SEEDS (ORGANIC), DEVON: Ronja runs an organic seed company with her friend Fred in south Devon. She grows and sells vegetable, herb and flower seeds on about one acre/ 0.4 hectare of land, which has got both a polytunnel and some field space to grow seeds in the lowest impact and most ecological way possible. She also trials new varieties that she is interested in selling in the future.
Harvesting and processing are a big part of the business as everything is done by hand. Once the seeds are cleaned, they are placed into small packets and sold via their website to home gardeners and small-scale growers.
Ronja comes from a non-farming background in Germany, but went on to study agricultural science at university before working on a number of different farms and projects. In 2018, she got involved with Vital Seeds, where she has learnt a lot about working the land and running an agricultural business.
One of Ronja’s favourite aspects of farming is being outside and watching the land and crops change with the seasons, as well as learning about plants and the soil.
In the summers she also does freelance child and youth work with an organisation called On The Hill, which runs residentials and camps which focus on outdoor learning.
Most seed used in horticulture is grown in Europe or further away. The availability of agro-ecological, organic seed is limited. However, Ronja sees an urgent need and market for it. She believes more seeds should be grown locally and produced on small-scale farms to make the industry more resilient and build diversity.
Member of the Land Workers Alliance and South West Seed Savers.
Previous media experience
Interviewed for Another Escape and Devon Life, and featured in the Gaia Foundation.