Seed saver organisations from Denmark and Baltikum meeting to develop informal teaching of how to protect and grow heritage plants. Photo: Vivi Logan
NGOs from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Denmark have carried out a project together: “Growing Seed Savers: Baltic-Nordic Seed Savers' Education Innovation 2018-2020”. The project successfully built a network to support and inspire the saving of heritage plants in all countries with informal adult learning.
On-farm biodiversity and associated knowledge are being lost in Europe due to industrialization of agriculture, climate change, and restrictive seed legislation that can hinder seed exchange practices. This knowledge and seeds are crucial for building diversified local food systems resilient to large scale environmental and socio-economic change. The best way to preserve this agrobiodiversity is through cultivation, circulation, and use.
The project partners (Latvian Permaculture Society, Danish Seed Savers, Natural Agriculture Institute from Lithuania, and Maadjas from Estonia) developed a curriculum with materials to teach seed saving in all partner countries, a garden inventory booklet to find and document heritage plants, a common database for keeping track of the heritage plants collected, and a homepage to share the experiences. Following this they carried out informal teaching (teaching outside of school) for their members and the general public. Finally, the NGOs collected material about EU and national seed legislation into a legislation booklet. Furthermore each of the four countries shared their knowledge at three legislation-workshops with scientific partners and national authorities in each of the three baltic countries. This is probably the most promising professional result of the Nordic-Baltic cooperation so far, and can lead to changes in legislative practices in all countries, taking better care of conservation and use of heritage plants and agrobiodiversity.
The project partners will continue working together on expanding the network of seed savers’ organisations in the Nordic and Baltic countries, which has successfully started with this project.
Information and results are distributed through the project homepage.
The project was funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers’ program NORDPLUS.