What is the Seed Saving Project?
Seeds are a big part of our food system that have been privatized and taken from our communities over the years. The Seed Saving Project is an effort to reclaim seeds and seed saving practices, to create a more sustainable and personal approach to agriculture that strengthens our community’s resilience and that is accessible to community members and moves our city towards food sovereignty.
Through this project we are also offering crucial and often forgotten education to inform our community about the powerful benefits of seed saving. We will be hosting regular seed saving workshops at our community garden sites, and implementing seed-saving curriculum at Verde K-8 School and Richmond High School (grade 9-12). During these workshops, we will cover topics such as seed diversity, the acclimation of plants and therefore their seeds to our environment, and the actual process of seed saving, storing and distributing seeds. Through these skill shares we’re hoping to uplift our communities’ confidence to start growing and saving seeds for a stronger relationship with the plants we grow and the lands they have come from. In addition to this, we’re also training our staff members and community volunteers seed saving skills so that seed saving can be a regular practice at our Urban Tilth sites and setting aside sections of our crops rows dedicated to growing seeds.
What are the benefits of Seed Saving?
Here in Richmond, CA, this project will provide more culturally significant seeds to our predominantly Black, Latino, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community. Comment end We hope that the process of growing, saving and sharing these seeds will help community members nurture and share the stories, powerful lessons and relationships to the lands, peoples and ways of life that our diverse residents have carried with them.
Saving seeds also makes our community more resilient. Making sure that hundreds and Richmond residents have the skills to grow their own food including the seeds needed for the next crop is a powerful practice of community resiliency that we believe should be practiced in urban and rural communities alike so that everyone can be more independent and capable in trying times and less dependent on distant and more and more expensive sources of food.
With the success of this project, we will have FREE seed libraries at all our sites (North Richmond Farm, Greenway Gardens, Verde K-8 School Partnership Garden, Richmond High School), so residents can enjoy our edible gardens and bring home their own seeds to grow at home giving them more direct access to hard to find, culturally relevant foods. To do this, we want to identify relevant species of seeds and make sure that those seeds are a part of our libraries. In order to do this, we’re working with local residents and the Richmond Grows Seed Lending Library. Together, we’re imparting knowledge, increasing resiliency, and practicing a fun and empowering activity to do with our community.
Learn more about Seed Saving on our website.
How you can Support the Seed Saving Project
We’re currently looking for financial support, as well as resources to support overall preparation in growing healthy soils so that the seeds we collect from our crops are healthy. If you want to support or learn more about the seed saving project, or donate seeds to our seed libraries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.