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4th Annual Southern Seed School: Online!

4th Annual Southern Seed School: Online!

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Seed school is for everyone! Whether you are a gardener, farmer, permaculturalist, an existing or future seed librarian, have in interest in preserving regional biodiversity and heirlooms, are curious about vegetable breeding, varietal improvement, and how to steward locally adapted varieties- this is for you!

Although seeds are the most fundamental part of a local food system, we rarely ask ourselves and our food producers, “where did your seed come from?” We believe that local and resilient food communities need local seed, and lots of local seed stewards.

Due to our inability to gather and share in person, here is how we are restructuring Southern Seed School: Online! With a comprehensive list of various resources hand-selected by us, you can learn at your own pace and build your own seed learning through our website content, available here! It will be available indefinitley and updated periodically as resources are avialable. 

On Saturday May 2nd from 10am-12pm, we will gather together virtually for a live Southern Seed School Social! We will facilitate some inspirational speakers and special guests, as well as our own local teachers. This is your time to ask questions and make comments about what you have learned or may still be confused about. 

During the self-paced learning activities, we will provide materials about:

  • Inspiration and encouragement to save your own seeds
  • Basic plant biology to help you understand how to best save high quality seeds from a variety of different crops
  • When and how to harvest, thresh, winnow, and store seeds
  • Amateur plant breeding
  • Special techniques: hand-pollination, germination testing, non-seed propagation
  • Growing native wildflowers from seed to seed

LIVE Southern Seed School starts promptly at 10am. Once registered, we will send you a Zoom link and passcode to log on. 

The online learning material is all free and open access. We are sharing a collection of our favorite resources for you to enjoy! You do not need to register for this part.

Ben is an author, herbalist, gardener, seed saver, and educator. He is the owner of Small House Farm and the founder of Michigan Seed Library, a community seed-sharing initiative that has worked to establish nearly 70 seed library programs. Ben offers workshops and lectures across the country on the benefits of living closer to the land through seeds, herbs, and locally grown food, and he has published numerous works on these topics (including his most recent book, Saving Our Seeds).

Janisse Ray is an award-winning author, naturalist and environmental advocate hailing from Georgia, with a deep connection to the south. Her book The Seed Underground: A Growing Revolution to Save Food. has been an inspiration and instruction manual for many, including us. She has been a contributor to Audubon, Orion and other magazines, as well as a commentator for NPR's Living on Earth.

We are honored this year to host Ben Cohen and Janisse Ray joining us from afar! We are equally excited about our local heroes that have helped with this project and will be available during the Live Southern Seed Social: Kathy Paterson, Tim Noyes, Joe Pierce, Angie Minno, Jennifer Rex and Melissa DeSa. All of these locals have a video we've done that you can find via Southern Seed School: Online!

We are happy during these challenging times to offer this free of charge. However as a small non-profit if you are able to help us defray the costs and want to support our work, there is a suggested sliding scale donation starting at $5. Thank you!





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