At the annual seed festival organised by the SITO seed saving network on Sunday May 19, the Athens FUSILLI team played an active role in supporting and participating in the event. The festival took place at Athens Municipal Park for Children and Civilisation and Myrtillo Café Social enterprise for integration, located in the Ampelokipoi area of the 7th municipal district. The event attracted more than 500 attendees (, and the FUSILLI Athens team was there to inform and discuss with participants about the importance of urban food policy and sustainable food systems.

The participants had the opportunity to learn about various issues surrounding sustainable food systems.

The event kicked off with a two-hour information session featuring:

  • Mr. Panayiotis Manikis: Discussing the importance and methods of natural farming
  • Nun Theodekti from the Holy Monastery of the Honorable Forerunner St. John: Sharing insights on seed saving and farming for self-sufficiency.
  • Mrs. Vaso Kanellopolou from SITO: Explaining current EU legislation on seeds and genetic material technologies and property rights.

The discussions sparked great interest among participants, particularly regarding legislation and new technologies for seeds. Following the vivid discussion, it was clear that there are intentions to contribute to the preservation of local and heirloom varieties. SITO network members from Attica, Larissa, Rodopi, and Aegina generously distributed local heirloom seed varieties and seedlings to the public. 

Athens FUSILLI team hosted an information stand at the park, providing insights into the city’s efforts towards sustainable food systems. They also organized a tasting session featuring local organic products and offerings from the Holy Monastery. During the tasting, Nun Theodekti demonstrated the entire process of milk processing and fermentation into yogurt and cheese.


After the tasting, FUSILLI team opened a discussion on the importance of food systems policy. Issues touched upon included

  • the need for change of current consumption patterns in Greece,
  • the necessity to develop new market channels that can tackle food prices inflation while providing access to nutritious and healthy food,
  • food production in the city and the connection to rural areas, and
  • the issue of food losses and waste. 

The session ignited the participants interest and initiated a discussion on issues such as urban vegetable gardens, consumer-producer networks and no-middlemen markets, the importance of participatory governance in the municipality and the expansion of organic waste bins.

This was a significant follow up action opening to the civil society, following the event of 29th of March (see: Athens Food System Lab opening up to stakeholders), when the FUSILLI team met with formal civil society organisations dealing with food sustainability and social cohesion. 


Authors: Elisssavet Bargianni and Giorgos Keranis, FUSILLI Athens Living Lab 
Photo credits: FUSILLI Athens Living Lab

Photos: Snapshots from the annual seed festival: lively tasting sessions and vibrant food selection, insightful discussions, involving civil society.