Climate change and energy transitions
3 March 2022

This autumn we moved into the second phase of our urban Permaculture for refugees program “Seeds of a Common Future”, in collaboration with the ANKAA Project and Mpostani. This second phase consisted of educational activities related to seed processing and saving as well as design and implementation of a small entrepreneurial activity that introduced the participants to the local community as gardeners and seed savers, creating new perspectives and opportunities for income generation.

The educational activities took place during the 10th – 13th October and were organised and implemented in the Ankaa Project’s space in Kipseli. They brought together a group of men and women from different countries and cultural backgrounds in a shared learning and working experience and provided them with a thorough understanding of the value of traditional seed varieties and their use in promoting food security and regenerating local farming cultures. Combining theory and practice, the students’ group worked on the collection and processing of seeds from traditional varieties planted in spring, during the first phase of the project and then cultivated on the New Guinea farm and the Ankaa garden. The seeds were cleaned and sorted using appropriate methods and techniques for each type and were subsequently packed and labeled.

Moreover, the educational activities aimed at upskilling the participants in planning, organising and implementing an entrepreneurial initiative related to seeds at the Municipal Market of Kipseli. At the end of the educational activities, there was a big box full of seed packets and an engaged multicultural group ready to organise and facilitate an open event for the distribution of the seed packets!

The event took place on the 19th of October, and was incorporated in the farmers market, that is held on a weekly basis by the Mpostani Organisation. This event aimed at reaching out to the wider public, raising awareness around seed justice and maximising the impact of our project. It included:

  • An open informative talk on the culture and practice of seed saving by Fotini Georgousi
  • Presentations of the project by course participants
  • Seeds’ market

Market visitors responded with interest and generosity to our project, taking most of our seed packets with them.
As far as we know, our seeds will soon settle down in:

  •  urban gardens and balconies in Athens of locals and refugees;
  • allotment gardens in the city of Athens;
  • small productive farms and summer house gardens;
  • in the Ankaa Project garden.

The few seed packets that were left, we decided to keep them for producing seedlings next spring, thus making a wish for the project to continue!