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by Slow Food staffer Julia De Martini Day

Brian Campbell from Uprising Seeds flew from Northern Washington State to San Francisco to attend Changemakers’ Day at Slow Food Nation, and to be presented with the financial component of the Betsy Lydon Ark Award. Uprising Seeds works to preserve and promote the use of rare and native seeds in Washington State, as well as run a farm and low-income CSA in Bellingham.

During Changemakers’ Day Brian joined the “Eat it to Save it” panel , alongside biodiversity and native food tradition champions Gary Nabhan and Poppy Tooker, in order to discuss how co-producers can contribute to protecting biodiversity through the pleasure of eating.

Saturday evening, Uprising Seeds was presented with the financial component of the award at a Slow Dinner at Cavallo Point. Neal Peterson, pawpaw grower and researcher, and the 2006 award recipient, (and at Slow Food Nation to participate in a Taste Workshop with his pawpaw fruit – read more about the pawpaw fruit on the Ark of Taste website here) presented the award to Brian.

Brian spoke briefly about his excitement to continue educating people about not just saving seeds, but finding the right seeds to grow in their environment, as well as for being honored with the award.

“As farmers our work is our passion, and we accept that we will at best make a modest living in the work we do, so it is awards like this that make us feel rich in community and the things that really matter…For us, this recognition shows a growing awareness of seeds and regional seed stewardship as being a real cornerstone in what it means to grow and eat local food,” Brian said.

Up next for Brian and partner Crystine Goldberg? The Terra Madre conference in Turin in October!

Uprising Seeds plans to use part of the award to develop a website, but in the meantime you can read more about their CSA serving people with food stamps here.