A message from Randa and Tej presenting the Seed Saving Network 2023 seed collection which is now live and open for orders.
Dear Seed Savers,
We hope you’ve had a winter of rest, reflection and imagining possibilities for the growing season ahead.
Before going any further, we’d better introduce ourselves. We’re Randa and Tej, we’ve been tending to the garden at Omved with Vicky for the last year and we’re now the new caretakers of The Seed Saving Network, building on from the diligent care and guidance of Sonia who’ll always be a loved member of our seed saving family.
While our veg beds have been resting under blankets of green manure, we’ve been meditatively drying, counting and sorting through the lifeblood of our network, the seeds! In one week we’ll be in touch to share the whole collection with you but it’d be cruel not to let you in on a few exciting highlights with you today:
A happy accident that evokes the prehistoric with its dinosauresque, leathery leaves and piercingly purple veins. Some years ago, we tried to save kale seed but, as we all know, brassicas are a proudly promiscuous family! The result of this brassica romance is what we’re now calling Omved Kale! Over the last few summers and autumns, this deliciously robust and now relatively consistent kale has sprung up with prolific abundance all over Omved; we’ve jarred it in kimchis, dried it into crisps and woven it through salads-a-plenty, it's basically growing out our ears! Now, we’re excited to share it with you. Once it goes to seed, we promise you’ll have kale for years to come.
This yellow, golf-ball sized lobed tomato was a particular favourite with our seed savers last year, we’re highlighting it today not only for its dulcet sweetness and blight resistance but also because it symbolises everything our network is about. It’s easy to save seed from and we got tonnes back from you, so much so that we can give out even more of it this year! Sharing varieties like Fablonelistnyj allows us to collectively develop resilience as food prices continue to go up. We couldn’t recommend it more highly and thank our seed savers for nurturing and returning the seeds that make this all possible.
Sweet Yellow Stuffing Pepper
This fun little pepper is definitely worth growing. Its thick skin means it can be stuffed with cheeses or whatever wild combinations you can imagine! This year’s sweet yellow stuffing peppers are from fruits we grew in Omved’s glasshouse last year. While, like most peppers, they require a long growing season, they’re still relatively early fruiting, so they’re perfect for those of you who are itchy to get your fingers poking into compost and can’t wait a few months to get sowing and picking peppers!
We’re so excited to share our growing journeys with you this year. Join the Seed Saving Network here and get ready to get sowing and saving seed!
In the meantime here are a few events we’d love to share with you:
The Seed Gathering by the Gaia Foundation - 11th and 12th February 2023
The Seed Gathering is coming back in February. An online event organised by the Gaia Foundation’s Seed Sovereignty Program. A gathering to celebrate the seeds we work with and the people who cultivate them, to connect across networks and learn! You can get sliding scale tickets here.
Why Women Grow: Alice Vincent in Conversation with OmVed Gardens - 9th March 2023
Join journalist Alice Vincent at OmVed Gardens for a presentation of her latest book, ‘Why Women Grow’, a much needed exploration of why women turn to the earth, as gardeners, growers and custodians. Tickets are £10 (plus Eventbrite fee) or £25 if you want to purchase the book with the ticket . You can get ticket here.
With joy and abundant excitement for next week,
Randa and Tej