Berkeley Student Farms Seed Library
Project Leads: Annika Levaggi
Sponsor: Student Organic Gardening Association
Project Theme: Education, Outreach, and Behavior Change; Habitat Restoration
Project Description: The Berkeley Student Farms coalition is a transparent and democratic student-led and community-based organization that prioritizes movement building, meaningful inclusion, and equitable distribution of food, land, and knowledge through collective action and resistance. The coalition utilizes ecological land management to create a network of sites dedicated to anti-oppression and student basic needs, in order to produce thriving safe spaces for experiential education and food justice in the Bay Area. The creation of a community seed library–to feature perennial and annual crops, herbs, and flowers–represents a critical step for our coalition to put our practices and guidelines to work in a common effort to make genetically diverse and culturally relevant seeds available to as many students as possible. The seed library will address a foundational barrier of access to the start-up resources necessary for expanding and sustaining the many gardens across campus that help grow food security. Furthermore, given the ways in which agricultural production in the US uses a monocultural approach to limit farmer’s agency and promote industrialization, this seed library will serve as a site of educational and practical resistance to industrial agriculture’s environmental and communal degradation by teaching how to to save seed and breed open pollinated varieties—something that is consistent within indigenous stewardship. Therefore, by growing and sharing a diverse and native collection of seeds, the Berkeley Student Farms Seed Library aims to support decolonial movements to honor the sacred Ohlone lands that UC Berkeley’s campus occupies. The TGIF funds are being used in the construction of the library itself, acquisition of stock seeds, and to support a student seed librarian. Establishment of the library will begin in the Spring of 2021.
Goals of Project:
(1) Grow a genetically diverse and culturally relevant seed library for UC Berkeley’s student farms
(2) Provide equitable access to fundamental farming resources for the UC Berkeley community
(3) Facilitate community-building and resiliency across the student farms through communal seed sharing
(4) Offer an education and botanical research platform for learning more about seed sovereignty, decolonization, the importance of diversity, and other related topics.