Seeding Our Cultural Foods

Our seed-saving work builds upon the wisdom of our collective ancestral knowledge to create a regional network of learning and exchange to strengthen local food resilience.
Midwest Farmers of color are from all different ethnic and cultural backgrounds and access to our cultural foods is critical for cultural preservation, health, biodiversity and food security.  We work with partners and farmers to save cultural seed varieties, reclaim our ancestral seed knowledge, and adapt heritage foods to Midwest climates and soils. Seed saving is food sovereignty, public health, and economic autonomy. We are determined to restore and grow our collective knowledge to reclaim our traditional foodways.
Our partners:
Pillsbury United Communities’ Food Systems Program
The Central Neighborhood Community Association’s Plant- Grow- Share Program
Ujamaa Cooperative Farming Alliance (UCFA)
 
Current Projects:
Seed Library at Oak Park Community Center
MFCC has a small but growing seed library at the Oak Park Community Center in North Minneapolis. We source seeds primarily from small seed companies and donations from farmers and farmer networks, like Ujamaa Cooperative Farmer Alliance/ Ujamaa Seeds, Plant Grow Share’s Seed Library and the Experimental Farmers Network.  As we host more trainings and seed events, we’re inviting our collective membership to return seed varieties and build up a self-sustaining and locally adapted collection of seeds that reflect the cultural diversity and interests of our network of growers. We periodically bring the seed library to community events for distribution and educational purposes, and all seeds are free and available to growers of color in our region.
Seed Growing Workshops
We host seasonal seed-growing workshops with the support of our partners to grow our collective knowledge and inspire new generations of seed savers in our communities. These can be in person or online. Find out when upcoming events are on our Instagram page (@midwestfarmersofcolor) or by connecting with Sammie Ardito Rivera, our project lead.
Upcoming Opportunities
Seed Saving Storytelling
We are launching a storytelling and communications campaign this summer to expand our reach and engage our network in cross-cultural and cross-organizational relationship-building to build excitement and momentum for our collective work. Utilizing storytellers in our network, we will gather stories about cultural seeds and seed-saving knowledge to co-create a zine. We will also be producing a related episode of our Growing Liberation podcast to share the seed stories of our local farmers.
Technical support is available for our network’s emerging seed savers through regular check-ins, consults with seed-growing experts, and opportunities for peer exchange and relationship building.
We plan to host Seed Circle trainings in collaboration with Plant Grow Share to expand networking and relationship-building amongst emerging and established seed savers in several regions of our collective. 
Seed Harvest Trainings will be held at various locations throughout the Twin Cities metro area to experience seed harvesting techniques and best practices from August through October 2024 in partnership with experienced growers in the network.
We will host a Harvest Potluck and Seed Processing Work Session in the Fall of 2024 to bring together all the metro area network to share knowledge and build community.
 
We will send a cohort of new seed growers to attend the UCFA convening planned for October 25-27th, 2024.
We are co-facilitating a Seed Workshop with our friends at Yahwelyahsiyo Farm, and other seed growers for the Emerging Farmers Conference on November 2, 2024.
Reach out to sammie@midwestfarmersofcolor.org if you are interested in learning more about how to take part in these initiatives!