Why Seed School Online?
Seed School Online will unearth the hierarchy of the modern seed industry.
Have you wondered if the seed companies we buy from actually grow their own seeds?
How do you find the best local company that can start you on your seed saving adventure with good open-pollinated seed stock?
What is your responsibility? How do we become good seed citizens?
Seed School Online is a response to ongoing emails and calls from gardeners everywhere wanting to learn about this important tradition.
For decades, Bill has gotten weekly requests to bring Seed School to communities all over the world.
Now, Urban Farm U has teamed up with Bill to make this a reality.
30 years ago, Bill searched high and low for the resources and support systems people needed to learn how to save seeds. He soon realized that it just wasn't out there yet, and decided to dedicate his life to creating them on his own, inspiring others to save seeds along the way.
Now, all the resources and support Bill was once searching for have come together with Seed School Online and are available to you!
Since September of 2010, Bill and his wife Belle have graduated over 600 students in their six-day and one-day Seed School programs, plus have graduated over 100 people from our Seed School Online program.
During our 7-class program you will meet other seed stewards and find your own inspiration.
Technical guidance and hands-on experience will have you scurrying to your garden, eager to apply the skills you learn in our online class.
What could be more satisfying?
Here's What You'll Get:
1. Seven prerecorded online classes
Here's what we cover each week:
Classes 1 & 2: The Spririt, Magic and Power of Seeds /
The History and Structure of the Modern Seed Industry
In order to understand why seeds are so important, we need to start at the beginning. By reviewing the global history and circumstances surrounding seeds we can evaluate where we hope to be in the future.
Once the context for the seed movement and the patenting of these tiny gems of life is understood, you will recognize the real issues we are encountering with our current farming and food systems.
Class 3: Intro to Mendel's Genetics & Selection and Evaluation
After this foundation is established we focus on basic genetics. To understand how seeds propagate is to truly understand their power.
We will cover how characteristics and traits happen genetically and will show you how to select your own seeds and evaluate them for the things you want to encourage.
Class 4: Pollination & Breeding
The practical aspects of seed saving will be covered by focusing on pollination, breeding, harvesting, storage and germination.
Pollinators are the real catalyst for seed production. You will become one.
The idea is to get your mind down into the stigmas, styles and anthers of this fun and food producing activity.
Spacing and hedgerow ideas, tips and small paintbrushes will all end up in your new toolbox.
Class 5: Harvest, Storage & Germination Testing
Next, you learn how to harvest your own seeds. You will be able to naturally select for the plants that thrive best in your backyard's microclimate. How to store seeds is then covered along with the methods for testing for germination.
Class 6: Wild Seed - Terms, Collection Rules & Collection Techniques
Let’s say you prefer to spend your time hiking in the wilderness, yet still want to join the seed saving tradition.
One of the most satisfying parts of seed saving can be harvesting seeds from wild plants.
We cover the rules, give you specific tips on which plants to find, and show you how to time travel!
Class 7: Seed Enterprises - Seed Exchanges, Seed Libraries & Small Seed Businesses
Finally, you will hear personal stories of individuals who transformed their newly found seed knowledge into small seed companies, seed libraries and exchanges. This will encourage and inspire you to take your new seed knowledge even further, if you so desire. At a minimum, it will open you up to the many possibilities and opportunities learning about seeds opens up for you.
After these 7 classes, you will be able to move your seed wisdom and expertise into your backyard, your community and the world.
2. Membership to the private Seed School Facebook group with over 300 members
There, you'll be able to meet your fellow seed saving citizens, ask for advice or guidance, and swap stories (and maybe seeds?). Stories from other successful seed stewards will help provide the inspiration and structure for you to take your next steps.
3. Periodic LIVE Q&A sessions with Bill McDorman
Get your seed questions answered LIVE by Bill McDorman himself!
4. Weekly downloadable content
You will receive video, and webinar links, and lists of books and other programs that will enhance your experience and provide next steps. You can expect resources such as DIY pages for building your own equipment such as a seed cleaning screen, a handout to go with every class, extra videos, lists of the best websites for supplies and further learning, a bonus "Art of Seed Preservation" webinar, plus plenty more.
5. Basic Seed Saving eBook by Bill McDorman
This 24-page eBook is a great source of knowledge and inspirtion on the subject of saving seeds and will set you on target to start saving your own seeds. It contains easy, step-by-step instructions for saving the seeds of 18 different vegetables and 29 different wildflowers.
6. Bonus webinar: "The Art of Seed Preservation"
In this hour-long bonus webinar, you will learn the where, why and how of storing your seeds, including what "cold, dark and dry" means when you store your seeds, the best place and methods for storing your seeds, and more.
7. Tons of extra resources
These include the websites of amazing seed stewards, further information on seed policy, links to find seed libraries, seed banks, and seed companies, and tons of online resources to help you continue learning and dive in deeper to your heart's content.