Reclaim the Seeds is an annually recurring event where the exchange of seeds and information is combined with discussion on political themes and practical workshops, each time in a different region. The goal is to get more and more people involved in the fight for agricultural biodiversity and a robust, sustainable food production. By stimulating the exchange of rare and different varieties, the project contributes to this directly.
Reclaim the Seeds started as protest against the new EU seed legislation. Currently there is more focus on the resistance against patents on crops and the threatening introduction of new types of gentech. Other practical, theoretical and political agriculturally related topics are covered in the programme as well.
The last six editions in the Netherlands were a big success. The seed fair usually attracts around 1000 participants, mainly active (vegetable) horticulture gardeners, The workshops and discussions are always very popular. Often the weekend results in the creation of permanent local initiatives. Reclaim the Seeds attracts people with vegetable gardens, professional horticulture gardeners, people involved with community vegetable gardens, and activists. A Reclaim the Seeds has also taken place in Flanders over the past two years.
Reclaim the Seeds is completely organized by volunteers every year.. The composition of the group changes. People from the environmental action group ASEED have been involved since the first edition, each year supplemented with local people from the region where the weekend takes place.
Since the beginning, nation-wide Reclaim the Seeds festivals have taken place in Amsterdam, Den Bosch, Groningen, Driebergen, Wageningen and Nijmegen. In 2018 we started to hold more decentralized seed festivals around the country: in Amsterdam and Rotterdam in 2018.
In 2019 there will be a number of seed exchanges in addition to the Amsterdam version at the Fruittuin van West. See here for a full list.
You can be a part of Reclaim the Seeds too! Just like other years, the event is only possible if enough people want to help. Let us know if you want to get involved!