Seniors Economic Environmental Development Society
SEEDS is a non-profit organization that was formed in 2012. Originally, the focus was to revitalize an unused city-owned greenhouse in Nelson’s Lakeside Park. The greenhouse was used for growing food while creating a welcoming space for isolated seniors in the community to gather and work together with children and youth to produce nutritional vegetables which were then donated to food groups in the community.
Since then, SEEDS has built upon that foundation to offer many educational opportunities and workshops that have become an integral part of the food system and network of Nelson.
History in Photos
Seeds Guiding Principles
“Food security exists when all people, at all times, have physical and economic access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their dietary needs and food preferences for an active and healthy life.”
Did You Know?
The first six pillars were developed at the International Forum for Food Sovereignty in Nyéléni, Mali, in 2007. The seventh pillar – Food is Sacred – was added by members of the Indigenous Circle during the People’s Food Policy process.
Current Board Members 2019
Stephanie Myers, Director
Bruce Edson, Director
Lynn Brousson, Director
Liz Abraham, Director
Jon Meyer, Director
We couldn’t survive without you!
While SEEDS has been fortunate to be able to afford some paid staff over the years, the majority of our work is been completed by volunteers. In addition to the board members, SEEDS has over 25 active volunteers that work in the gardens, at events and generally help out as needed.
In previous years, the percentage of annual revenue from grants was 70% with fundraising events at 16% and memberships and sales making up the remaining 14%. In 2015, even though we had less than 6 months of sales (where we sold 1/3 of our greens for revenue), our breakdown for 2015 changed to grants 63%, and fundraising events 25% and the remaining 12% from memberships and sales. It was great to see greater diversity in our revenue streams; in total we raised $12,000 in addition to grant funds.
Bringing school groups to learn and spend time with us is a key ingredient for SEEDS and we endeavor to welcome as many as we can. One school group in particular spent a lot of time with us this year. A class from Wildflower School came four times, once to plant seeds, then to transplant, then to harvest and finally to turn their spent plants into the compost pile. This group was particularly saddened by the loss of the greenhouse in the June storm and they made a plan to raise money to help rebuild. At our AGM in October 2015, one student presented their earnings from selling dried fruit that they had made and packaged for a total of $354.25. What generosity and caring!
Enhance Organizational Capacity
Through transition, there is opportunity. When an organization like SEEDS experiences such explosive growth in such a short amount of time, system development, process and policy tend to take a back seat to programs work. Much time and effort was spent this year to create working systems within the financial, administrative, communication, human resources and operational departments of SEEDS. It is great to see this all tightened up as we move into our next phase.
Increase Awareness & Understanding
It has been a year of great media coverage for SEEDS, both for fortunate and unfortunate reasons. Our Facebook page likes have increased by 46%, we were featured in the Nelson Star over ten times and had radio interviews with Kootenay Coop Radio, Juice FM and CBC. To top it all off, just this past month, we received the Sustainable Leadership Award from the City of Nelson. It truly feels like more people know about, support and understand the work of SEEDS in Nelson.
Maintain Social Benefit
One of the primary benefits SEEDS is proud of is our positive social impact in community. We were able to increase our weekly donations of fresh produce to local food relief agencies and welcome many volunteers to gather and connect in our welcoming space.
The working partnership we have with the City of Nelson has grown and changed over the years. The greenhouse that we once shared and have now moved on from served us well for many years. The City of Nelson staff were always welcoming and helpful while we were sharing this space with the parks department, but we have outgrown this arrangement. The City of Nelson has supported us with this growth and expansion with a generous donation of a greenhouse frame, assistance with relocation, site preparation and the space to do this all in. We will be moving to our new location in 2019. We look forward to having a space to call our own where we can continue our partnerships with both school and senior organizations. This space will allow us to expand our programming and get back to our roots of sharing inter-generational horticultural knowledge around food security. We look forward to 2020 when we can reboot both Seedy Saturday and the Edible Garden Tour.