#SHARETHESEED in your neighbourhood.

Covid-19 has had a huge impact on so many lives. Leaving many people without a livelihood, battling to provide for and feed their families.  As we all battle through this trying time, we would like to take a moment to encourage you. By growing your own food, you are already one step ahead of the curve. If you help #growyourneighbourhood, teaching your neighbours to do the same, everybody becomes a little stronger and more able to take care of themselves and others. There is a certain pride that one gets from being able to support and feed yourself and your family. Many people have lost that ability in these times and just need a little help to stand up again. Lockdown has been incredibly tough for a lot of people and it will only get harder for many as we are put under harsher restrictions. By helping to #growyourneighbourhood and teaching others to #sharetheseed, you are potentially changing and improving many people’s situations.  Each one of us can make a difference in someone’s life. Pay it forward one seed packet at a time, uplifting and encouraging. This action will hopefully grow to eventually uplift entire communities, giving people a new sense of purpose.

The intention of #sharetheseed is to encourage people who have been blessed with an income and the ability, to #sharethelove. What greater gift can you give someone than the ability to regain their pride and teach them a new, lifelong skill. Being self-sustainable even if only in growing some good, wholesome, nutritious food in these difficult times can make huge difference to many families.

Livingseeds has been blessed over the lockdown period, and this is our way of giving back to our seed community, so that you can bless your own community in turn. #Sharetheseed is a tool to enable everyone to do just that.

We at Livingseeds are asking you to take up the #sharetheseed challenge with us, to help #growyourneighbourhood. It is really a simple task, and all you need to do is:

1) Order one/or more packet/s of Imbewu #sharetheseed off the Livingseeds website from the Imbewu #sharetheseed category.

2) Livingseeds will match your order and supply a free packet of Imbewu seed for every packet that you order.

3) When you receive your order, #sharetheseed with your neighbour or anyone you feel the inclination to.

In a nutshell, for every packet of Imbewu #Sharetheseed that you purchase, Livingseeds will donate an additional packet for you to give away. Feel free to donate all the Imbewu #sharetheseed packets that you order too!

You may say that you are not experienced enough to teach or help someone else to garden successfully, and this is where we step in: The Imbewu Seed range has all the planting information required for each variety, in multiple languages, and easy to understand icons for those of us that cannot read, on every packet. This gives you all the tools you need to help someone to grow their own with ease. All you need is a loving, giving attitude to help your neighbour or someone in need.

In addition to this, our Imbewu range has been designed to provide the best seed of the most popular varieties with higher seed counts.

It is time to bless those in need, help them to feed their families and teach them a valuable life skill.

Why is sharing seed so important?

At Livingseeds we provide Heirloom and Open Pollinated varieties, these varieties have been passed down from generation to generation, shared across countries and shared between neighbours. Without the kindness and generosity of those people we would not be where we are today, with thousands of different varieties and plenty to choose from. Sharing seed has been an important part of our history, both as a company and in the personal life of the owner, Sean.

A little history here: Sean began his seed journey quite young, with the influence and guidance of his “Ouma” who would always be growing different vegetables, saving old heirloom varieties and taking cuttings of various plant and herbs. Ouma’s influence of growing food and saving seed planted a seed and a passion in Sean that he would only truly appreciate many years later. The youth, eager to learn and follow in the wise and well-trodden footsteps of their elders, pave a path for the future. By saving seeds from the past, the future of food becomes more secure.

Livingseeds started as an eager gardener exchanging seed to get new, fun varieties and to help those he shared with to do the same.

By sharing your seed, whether it is through our #sharetheseed Imbewu range or by sharing some of your own varieties that you enjoy growing year to year, you help grow the seed community, teach more people to grow and help preserve the varieties that have almost been lost time and time again.

We understand that social distancing is a thing, so you don’t need to get real close to your neighbour to help them grow their own. You can still maintain good social distancing while getting a little more personal with your neighbour. The great thing is that sunlight and fresh air are two of the best benefits to gardening and to overall health and you can garden together over the fence, so to speak.

Teaching your neighbour is easy!

With the information right there on the packet, teaching your neighbour is as easy as pie.

All the information you need is right there on the packet. With easy-to-read instructions, in multiple languages and simple icons explaining every step, how hard can it be? Teaching someone to garden can really be this easy. The Imbewu #sharetheseed packets tell you when to plant, where to plant, how to plant, how long germination takes and how long until you harvest, any other information can be found on The Livingseeds website for each variety.

True gardening is simple, so get down to basics. The first thing you’ll want to do is encourage your new gardener to decide where they would like to plant, keeping in mind that the best location is North facing for full sun, or second best would be West facing. Most veggies need a minimum of 6 hours of sun per day for good results. The next point to consider is easiest access to water. It is pointless to plant more than you can easily water.

For planting seed, there is a basic, general rule of planting a seed 3x deeper than the length of the seed. Therefore, smaller seeds need to be planted closer to the surface and larger seeds deeper according to their size.

Root crops need to be planted directly where they are to grow, they do not like having their sensitive roots disturbed by transplanting and will certainly not perform at their best if transplanted. Often transplanted root crops have stunted, gnarled growth with “j” rooting, where the roots are damaged and do not grow straight.

Most other crops will benefit from being planted in seedling trays or small pots so that you can carefully monitor watering and growth. Kept in a controlled environment and maintaining constant moisture in the soil, ensures even germination and greater overall success with starting off those precious, life giving seeds. Once the seedlings have grown to the 4-6 true leaf stage, they are ready to be planted out where they are to grow.

Soil preparation is also especially important, making sure that the soil can feed the crops that are to be planted. Most soil will benefit from some extra compost; a small compost heap can easily be started with some kitchen scraps or there may even be someone nearby with animals that might be willing to spare some manure to add to it.

After your soil is prepared it is time to plant, follow the instructions on your packet when planting for the best results. Remember to water regularly, when watering it is always better to water deeply rather than more frequently.

Drip irrigation is an excellent way to water your garden

Some easy, fast growing crops that you can start now are Lettuces, Bush Beans (depending on your area), and Swiss Chards.

Other crops you can grow now include Beetroot, Onions, Cabbage, Carrots and Kale.

So, there you have it! The basics of getting started really is basic. Even if you are new to gardening yourself #sharetheseed is easy!

Take the steps to help a neighbour get back their pride and dignity in a simple way that keeps on giving.

Pay it forward, one seed packet at a time.