Seed Swap and a Tribute to Esiah Levy

At our recent seed swap, the Garden Museum was humming with activity as people gathered to share seeds and started to think about the next growing season. We couldn’t believe the number of people who came through the door, eager to get a chance to talk about the next veg or flowers they were going to try growing.

Did you know that seed sharing is an act of rebellion? At IEL we like a bit of activism. We don’t believe that the huge seed companies can determine what we grow and how we grow it; we want the freedom to share seeds.

Esiah Levy was one such activist who very tragically died this year. Janine Nelson from the Garden Museum paid tribute to his amazing determination to create a global seed sharing website Seedsshare in 2016. A powerful poem was performed by food and social justice campaigners Mama D Ujueje and Carole Wright (we have included an extract below).

We were also fortunate to have the London Freedom Seed Bank with us again. This time they brought their very beautiful portable seed bank – an art piece in itself and a great way to find out more about the seeds they are saving and sharing.

IEL would like to thank Paolo Arrigo of Franchi Seeds for the generous donation of seeds for the swap. You can buy Franchi Seeds from us at our offices in the Remakery and at our events or for a wider selection order on-line at

The Garden Museum was giving away pumpkin and squash seeds (donated by Pennards Nursery) in preparation for a Pumpkin and Squash Festival to be held at the museum on Sunday 6th October. There will be a prize of £100 for the largest pumpkin or squash! The Garden Museum is inviting schools and community groups to take part, so collect your seeds from our office at the Remakery.

There was certainly a lot going on!

If you attended the Seed Swap, why not let us know how you get on with growing your seeds this year?

My Seed

.....My seed!

This seed was the originator

Original –

The ‘wild-type’ –


This seed was the source of all seed

This seed was curated by my womb!

I trace a long line through my genetic legacy,

Right back to the honey bee

When we all lived in harmony, the angiosperms and we…

We evolved together!

We trace a lineage forward to the human race

It’s why we talk about One Love

“One Love! One Heart! Let’s get together and feel alright“

And it is why all that plundering is such a disgrace

dis grace, dis race, dis race, race, race, race

You see, when my seed was taken; you also took my story too

How we had our way of interacting, transacting, acting within nature

We said, ‘As above and so below’

We blended in with nature, so

We cultivated her, we let her grow..."


"...What do we want, my mother?

Seeds of Freedom!

Seeds of Sovereignty!

Seeds of Resistance!

Seeds of Authority!

Seeds of Justice!

Seeds of the past!

Seeds of Culture!

Seeds that last!

Seeds of Freedom!

Seeds of Sovereignty!

Seeds of Resistance!

Seeds of Authority!

Seeds of Justice!

Seeds of the past!

Seeds of Culture!

Seeds that last! Seeds that last! Seeds that last!"

By Mama D Ujuaje
Performed first at The Garden Museum in October, 2014