Gardeners in the UK are doing their bit to expand the range of plant seeds for a richer and more diverse future

  • Words and photographs

It’s a fine, crisp day and the first frost of the season, a significant occasion for any gardener and one that has not gone unnoticed by the seed guardians of the Stroud Community Seed Bank. Beth Richardson, a 27-year-old student midwife and coordinator at the seed bank, meets me by a big compost heap that steams on contact with the icy cold air. The heap, a valuable group resource, belongs to the allotment where Beth grows her crops.

In allotment greenhouses and back-garden potting sheds across towns, cities and villages in the UK, communities of local growers are digging deep and planting the seeds for a richer, more diverse and more resilient food system. It is a trend being repeated all over the world.

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