On Seedy Saturday, March 10, 2018, United Way KFL&A volunteer Lesley Kelly presented the Kingston and Area Seed System Initiative with a cheque from the City of Kingston and United Way Community Investment Fund for $14,250. Accepting the cheque on stage was Kathy Rothermel.
The Kingston and Area Seed System Initiative’s (KASSI) mission is to facilitate the development of a sustainable, regional agricultural seed system to support urban gardeners and local farmers in their desire to use, conserve, and improve heirloom, open-pollinated vegetable, flower, and herb seed varieties.
(Pictured: Kathy Christie, Kate Henderson, Nancy Roantree, Kathy Rothermel, Lesley Kelly and Dianne Dowling)
Building Capacity for a Regional Seed System
The funding is to support a project aiming to teach seed saving skills by incorporating seed production into Kingston Community Gardens. It will include the production of bankable seed for the Kingston Community Seed Commons using Heirloom Seed Sanctuary varieties to continue with the preservation work of this collection. The Seed Sanctuary houses a one-of-a-kind collection of regionally adapted, ecologically grown vegetable, flower and herb seed. The project intends to also establish a permanent Seed Commons to house the seed collection and move it from its current temporary location at St. Luke’s Church. Seed production will be accomplished by building ten covered raised beds in Kingston community gardens to grow Heirloom Seed Sanctuary seed varieties, A portion of the seeds will be conserved for future growth and it is expected that 600 seed packets will be distributed free of charge at their events. The project involves the hiring of a coordinator to establish volunteer teams (2 people per team) at 10 community gardens, and a project manager responsible for moving KASSI to a permanent location.
Seedy Saturday events take place all across Canada, usually every spring. The event in Kingston has taken place for more than a decade, and grows each year. This year’s event was very well attended creating an atmosphere filled with positive energy and a great exchange of ideas and education. Workshops for both children and adults were delivered and the event attracted both growers and attendees from all over the region.
Community Investment Fund
These one-time grants are disbursed through a joint City of Kingston and United Way KFLA fund. These grants encourage innovative and collaborative responses to social needs in our community. There is an annual call for applications in the fall. City of Kingston and United Way provide grants of up to $25,000. 2018 information will be updated here: Fund Distribution