Seed Practice Team

Project Team:

Maya is an interdisciplinary social scientist, artist, and recent farmer. Her interests lie in sustainable food systems and regenerative agriculture, specifically the interspecies relationships within them. She recently completed her PhD at the University of Cape Town. Her research-related and artistic work is driven by an interest in nature-culture relationships and exploring ways to move beyond dualistic engagements with nature.

John is a permaculture designer, founder of NPO Ukuvuna, teacher and researcher associated with the University of Cape Town. He is a regional trainer for a 16-member organisation (Seed and Knowledge Initiative (SKI)) in which over 20,000 smallholder farmers in SADC region are working on indigenous seed systems and are transitioning to agroecology.

Dennis is an agronomist researcher at CAWR, Coventry University, UK; a commercial organic grower and FarmStart trainer at The Plot, an organic market garden south of Lancaster that trains future agroecological growers; and a co-founded of the ‘Lancaster Seed Library’.

Poppy is a community gardener and researcher interested in the role of seed in agroecological systems.

Georgie is a researcher, creator and media producer working for food and climate justice. Her work takes inspiration from her studies in food anthropology and working knowledge of grassroots movements globally. Insta handle: @georgie.styles 

Project Title:

Who does what and why do they do it? Climate resilient seed systems in South Africa and Wales

Project Overview:

This research sought to build understanding of the role of farm-saved seed for climate resilience from the perspective of those saving seed in the nation of Wales in the United Kingdom, and the district of Vhembe in the Limpopo Province of South Africa. Through a series of semi-structured, in-depth, qualitative interviews with five seed savers in Wales and five seed savers in South Africa, the research aimed to compare and contrast different seed savers’ understandings of climate resilient seed systems. 

We are grateful to the participating seed saving groups who committed their time and knowledge to build our understanding of different seed cultures and motivations as they strive to resist, defend and rebuild adaptive seed and diverse food systems. In South Africa we worked through social partner Ukuvuna with the Hamakuya community (above left); and in Wales with Cultivate Newtown, Powys; Mach Maethlon, Powys; Real Seeds, Pembrokeshire; and Coca, Pembrokeshire.

Project Outputs:

Our team is currently finalising its outputs – a policy brief, a podcast, and an animation – which will communicate the project’s findings across a range of audiences.