Eating in Public (EIP) was founded in 2003 in Hawai'i by Gaye Chan and Nandita Sharma in order to develop fun and easy systems that encourage sustainability and mutuality. Everyone and anyone is free to participate. EIP writes, "We do this to demonstrate that we can take care of each other while taking care of ourselves. Through participation in our projects, together we learn how to be commoners and work to reclaims the commons."
TAKE = Act without Shame
LEAVE = Share without Condition
WHATEVAS = Trust without Apology
To this end, the SHARE SEEDS project focuses on the sharing of seeds.
Each Seed-Sharing Station is crafted to fit the specifications of each location. Self-standing, wall-mounted, bigger, smaller... Photo credit: Eating in Public. Used with permission.
Why share seeds?
Seed-sharing is an ancient practice throughout the world. It is currently under threat by big industrial seed corporations (e.g. Monsanto). They want to patent seeds and prevent us from sharing them so we will always be forced to buy from them. Seed sharing is crucial to our freedom and autonomy from capitalism, and crucial for our collective survival.
Call to Action
EIP encourages prospective organizations/entities to implement SHARE SEEDS stations, particularly locations with lots of traffic and used by people of diverse populations -- e.g. community centers, libraries, churches, coffee shops, senior service centers, etc.
EIP builds their stations entirely with scrap and repurposed material. Each is launched with a stapler, rubber stamp/pad, pencils, a starter kit of recycled envelopes, and approximately 50 seed packets. They are extremely low maintenance and self-explanatory.
If you are on O'ahu and want to adopt a SHARE SEEDS station, EIP will provide one free of charge. Ideally, adoption is forever or at least a year. Adoptive organizations also agree to periodically ink the stamp pad, sharpen the pencils, restock the stapler, and recycled envelopes, and send EIP photos of the stations in action.
If you are not on O'ahu EIP has created DIY instructions for folks to build their own, along with template for the decals and rubber stamp. All support media is downloadable here. If you do not have the resources or skill do contact EIP, and they will try to connect you with someone in your neighborhood who can.
Want to make your own?
Protect seed sharing in the United States by signing Shareable's petition here. State governments around the country are regulating seed libraries out of existence. Please help us stop them!