New host David Price describes the Seed-Co-operative’s organisation and aspirations, and tells us how much help WWOOFers have been right from the start at its new home. We wish you every success with the venture David!
Do you realise that 75% of the seed sold in the world is sold by just five corporations; or that 80% of the organic vegetable seed sold in the UK is imported? It is for these reasons and many others that the Seed Co-operative was established as a community-owned seed company in the UK. We have over fifty shareholders and hope to attract many more people to be joint-owners of our seed enterprise.
Gosberton Bank Nursery is the new home of the Seed Co-operative, and my partner Kate and I live and work here as the only employees. We have a ten hectare farm which includes one hectare of glasshouses, as well as buildings and a big enough house to provide accommodation for WWOOFers. We have entered the whole farm into biodynamic conversion, a process that gives us organic status after two years and biodynamic status after three years. Currently we are mainly growing green manures in the fields and glasshouses to build humus and re-enliven the soils. The site has been unoccupied for a number of years and so there is much renovation and tidying to be done.
Having moved to Gosberton Bank Nursery in February we are very pleased to be new WWOOF hosts. Yvette, Ludo and Judith, our first three WWOOFers, have been a huge help over the last few weeks to the extent that Kate and I now feel we are beginning to get on top of our task lists rather than the other way around.
We operate an online Seed Shop from here selling vegetable, herb and flower seed, and we will be processing seed here from the autumn. We have a network of biodynamic and organic growers around the UK producing seed and supplying it to us as a processing hub from which we will also build our sales and distribution operations.
We have spaces for WWOOFers from August onwards. So please check out our profile and get in touch if you are interested.
There is a lot of information about the Seed Co-operative on our website. We want to massively increase the proportion of UK-produced organic vegetable seed through growing a network of seed growers and growing seed ourselves. Our interest is solely in sustainable food production and we only produce and sell open pollinated seed; the open source equivalent of the food system. We will provide information about the source of all our seed and only supply seed produced by small-scale biodynamic or organic growers; we have links with similar organisations in Europe where we can buy seed until UK production builds up.
If you would like to find out more or support us through buying withdrawable shares or donations you can find all the information here.
You can read what it is like to WWOOF at Gosberton in the words of WWOOFer Michel Kounou here.