skip Garden, Tapper Walk N1C 4AQ.

Join our seed saver network

We are recruiting new members to our Freedom Seed Saver Network! All new members will benefit from free training, support from our network of seed savers, and the chance to grow and save seeds for the Freedom Seed Bank.

We are offering new members the opportunity to take part in a series of workshops covering all the basics of saving seed for the most popular vegetable crops: in return we’d like you to grow and save seeds for the Freedom Seed Bank. The workshops will take place in the first half of 2018 at various community gardens across London.

Our network fosters peer-to-peer learning and support and so each of the workshops will be lead by a different network member. Each of the gardens that we visit will feature a seed saving garden/plot that has been established by one of our members.

The workshops will cover:

  • Botany for seed savers
  • Planning a seed saving garden
  • ‘How to’ guide for saving seeds of tomatoes, peas, beans and lettuces

There will be a total of 5 – 6 sessions with a minimum commitment of 4 sessions. Workshops will be approximately 2 to 3 hours on a Saturday morning, roughly once a month, plus optional trips or gatherings at other times. Exact timings and venues to be confirmed.

We are looking for people who already have knowledge and experience of food growing and have a space where you can grow seed crops (this could be a home, community or school garden).

This a great opportunity to receive FREE training, to learn about the lost art of seed saving and to help preserve our precious vegetable varieties for future generations.

If you are interested in taking part then please send an expression of interest (max 2 sides of A4) telling us about yourself and why you are interested in joining our network. The deadline for expressions of interest is Sunday 26th November.

Please send your expressions of interest or get in touch with any questions to:


Image: Lettuce seed heads, by Richard Galpin, Walworth Garden Lettuce Trials and London Freedom Seed Saving Project, 2017.

Edible Living Harvest Festival

London Freedom Seed Bank are pleased to be taking part of the Edible Living Harvest Festival on Friday 22nd September. It’s going to be a fun celebration of growing with a pot luck dinner, activities to get your hands dirty, and the chance to meet Lambeth’s food growing community. We will be there with the seed bank so come along to get your hands on some FREE LOCAL ORGANIC SEEDS!

Edible Living Harvest Festival (1)

Seed: The Untold Story – LFSB screening

The London Freedom Seed Bank is delighted to be partnering with Demand:film to bring you a one-off screening of SEED: The Untold Story at The Whirled Cinema in Brixton on Sunday 3rd September. This incredible film follows the passionate seed keepers who protect our 12,000-year-old food legacy and reveals how the battle for control of our seed supply is fast becoming a defining story of our time.

Few things on Earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds, worshiped and treasured since the dawn of humankind. SEED: The Untold Story follows seed savers around the world fighting to protect our seed heritage. In the last century, 94% of our seed varieties have disappeared. As biotech chemical companies control the majority of our seeds, farmers, scientists, lawyers, and indigenous seed keepers fight a David and Goliath battle to defend the future of our food. In a harrowing and heartening story, these reluctant heroes rekindle a lost connection to our most treasured resource, and revive a culture connected to seeds. 

The film has already won 14 film festival awards in the US, where it was described as “the most essential, illuminating and enraging film since Food Inc.” Watch the trailer  and find out more about the film here.

Please note, this event is an advance ticket only event. Tickets will not be available on the door and must be purchased online in advance: 


SEED: The Untold Story

When: Sunday 3rd September, 1pm (film starts at 1.30pm)

Where: Whirled Cinema, 259-260 Hardess Street, Brixton, London SE24 0HN

Nearest buses from Brixton / Camberwell: 35, 45, 345, P4

Nearest train station: Loughborough Junction (Thames Link from Farringdon, Blackfriars or Elephant and Castle or from Sutton via Herne Hill) or 15 min walk from Brixton Station.

Screen Shot 2017-07-10 at 17.24.31


Connected Seeds and Sensors

I was very happy to be invited along to the Connected Seeds book launch and winter celebration at Rich Mix at the beginning of February. The event featured talks on seed sovereignty, food growing workshops and an exhibition and short-film screening about the Connected Seeds project. The main attraction of the day was the Connected Seeds Library, a new interactive seed library which tells the stories of seeds and their growers in and round Spitalfields City Farm. It was inspiring to connect with other London-based seed savers and to acquire new varieties for the seed bank including unfamiliar crops.

Connected Seeds and Sensors is research project looking at how ‘smart’ technologies can be used to support more sustainable urban food practices. The lead researcher, Sara Heitlinger, based at Queen Mary University London, worked with 14 Seed Guardians throughout the 2016 growing season to grow and save a variety of different seed crops and to record environmental data in each of the gardens.

The Seed Guardians were from all walks of life and different cultural backgrounds with varying levels of gardening expertise. They each committed to growing one or two crops and then donated some of the seeds they had collected to the Connected Seeds Library. The interactive seed library contains seeds from each of the guardians alongside photos, video footage and sounds clips about  the crops from the guardian who donated the seeds.

The guardians grew their crops in various growing spaces around East London, in private gardens, community plots or on housing estates. Each of the gardens was fitted with a specially-designed sensor to record information about the environmental conditions in the garden, including air temperature, air humidity, air pressure, soil moisture and ambient light. The data visualisations can all viewed online:

The data clearly demonstrates the capacity of smart technologies to inform growers about the environmental conditions of their growing space. There is lots of potential to use this data to encourage better growing practices or to map different growing conditions across the capital.

The exhibition featured a seed swap where a variety of crops grown by the seed guardians and donated by other visitors to the event were available. I swapped some of our seeds from the London Freedom Seed Bank with lablab beans grown at Spitalfields Farm and potol, a kind of pointed gourd. I look forward to passing these seeds on to our freedom seed savers to grow and save so we can increase the quantity in the bank and make them accessible to other growers and gardeners.

We’re delighted that there’s another project which is collecting London’s seeds and the stories behind them, and we look forward to seeing how the interactive seed library grows over the coming months. The seed library can be found at its permanent home at Spitalfields City Farm. Get in touch with farm staff to organise a visit or become a member.

Charlotte Dove


Next re-skilling training Saturday 25th April

Hello all,

There are a few spaces left on our next training with Peter Brinch of Open Pollinated Seeds.  It will be held next Saturday 25th April from 10.30 to 1.30pm at Regents Park Allotment.  The training will cover all aspects of seed saving with plenty of opportunity to ask questions.

Saturday 25th April at Regent’s Park Allotment

Trainer: Peter Brinch of Open Pollinated Seeds

Time: 10.30am-1.30pm

Venue: The Regent’s Park allotment garden is located in the middle of Regent’s Park itself, at the Corner of Chester Road and the Inner Circle, next to the park’s office. If using a GPS use the postcode NW1 4NR.

Email us at if you would like to book a place.

In solidarity

London Freedom Seed Bank