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Seedy Sunday 2014

(February 02, 2014)

We went along to Seedy Sunday today at the Brighton Corn Exchange, the UK’s largest and longest running community seed-swap event. Supported by the Heritage Seed Library and the Millennium Seed Bank, it was not only buzzing with enthusiasts, but also raises awareness for Seedy Sunday’s underlying campaign - to protect local biodiversity and protect against the increasing control of the seed supply by a handful of large companies.

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The event was packed, with over 50 stalls laid out for visitors to swap and buy rare seeds, locally grown vegetables or plants and taste some home-made earthy treats like those from Community Chef. (Check out their Seed Sourdough Recipe.)  

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There was also a full programme of expert speakers through the day on topics such as organic gardening and saving our bees, as well as an update from our own Chair Warren Carter, speaking about the great success of Moulsecoombe Forest Garden and Wildlife Project, despite their set-backs.

Not-for-profit community pub The Bevy, (Bevendean Cooperative Pub), were also on-site talking to visitors and selling shares (from £10) to help fund the opening of the first co-op pub in the country on an urban housing estate. Find out more on their website.

Children were also kept entertained throughout the day. Sue Craig’s Woolly Umbrella (Knitting the Map) knitting, spinning, dying and yurting collective were at the event, where children were thoroughly enjoying learning something new - getting stuck into felting a new piece of a night-time scene, that will be used to cover a new mini-yurt for the group. 

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It is great to see this popular event packed with green-fingered enthusiasts who help to share local and rare varieties of seeds, as well as swapping tips, ensuring plants unique to Sussex, continue to grow.

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New EU legislation threatens to ban swapping seed, growing heritage varieties and even saving your own seed from year to year. If you’d like to follow Seedy Sunday’s campaign, check out their website.

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