Food Sovereignty….

….just a fancy way to say “Start saving your seeds!”


Food sovereignty” is the term promoted by a group called Via Campesina which believes that the people who grow and sell and consume food products should also be the people who control how food is grown and sold, not corporations, market institutions, seed companies or even government agencies.

It is from this group that many of our food movements have developed. One branch of this effort is the promotion of seed saving and seed exchanges. Seed exchanges or seed swaps are one of the easiest ways to learn about heirloom seeds, regional seeds and seed saving techniques. And we’re hosting one right here in Jackson County this coming Saturday, Feb. 11th, at the Jackson County Farmers Market at The Community Table. You don’t want to miss it!


We’ll have lots of folks on hand to guide you through the process of selecting seeds for your garden that you can save including Adam Bigelow of Cullowhee Community Garden and Dr. Jim Veteto, WCU Department of Anthropology, as well as Ron Arps, Vegenui Gardens. According to the WCU faculty website, Veteto’s work with heirloom seeds is based at the Appalachian Institute for Mountain Studies, in Yancey County,that focuses on traditional and agro-ecological Southeastern farming techniques. Southern Seed Legacy, one of the main sustainability projects at AIMS, is led by Veteto to promote the use of heirloom seeds in farming activities and encourage seed trade between local farmers and gardeners. Bring your questions, bring any heirloom seeds you have that you would like to trade or swap. Don’t know what heirloom seeds are?  Good reason to join us and find out!

This Saturday is also the Seed Pickup day for those who ordered at the Market in January. Please be prepared to pick up your seeds between 10am and 1pm.

True independence starts in the garden. Let’s rise up and take back our food system….one seed at a time.

“Institutions do not save seeds. Humans with hearts do…”-Gary Nabhan

To learn more about food sovereignty, seed sovereignty and the Via Campesina movement here are some resources:

Food First! Food First’s analysis and educational resources support communities and social movements fighting for food justice and food sovereignty around the world. Food First gives you the tools to understand our global food system, and to build your local food movement from the ground up.

Via Campesina   La Via Campesina is the international movement which brings together millions of peasants, small and medium-size farmers, landless people, women farmers, indigenous people, migrants and agricultural workers from around the world. It defends small-scale sustainable agriculture as a way to promote social justice and dignity. It strongly opposes corporate driven agriculture and transnational companies that are destroying people and nature.

Seed Savers Exchange  Seed Savers Exchange takes threats to biodiversity seriously. We maintain a collection of more than 20,000 heirloom and open-pollinated vegetable, herb, and plant varieties, including over 1,000 varieties of heritage apple trees.




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