We’re preparing for the 3rd instalment of Seed Exchange, boasting an impressive lineup of some of the most exciting names currently working in gastronomy, including Magnus Nilsson, Daniela Soto-Innes, Blaine Wetzel and Jacob Holmström to name but a few. But aside from delicious food, what’s it all about?
Midsummer has arrived and festival season is well underway. In recent years, as the collective consciousness has become more critical of the long-term effects of a disposable lifestyle on the planet, efforts have been made to clean up these events.
Despite this – even after a plastic bottle ban at this year’s Glastonbury – stories are emerging of the aftermath, as festival goers leave masses of single-use plastic and fields full of tents in their wake.
Festivals don’t have to signify total carnage. In fact, Seed Exchange, held on the 24th – 25th August, promises to be a more sustainable option – in more ways than you may think.
What is Seed Exchange?
Seed Exchange is a 2-day event where foodies and internationally celebrated chefs; local farmers and amateur gardeners; seed collectors and seed novices are able to interact and learn from each other, all while enjoying the best organic food available. It is an opportunity to discuss new sustainable practices in organic agriculture and to teach others why these are so vital.
At the heart of the festival sits the seed swap, which is exactly what it sounds like. Managed by Copenhagen Seeds founder, Signe Voltelen, the seed swap is what Seed Exchange is fundamentally about: sharing knowledge to protect biodiversity.
Loss of biodiversity means we have less opportunitiesChristian F. Puglisi
What exactly is biodiversity? And why is it so important?
Put simply, biodiversity is the variety and variability of life on Earth. A loss of it represents a crisis equal to – or possibly worse than – climate change.
Today, 75% of the world’s food comes from just a dozen crops and five animal species, leaving it vulnerable to pests or disease that can wipe out monocultures. Factor in that these species are often ill-equipped to handle rises in temperature and changes to their environment and this startling lack of biodiversity could result in widespread food scarcity.
The urgent need to protect biodiversity is because it is totally irreversible. Once a species is extinct, it is lost forever. Plants underpin all life on earth, yet their extinction rate is double that of mammals, birds and amphibians combined. This is bad news for everyone.
At Farm of Ideas, we grow many variables of crops because they’re more nutritious and better for the planet. At Seed Exchange, we not only highlight this issue, but offer the opportunity to buy or exchange rare and heirloom seeds – so you can keep biodiversity thriving in your own garden.
What else is happening at Seed Exchange?
Based at the farm’s new home at Svanholm, the festival offers many activities. This year sees the return of ‘Walk The Talk’ debates, which combines discussions with leading industry figures with walking tours of the farm.
Some of our special guests will host practical workshops where you’ll learn cooking and gardening skills, like how to cook crab bisque with Claus Meyer or a masterclass in heirloom vegetables with Camilla Plum.
There will also be a marketplace with food stalls where you can buy organic produce from the Relæ Community, plus kids activities to keep future farmers busy.
Seed Exchange is particularly well-known for it’s unique dining experiences. These one-of-a-kind meals are prepared by world-class chefs using the farm’s fresh, organic produce, and eaten in the fields from where it was harvested.
This year’s lineup is once again comprised of organic pioneers and chefs who strive for better, more sustainable practices, all of who have harnessed the power of local, seasonal produce in their own way.
Magnus Nilsson, Daniela Soto-Innes, Blaine Wetzel and Jacob Holmström will all take part in the dining experiences, discussions and seed swapping.
How can you take part in Seed Exchange?
Everyone is welcome to take part! If you’re looking to sell your own produce, want to volunteer or just want to learn a little more, we encourage you to contact us and come along.