Nancy Wygant

I've been saving seeds for twenty-some years, first in small community garden plots in my urban Philadelphia neighborhood, more recently in a larger collective garden, and at the historic garden where I work, the home of 18th & 19th -century botanists & plant explorers John & William Bartram and Ann Bartram Carr. I lead seed saving workshops at Bartram's Garden, as well as volunteer days when folks help clean the seeds we've saved in the gardens. Because of my job, I'm particularly interested in varieties with a historical connection to the Philadelphia region before 1850.

I'm interested in joining the board of the Grassroots Seed Network because I'm excited about the idea of building a grassroots democratic organization. How can we build a truly engaged membership? How can we have the board & the paid staff we need to support the network but not to depend on them to do all the thinking? How can we seek funding from sources beyond membership, but not allow our mission, and our focus, to be shaped by the expectations of the people controlling that resource? I was on the board of our local food co-op for the first 3 years of its having a board, and I work for a non-profit organization. From those experiences, these seem like essential questions to start asking and continue asking; I certainly don't know all the answers, nor do I think any of us do yet. I'm a pretty good listener.

I'm also interested in connecting with more of the people who are building grassroots seed banks and exchanges in other countries, so that we can support and learn from each other.