Les Graines de Troc, heritage seeds

I'd like to honour our dear Sébastien Wittevert and his Graines de Troc.

I discovered in 2017 during a seed swap at an eco-friendly event in Massy-Palaiseau.

loved the idea of getting together with other plant enthusiasts to swap seeds and seedlings. I donated lots of seeds from India. I had received the following:

The book L'âme jardinière, local squash seeds and chillies from Portugal. Between gardeners, we promised to write to each other as if we were at the end of our summer holidays to check on our seeds. We promised to exchange photos of our plants like those of our growing children. I liked the idea.

Sébastien was discreet but active. It was only now that I realised that he was the founder of the Graines de Troc association. I rediscovered him in a different way when I interviewed him. At the time, he seemed discreet, but I didn't realise as I do now that he was such a passionate, determined and visionary person. He learnt permaculture at the Bec Hélouin farm 10 years ago with the eminent instructors of the time: Charles and Perrine Herve-gruyer, Pierre Rabhi, Marc Dufumier, Claude & Lydia Bourguignon and Philippe Desbrosses.

In 2012, he made a commitment to cultivated biodiversity by proposing a totally free online seed barter platform, where artisan seed growers and passionate amateurs can meet and exchange seeds, and the associated know-how. Sébastien founded the Graines de Troc association and now heads a team of around 10 people, including employees and civic service volunteers, who work in the Roche area.

Leaders, trainers, seed keepers, permaculturists... They all share their love of seeds and permaculture. In partnership with the company LEA Nature, they use permaculture to grow fruit and vegetables on a 5,000m2 plot of land.

Part of the crop is used to harvest seeds, which are then offered for sale by the Graines de Troc association, a project that enables certain rare varieties to survive, as well as continuing the dynamic conservation of seeds that exist in the gardening world.

He told me that during seed exchanges, if he inadvertently discovered F1 Hybrids in the donations or exchanges, he sometimes offered them to certain local market gardeners, who unfortunately are still constrained by the demanding demands of consumers, and to those for whom this donation represents a godsend and a saving.

These market gardeners are not only constrained by consumer demand, but also by the famous catalogue of species and varieties (created in 1932 and that the System imposes to this day).

F1 hybrids are seeds that are labelled organic after being manipulated so that they cannot be reproduced from one year to the next. The agricultural system has of course been infiltrated over time. It's an aberration not to use really good farmer seeds that give life from generation to generation.

Graines de Troc es ecológica desde 2016 y solo produce semillas campesinas ecológicas, reproducibles y gratuitas. Solo puedo confiar en ellos, y con el mismo espíritu, ellos a su vez confían en mí con su donación de semillas para que yo a su vez pueda ofrecerlas a los participantes en mis talleres y actuaciones. Las semillas son preciosas y puedes comprarlas visitando su página web: www.grainesdetroc.fr

La Belle Plante

A graduate in gardening and landscaping from the famous Ecole Du Breuil in Paris, she also trained in permaculture, agroecology and organic gardening in France and Asia.

Today she creates ecological vegetable gardens and she brings biodiversity to life and makes it understandable with humour and poetry.