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Jacqueline Pilati founder of Reclaim Seed NYC

Our 83rd @realfarmercare recipient is Jacqueline Pilati @concrete_and_compost founder

of Reclaim Seed NYC @reclaimseednyc.

She writes, “I started Reclaim Seed NYC in 2018 as a community seed initiative rooted in education and justice. The project stewards a free public seed library and seed garden in Queens, NYC. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic which has hit NYC particularly hard, the focus of the seed library was to provide high-quality open pollinated varieties to growers across NYC, educate and organize for seed and food sovereignty, while building a community sustained source of seed that reflects the rich foodways of NYC. Normally I would get seeds to people during in-person seed library hours but since the pandemic, I've shifted to taking seed requests online and distributing them via a no-contact pickup bin on my front stoop and mailing seeds to growers as far away as Chicago.

In late March, I contracted the coronavirus and had to suspend seed distribution for a few weeks. Recovered and grateful for my health, I am back to filling seed requests and have changed my crop plans to include more seed crops. I am also working with local and national mutual aid groups on seed distribution to bolster community-based food security efforts. The increased demand for seed has also prioritized the need for seed literacy. Seed is the foundation of our food system. Growing your own food and saving your own seed is a radical act of resistance, one that roots us in community with the land and our ancestors. During this forced slow down, my hope is that people think a bit more deeply about where their food comes from and how it gets to their plate. Sitting in deep gratitude for this Real Farmer Care donation, I will use the funds to get supplies and materials the seed library needs to support seed distribution. Mil gracias, Real Farmer Care! Pa'lante, siempre pa'lante!”



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