“If SEED SAVING is collecting seeds for replanting in the future… Then SEED STEWARDSHIP is the process of saving seeds with the purpose of maintaining or improving that seed’s health and resilience. It also includes the act of saving and selecting a variety over a period of many seasons, with the end goal of passing it on to others in the future.
The ideal of SEED SOVEREIGNTY firmly plants seed saving and seed stewardship in the realm of fundamental human rights. It is the freedom to save seed and determine the foundation on which our food system rests. With the current attacks of industry hitting at the heart of food sovereignty, the simple act of seed saving becomes a major act of resistance and social empowerment” (The Seed Ambassadors Project 2010)
The Kingston Area Seed System Initiative (KASSI) is a non-profit organization that was founded by local farmers, backyard and market gardeners, and concerned community members. We want to increase seed and thereby, food sovereignty for the Kingston region. A brief history of our work can be found here. We promote healthy, local food production by
- growing out the locally adapted, open-pollinated seeds in our living Seed Commons to save and share with farmers, market gardeners, schools and every other grower and seed saver in our region
- building a community of skilled seed savers and
- supporting the development of a vibrant sustainable network of local ecological growers producing local food and local seeds that can be legally grown, saved and shared
Our Living Seed Commons is a collection of locally-adapted, open-pollinated seeds. Open-pollinated plants grow like their parents. They produce seeds that can be legally grown, saved and shared. THEY ARE THE FOUNDATION OF OUR FOOD SYSTEM.
Our Seed Commons has two parts. We grow the seeds in the LIVING SEED SANCTUARY on an ongoing basis in order to maintain their genetic integrity while allowing them to continue to adapt to our local conditions. The seeds that are produced go back into the Living Seed Sanctuary for future grow-outs and the extra seeds are added to the SEEDS FOR SHARING.
We don’t sell our seeds. We want you to have these SEEDS FOR SHARING if you use them to grow more seeds and food for sharing. We rely on grants, donations and the generous work of our dedicated volunteers to keep these seeds available for everyone.
The Heirloom Seed Sanctuary, in KIngston, was a unique one-of-a kind collection of locally adapted open-pollinated seeds. In April 2019, they generously shared their collection of seeds with us and Ratinenhayen:thos, a sister group of seed farmers in nearby Kenhete:ke-Tyendinega Mohawk Territory. We plan to work closely with Ratinenhayen:thos to steward this important collection. We will also keep looking for and adding rare varieties to our Seed Commons that have roots in our region.