Salish Seeds .....Local Community Seed Project
The Salish Seed Guild has started a remarkable project toward local food security. We are collectively growing out useful seed for home gardeners that are selected for and adapting to Whatcom County. We knew at the beginning of the pandemic that it was well time to take our community's sustainability seriously. While we had been organizing Bellingham's community seed swap for years, much of the seed shared was last year's left overs from seed companies from all over the country. Much of this source dried up at the beginning of the pandemic as home gardening became suddenly popular. Seed saving is as old as agriculture and we have the skills to grow our own, letting us not have to rely on the generosity and abundance of overworked small seed companies.
So we did. Some of our stalwart do good earth stewards and a bunch of volunteers planted seed, tended plants, harvested and cleaned the seed crop, and packaged over 4000 packets of fresh, local seed that we are now distributing for donation in sites around Bellingham. Inspiration Farm lent us rich soil grow in on the Farm. Brian Kerkvliet and Krista Rome, both local sustainability experts at producing quality food and seed, donated many, many hours to coordinate an amazing rotating crew of volunteers.
But now, after spending $800 for our beautiful seed packets, we are only seeing donations trickle in. Also both Brian and Krista have busy schedules this summer with other sustainability projects. Celt Schira has stepped up to commit to sharing her extensive knowledge to help coordinate monthly work parties. But we will need a full community push to keep this going, with weekly or twice weekly work parties and some actual funding.
It's one of these projects that is the exact right thing to be doing now. With collective effort we can work together to have the seed we need to keep our community growing food whether they can afford seeds or not. But it is also one of those projects that doesn't fit nicely into the logic of capitalism... we are giving away these valuable seeds. We are taking the leap to the gift economy and trusting the collective whole to value this work. This is truly the work of transitioning to local sustainability and needs to be recognized as a very good investment for our time and money.
So...if you have time or money, or good ideas, we will need your help. Honestly, it is so rewarding to spend a half a day out in the fresh air, tending the seeds and soil with other fantastic people. Inspiration Farm is well...an inspiration! You can learn so much by seeing it and from learning from passionate gardeners how to grow and save seed. We plan to be out there most Sundays from 10am-1pm with your help. To see our event calendar go to our website SalishSeed.org.
We are also in need of someone savvy about social media and fundraisers/ grant writers.
On the website there is more info about The Salish Seed Guild, ways to make donations, and if you click on the meetings on Wednesday at 6:30 on our calendar page, you can find a link to our zoom meetings.
Thanks for caring, Peas on Earth,
Terri Wilde and the Salish Seed Guild