About Us

The Kingston Area Seed System Initiative (KASSI) is a non-profit organization 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 and seed production by

  • growing out locally adapted, open-pollinated seeds from the KASSI 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

The KASSI Board of Directors  , KASSI Committees and KASSI Seed Guardians are the heart of KASSI.  There are no paid staff at this time.  We are very grateful for the work that was completed by the people we were able to hire when we had funding from successful grant applications in the past. 

From left to right- Cate Henderson, Dianne Dowling and Kathy Sage three of the founding members of KASSI. Far right- Cathy Christie who is currently serving as KASSI Chair.
Kathy Rothermel, the fourth founding member of KASSI in 2015 when the KASSI Living Seed Commons was moved from a storage locker to our current location at St. Luke’s Anglican Church, Kingston.

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)