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Seed Saving Seminars for Indigenous Women in Agriculture

Join NS/S staff and a cohort of women farmers, gardeners, and seed savers as we learn more about seed production and saving. Three virtual training sessions will cover:  traditional and non-traditional methods of seed saving, growing for seed production, seed cleaning, seed storage and record keeping.  Sessions will be led by NS/S Conservation Staff with opportunities for participants to learn from the inspiring and impactful work of one another! 

The seminar series will culminate in an in-person gathering at the NS/S Conservation Center in Tucson in early October - funding is available to cover lodging expenses and support travel to Tucson. 

Eligible Participants:   Fifteen (15) Southwest-based Indigenous women growers who would like to connect with others and learn more about seed saving. 

Register is closed

Dates: Tuesday, August 9

Time: 5:00 - 7:00 Arizona time/6:00 - 8:00 New Mexico 

Session 1: Introductions and NS/S Seed Access Programs 

  • Opening words by NS/S Board Chair Jacob Butler (Onk Akimel O'odham)
  • Participants will meet and share about their current food and seed production activities and interests
  • NS/S staff will present on Seed Programs 

Tuesday, August 16,

Time: 5:00 - 7:00 PM Arizona time/6:00 - 8:00 PM New Mexico 

Session 2: Traditional and nontraditional methods of Seed Saving 

  • Hear from practitioners of traditional and alternative seed saving and storage practices
  • Learn about NS/S seed collection management and seed banking
  • Share seed keeping practices

Tuesday, August 23

Time: 5:00 - 7:00 Arizona time/6:00 - 8:00 New Mexico 

Session 3: Seed production and seed cleaning

  • Principles of seed saving: plant life cycles, plant family relationships, and reproduction 
  • Field planning for seed saving: isolation distance, avoiding cross-pollination, and maintaining diversity
  • Harvesting cleaning and storage: wet and dry processing techniques, fermentation, and maintaining seed viability

October in-person session

  • Tour Native Seed/SEARCH Conservation Center seed bank, seed lab, and garden 
  • Lunch provided
  • Share and discuss seed saving and garden design plans
  • Seminar participant seed swap.