Episode 143: Saving Our Seeds

Hello and welcome to this episode of the podcast, where I’m speaking to Madeline McKeever, owner of Brown Envelope Seeds. Madeline’s company produces organic, open-pollinated seeds, which are harvested from crops grown on site at the Brown Envelope Seeds’ HQ, a farm in Skibbereen in County Cork. Madeline talks about why open-pollinated seeds are essential in the fight to feed people and for greater food biodiversity, the benefits of seed saving and sourcing seeds locally and how you can harvest your own seeds.

P.s. for those expecting exotic plants and sunny climes as promised last week, apologies! The course of podcasting never did run smooth – hopefully next week!

Dr Ian Bedford’s Bug of the Week: Overwintering moths

What we cover

Brown Envelope Seeds and how Madeline started the company

Why organic seeds? Why open-pollinated?

On the Brown Envelope Seeds website, Madeline writes that open pollinated seeds “are naturally pollinated – by insects or wind; not enforced pollination or in-breeding”. She expands on what she means by this.

Food plant biodiversity

Why you should try to buy seeds from a seed producer in your region or from one who has similar growing conditions

Saving our own seeds

If we save seeds each year, are the resulting plants are getting better and better?

What to look for when saving seed

Potential problems with seed crops that can affect the quality of the seed

The situation globally with seed production and seed sellers?

About Madeline McKeever

Madeline began Brown Envelope Seeds in 2004 with 25 varieties. Since then, the company has grown, along with the amount of varieties offered (especially tomatoes!) to a family business supplying organic and open-pollinated vegetable seeds to Irish growers. 

Madeline’s mission statement is to enable people to grow their own food and she believes producing and saving seeds is a vital part of that. She is doing her part to preserve and safeguard the future of food diversity in Ireland and by sharing her knowledge and expertise, is helping this happen on a global scale. 




Other episodes you might like:

Episode 12 – Esiah Levy’s SeedsShare Project 

Episode 12: Esiah Levy’s SeedsShare Project

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