Plant a Seed
The Plant a Seed Campaign is about celebrating Biodiversity on farms, in gardens and at school.
The Plant a Seed campaign invites school garden educators and individuals to bring biodiversity, flavor and history into their gardens. Each year, we put together a cast of endangered and biodiverse seeds that tell a story. The varieties in each kit come from a unique grower and landscape, and tell a story of plants and people. The Plant a Seed campaign opens a door to understand the importance of biodiversity and issues of food sovereignty through the cultivation and journey of seeds.
In 2021 and 2022, we hosted a Slow Seed Summit, a virtual gathering for seed growers, savers, advocates and enthusiasts. We talked about seed sovereignty, stewardship, preservation and culture with leaders around the world.
There are over 30,000 edible types of plants all over the world. Biodiversity is not a new concept, but it is a current crisis. Today, nearly 75% of the world’s food comes from just 12 plant and 5 animal species, and 50% of our plant-derived calories come from wheat, corn, and rice. We are losing critical landraces and heirloom breeds on a weekly timescale. This loss of biodiversity is why the Ark of Taste was created over 20 years ago—to help preserve endangered flavors in regions all over the world.
The 2021 Campaign
old carolina tomato
Jimmy nardello pepper
King Philip Corn
Aunt Molly’s ground cherry
Early Scarlet Horn Carrot
The 2021 Plant a Seed kit included five awesome seed packets tucked into an organic cotton produce bag printed with original artwork by Lisa Gilardi. We selected seed from each of five regions in the United States and explored their stunning histories and evolutionary wonders through stories. Each seed tale studies human history and the right to grow. Through these successful encounters, we continually understand that our relationship with seeds is definitely two-way: we nurture them as much as they nurture us.
We created and distributed 750 kits. This year, we also hosted the Slow Seed Summit, six days of seed programming planned and curated by a thoughtful group of seed growers, savers, and advocates. The virtual gathering hosted important conversations about seed sovereignty, stewardship, preservation and culture with leaders around the world. Support from Cultures of Resistance helped fund the start of three community seed banks in Kaki Community Garden in Kirinyaga County (Kenya), in Risinga View, Giyani, Limpopo Province (South Africa) and at UMANGU Community Garden in Ngurdoto Ward (Tanzania).
Thanks to our 2021 campaign sponsors:
The 2019 Campaign
As an organization dedicated to uniting tradition and innovation, SFUSA teamed up with Dan Barber’s seed company, Row 7 Seeds . Like Slow Food, Row 7 is committed to the idea that delicious and nutritious seeds may be the catalyst to change the world.
SFUSA and Row 7 created the ultimate Plant a Seed kit for innovation and tradition in the garden. The kit contained 3 seeds from Row 7—Badger Flame Beet, Robin’s Koginut Squash and the Beauregarde Snow Pea—as well as a a nod to the Native American tradition of the Three Sisters. When planted together, the three sisters—trio of beans, corn and squash—help one another survive and thrive. These particular seeds are from our Ark of Taste catalog; they are on the brink of extinction and our continuing to cultivate these varieties helps them to survive: Long Island Cheese Pumpkin, Early Blood Turnip, and Laxton’s Progress No. 9 Pea.
the 2018 Campaign
We recognize that food is a cause of climate change. From field to fork, our food system contributes a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions. Food is a victim of climate change, too. Drought, desertification, floods, sea-level rise and ocean pollution put our food at risk across the world. But we are believers in Slow Food, and want to talk about food as a solution — and a delicious one — to climate change.
So in 2018, we began pursuing our all-encompassing theme, Food for Change. Throughout our events and campaigns, we are focusing on how individuals and communities can raise our forks against climate change, embracing tradition and innovation to provide good, clean and fair food for all.