Training & Events

Check in here for events, trainings and workshops delivered by the Seed Sovereignty team. All in-person events are subject to local guidance on Covid-19 safety procedures and are liable to be cancelled or rescheduled at short notice during the pandemic. Please watch out for regular updates for programme events you have signed up for.

Power, Politics and Production: Introduction to Seed Saving in Northern England

January 13-27, online

Intended for: community groups, those interested in seed production

This is an online course over 3 x 2-hour eve sessions which will cover the following:

Session 1 (with Sue Stickland former Head of Ryton Gardens (Garden Organic) & author of several books inc Backgarden Seed Saving):

Wed 13th Jan 7-9pm:

Introduction to seed sovereignty; politics & botany

Session 2 (with Sue Stickland):

Wed 20th Jan 7-9pm

Growing Healthy Seed Crops

Session 3 (with Peter Brinch of http://open-pollinated-seeds.org.uk/about-peter-brinch/and Dennis Touliatos of Lancaster Seed Library https://www.facebook.com/groups/1578483389091139/):

Wed 27th Jan 7-9pm

Seed Production for Commerce & Community

Please contact Charlie (charlie@gaianet.org) for specific queries.

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Introduction to Seed Saving in Scotland

January and February 2021, online

Intended for: Scottish growers

These courses aim to train seed savers in Scotland to a professional level. The focus is primarily on vegetable seeds and specifically for Scottish growing conditions.

A short intro course, offered as live webinars on two Saturdays, the 23rd of January and the 20th of February, will cover seed plant biology & reproduction systems, growing seed crops, intro to harvesting and processing, seed production, and planning. The last topic had not been covered in previous intro courses and will be presented by experienced market-gardener and commercial seed producer Ellen Rignell of Trill Farm.

This intro course is a gateway to the intermediate course that will follow immediately after in March with 9 webinars spread over the rest of the year; more in-depth and hands-on, requiring trainees to grow at least one seed crop. Those who wish to further progress can then apply to an advanced course in 2022.

The intro course will cost £30 for two 3-hour webinars, with a sliding scale to allow low-income persons to enroll as well. Registration on Eventbrite. The course will be repeated in the second half of 2020.

Please ensure to select tickets for both days on Eventbrite.

For specific queries email Richie Walsh (richie@gaianet.org)

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Saving Seed: An Introduction to Politics and Practice

January and February 2021, online

Intended for: growers in Southeast England

Saving and exchanging seed at seed swaps, in community gardens, on allotments or in seed circles is an empowering and fulfilling way to take ownership of our food systems. It is a way of fostering deeper connection to the natural world and natural processes, to better understand the food we are growing and putting into our bodies and to become more self-reliant at the individual and community level.

This course will introduce growers and gardeners to the practicalities of saving seed, equipping them with the tools to get going themselves. Participants will get a grounding in historical, cultural and political dimensions to seed saving, as well as how to connect with others saving seed and set up community collections and swaps.

We will meet every Thursday evening from 21st January 2021 to 11th February 2021 from 7-9pm.

Over four weeks, the course will cover:

  • History and politics of seed
  • Seed stories
  • Basic plant botany
  • Seed production theory
  • Growing healthy seed crops
  • Maintaining seed collections
  • Building seed networks
  • Hosting seed swaps

Please contact Helene (helene@gaianet.org) for specific queries.

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Intermediate Vegetable Seed Production Training for Welsh Growers

Producing an open pollinated seed crop on your farm can improve the quality of your future crops, increase plant adaptation to local conditions, give you access to new varieties and new skills. Seed production can also bring an added income stream to your farm through contract growing or direct sales in the future.

Our 12-month seed production training is designed to give you the tools to grow open pollinated vegetable seed crops competently. It will offer you an overview of the political, ethical, and economic context of seed production in Wales. We will cover topics as broad ranging as plant botany, seed cultivation, seed sovereignty and seed justice.

The course is being delivered as a partnership between Tyfu Cymru and the UK Seed Sovereignty Programme. We will welcome outside teachers to lead on specific topics, as well as working closely with expert trainers from the Heritage Seed Library.

The course will be delivered via online workshops, with the opportunity for in person farm visits in the Summer (COVID-19 restrictions allowing). You will also be asked to produce a seed crop while taking part in the training to give you some practical experience.

The course is designed to be taken as an entire 12-month programme; we do not recommend attending single sessions. One to one mentoring can be provided to those who need it between scheduled sessions.

To register for the programme, please click here. If you have any questions about the programme please contact us at tyfucymru@lantra.co.uk or katie@gaianet.org