What Exactly Do We Do at SEEDS?
Socio-Economic And Environmental Development Solutions (SEEDS) is a Canadian Registered Charity # 80157 2736RR0001 operating solely with volunteers.
At least 98% of any donations go directly to (SEEDS) to help people, the environment and elephants.
We collect non-GMO vegetable seeds in Toronto Canada, from Bendale B.T.I food school students, volunteers and an organic grocery store (The Big Carrot) and we dry and package them. These vegetable seeds would have been thrown out or composted so we are recycling too!
Then we send the vegetable seeds to the people of Zambia, Africa.
Who in exchange gather tree seeds for our local tree and fruit tree nursery. We plant those trees in communities and also sell them to help Elephants. The trees will be planted by our local staff and through our Voluntourism tree planting projects.
We work in Mongu and Kalabo, Western Province Zambia, both remote areas which have very little commerce and lack viable seed varieties to sustain the population. In this part of Zambia, 85% of the population lives in poverty, the highest level in the country. To help alleviate some of the food insecurity in the area due to these high levels of poverty, we collect non-GMO vegetable seeds in Toronto Canada, from foods that have been prepared to sell in a local cafeteria and restaurant. We are hoping to start saving vegetable seeds from local hotels and restaurants in cities in Zambia, thereby providing free seeds to local people who live in compounds in urban areas as well.
The seeds are then dried, packaged and sent to the Silozi Seed Bank projects in Mongu and Kalabo, where they are distributed to locals for planting. In exchange, these local partners gather fallen tree seeds for the tree and fruit tree nursery that is a budding enterprise at the Silozi Seed Bank. These trees are then planted in communities by our local staff and through our voluntourism tree planting initiative. Surplus seedlings are also sold to Private Game Parks for a nominal fee to help support project activities and to reforest areas that sustain endangered Elephants. Thanks to the generous donations of our partners and volunteers, we have, so far collected, dried, packaged and sent over 4.5 million seeds.
By recycling seeds that would have otherwise been thrown out or composted, we are implementing a self-sufficient seed bank & tree nursery that provides relevant training for year round agriculture; improves the genetic diversity of local gardens, farms and kitchens and builds resilient healthy food systems and people. We believe that providing villagers with hardier varieties of vegetable seeds, helps them earn more income and reduce food scarcity in their villages, lessening the need to poach animals and decreases the number of human elephant interactions and conflict. Further, the trees we grow and plant help to reforest communities, provide shade, are a source of food, fuel, fertilizer, and assist with controlling the erosion of the soil.
Our goal is to plant local trees in private game parks to ensure the elephants, that they do have, will have a good supply of fresh food as elephants eat from 250-600lbs of food per day. Often the elephant care givers have to walk with them, to ensure they eat only certain trees, as they do so much damage in their quest for food. If we plant trees now, especially their favorite’s, like Mango, Guava, Baobab, the elephants will have plenty to eat for years to come.
Unfortunately elephants are only found in Private or National Game Parks and by planting the trees they love in certain areas, it will encourage elephants to feed where they can be monitored and protected.
If we teach villagers how to plant citrus trees and chili peppers around their gardens, it will deter elephants from raiding their vegetable gardens and avoid elephant conflicts. Elephants don’t like the sour citrus or the hot chilies.
If we provide the villagers with more vegetable seeds, therefore more food and a source of income, we may reduce poaching. Every little bit helps!
If you are interested in coming to Zambia in March/April 2017 for a 3 week voluntourism trip,which includes two Safari’s, 3 nights at the famous Victoria Falls in Livingstone, and a chance to help those less fortunate; visit our “Contact Us” section on our home page and click on “Voluntourism Trip to Zambia 2017” or email firstname.lastname@example.org and put voluntourism in the subject line.
We have sent seeds and “How to Grow” binders to connections in five cities in Zambia and have established relationships with governments and other echo-tourism establishments to provide trees to them.
Your contribution is helping SEEDS to operate a seed bank to help the needy become self-supporting in Zambia Africa.
By providing the vegetable seeds, people are able to plant, grow, eat and save their own seed. They may sell the fruits of their labours or eat a healthier diet themselves.
We have assembled a team in Canada and Zambia whose sole vision is to protect the environment for the benefit of the public by conserving ecosystems or restoring ecosystems and bio-diversity on a long-term basis. We are helping people to grow a better variety of vegetables, earn a bit of extra income by selling the excess, and selling trees to National & Private Game Parks to plant to feed Elephants and reforest local communities.
You are helping to raise funds, which help these programs immediately as we send vegetable seeds every three months. We provide “How to Grow” handouts for all of the seeds, both the seeds we send and the tree seeds they provide. It is our goal to grow trees for, food, shade, fuel, fertilizer and erosion control of the soil. We stress that the soil is the key to healthy plants so we teach “How to make a compost pit” and to plant deciduous trees (trees that seasonally lose their leaves), which is most important to replenish the soil.
Thus providing all the many benefits of trees and food to the marginalized peoples and elephants of Zambia.
The purpose of this web site is to provide environmental ideas, “How to Grow”instructions and hope to Zambian people.
I have purposely left the “How to Grow “instructions for our Western Climates in the instructions so anyone can grow any of the seeds listed on this site. Maybe you would like to start saving your own seed?
Give it a try and let us know how it goes!
Tip: For a more detailed version. Download the printer-friendly version here.
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Thank you from the SEEDS Team!