Encouraged by the passion of seed people


Recently, I had the opportunity to attend the Northeast Organic Farmers Association’s first Seed Conference, in Saratoga Springs, New York.

I met many new people doing great work in the world of seed, many of them well known and respected for their long-time commitment to seeds. And I had a chance to reconnect with seedy friends whom I had not seen in a while. I attended workshops on practical topics like the economics of seed and equipment efficiencies, as well as talks on the more social aspects like deepening our collaboration efforts in seed work and discussing the question of seed ownership.

As with every conference I am able to attend, I learned a lot, both from the structured workshops and the more informal and spontaneous conversations and exchanges with the people around me. I have found people who are connected to ecological farming and seed work to be very passionate and very generous with sharing their knowledge and experience. It is pretty special to be in a space surrounded by people who are as deeply engaged and committed in this work for the common good of all. Time and time again I am reminded of how important this seed work really is and feel reinvigorated to continue forth.

It also underscores how blessed and fortunate we are as Kingstonians to have the Sisters of Providence devoted to the ministry of the Heirloom Seed Sanctuary, who have understood the importance of this collection of regional seed and that are committed to seeing it carry on for the benefit of the community and the development of a local seed system.

And the work continues. Long live the seed!

Annie Richard is a seed-saver and gardener with the Heirloom Seed Sanctuary.