SEEDS Hosts 8th Annual Pie Social

Lots of pies will help send a group of young people from Durham across the country to learn about sustainable urban farming, environmental awareness and social accountability.

SEEDS (South Eastern Efforts Developing Sustainable Spaces, Inc)  is hosting its 8th Annual Pie Social on May 21 to raise money for the DIG (Durham Inner-City Gardeners) youth program. This year a goal of $4,000 has been set to send the DIG youth all the way Olympia, Washington, to attend the Rooted in Community Conference.

Leslie Simonds, DIG coordinator, planning the 8th Annual Pie Social at her desk at SEEDS. (Staff photo by Bennett Sprinkle)

Leslie Simonds, DIG coordinator, planning the 8th Annual Pie Social at her desk at SEEDS. (Staff photo by Bennett Sprinkle)

“The idea this year is to really create a community event feel,” Leslie Simonds, DIG coordinator, said, “We’re really inviting the community members into our space.”

The focus of the Pie Social this year is community building. The payment structure, contests and even contest voting will be structured to raise the sense of community, Simonds said.

She said many of the donations have already been promised and more are expected to come in as the event draws near.

Scratch, a bakery in Durham, has donated pies to SEEDS ever since it opened. Phoebe Lawless, owner of Scratch, works with SEEDS and said that their involvement is a result of a “pretty natural partnership.”

“SEEDS is an established, well-respected and loved community center in Durham, and we’re big supporters of their work and mission,” Lawless said.

Scratch helps balance the mix of pies offered at the Pie Social. The event is typically pretty heavy on sweet pies, so Scratch tends to donate savory pies. Scratch typically donates anywhere from six to 10 pies each year, Lawless said.

Simonds joined SEEDS after interning for GRuB in Olympia, so she is excited about sending the DIG team to the West Coast. The Rooted in Community conference changes locations each year. It has been held in major cities on both the East and West Coast, Simonds said.

“It’s an amazing transformative conference because it is youth who are in engaged in urban gardening and food justice. There is critical thinking about what it means to have an urban garden,” she said.

The Rooted in Community group is focused on pollinating their ideas instead of creating exact replicas across the country. The group is focused on helping individual organizations figure out what is best for them, she said.

Laurel Shulman, operations manager for SEEDS, said she was also excited about the event.

“The Pie Social is more or less like a festival,” Shulman said.

She said this year’s Pie Social will be filled with excitement. Attendees can expect face painting and a variety of other events. Expect a lot of kids running around having a great time.

For more information contact SEEDS at 919-683-1197.



Laurel Shulman 919-683-1197 x5

Leslie Simonds 919-683-1197 x4

Phoebe Lawless 919-753-3119

Caption: Leslie Simonds, DIG coordinator,  planning the 8th Annual Pie Social at her desk at SEEDS. (Staff photo by Bennett Sprinkle)



Bennett is a UNC-CH senior advertising major from Winson-Salem, serving as a staff writer/ad manager for the Durham VOICE.