Just before spring seeds and seedlings are ready to be put into the ground, a seed exchange will be held during the weekend of 10-11 March in Amsterdam. On Saturday there will be a market where seeds will be sold, traded and given away. In addition to stalls with seeds from the Netherlands, we expect a number of international collectives specialized in saving and spreading a great diversity of fruit and vegetable crops.
There will also be information stands from relevant organizations, as well as workshops, discussions and film screenings.
On Sunday the focus will shift towards local initiatives and actions focused on increasing food production in the city. In the afternoon we will take to the streets for theater and a demonstration. Practice, discussion and protest will be united during the weekend, all under the motto of “Reclaim the Seeds”.
The goal of the weekend is to preserve diversity in food crops, and to support farmers and organizations working towards this end. Saving, using and trading one’s own seeds is in contradiction to European regulations, which hold that only seeds from crops on a specific list can be traded. The seed exchange is also a protest against the patenting of crops. Multinationals are gobbling up more and more small seed companies, also in the Netherlands.
The concept of seed sovereignty and the future of our food sources will be central in the plenary debate during the weekend. Developments in the seed world, as well as practical alternatives and approaches, will be explored during the workshop and film program. Another important goal of the weekend is to interest more people in producing their own fruit and vegetable crops. Experience in other European countries has shown that seed exchanges are a good medium for this to happen.
The seed exchange is a youth initiative by ASEED in the framework of the Youth in Action program.