Year-Long Seed Production Training
Join us for our year-long seed production training for growers across the UK and Ireland. Hosted by the Gaia Foundation’s Seed Sovereignty Programme, this course will combine expert teaching with peer to peer knowledge exchange to build your skills as a seed grower.
The course is designed to give you a broad understanding of the practicalities of seed production, as well as the political context of Seed Sovereignty. The course will be delivered by means of presentations, webinars and site visits. Some sessions are delivered online, and some will be face to face within your region.
Participants should be commercial food producers, or community growers looking to distribute seed more widely. We ask that you have a good understanding of crop cultivation. Some seed saving experience is beneficial, but not necessary. This course is not suitable for home growers. (Home growers can find fantastic resources on seed saving at a garden scale from the Heritage Seed Library and through the Vital Seeds seed saving course).
Taught material is delivered on the first Wednesday evening of each month between March and November, and in two-hourly sessions between 6.30pm & 8.30pm. There is a short ‘break’ during the summer months which enables the more practical elements of seed production to be taught on site. Online delivery will be using Zoom.
Prior learning and prerequisites: This course sits broadly at Level 3. It assumes the following pre-requisites:
- Are committed to agroecological principles
- Have experience as a commercial grower or a community grower with access to, and autonomy over, suitable land
- Will be able to grow two seed crops from seed to seed and follow their progress by means of a portfolio
- Have attended an introductory course in seed production or have prior equivalent experience
- Are committed to attending the whole course
- Will grow seed after the completion of their course, as a commercial grower or to share within their community
- Will collaborate both during and after the course
If you are less confident about the above, we would welcome the opportunity to discuss your individual circumstances (see below for contact information).
Our regional coordinators are based around the UK and Ireland. To read more about them see our Who We Are page. Our ‘regions’ include Scotland, Ireland, Northern England (north of Birmingham), South West England (south of Birmingham, west of Oxford), South East England (south of Birmingham, east of Oxford) and Wales. Wales has already recruited for their year-long course and will be taking expressions of interest for 2025. Contact Katie Hasting email@example.com for more information.
- Scotland: Sinéad Fortune
- Ireland: Richie Walsh
- Northern England: Catherine Howell
- South West England & South East England: Robyn Minogue and Ellen Rignell
Application Form & Tickets
Places are available on a sliding scale from £200/ €230, with half price subsidised and bursary tickets available. All applicants are required to fill out the application form. Eligible applicants will receive details regarding ticket purchasing information. Please email your regional coordinator with any questions regarding the application form.
Application deadline: Monday 19th February 2024
We ask you to commit to attending all the sessions throughout the year. You will need to grow two seed crops at the same time as taking part in the training and complete a portfolio in your own time.
|Session number (month)
|National (N) /regional (R)?
|Prior to course
|R (in person)
|Meet your regional co-ordinator and cohort
|Seed politics and sovereignty
|Seed botany skills 1
|Seed botany skills 2
|05.06.24 & tbc
|N (online)/ R (in person)
|Seed libraries and hubs
|04.09.24 & tbc
|R (online & in-person)
|Harvesting and processing
|06.11.24 & tbc
|R (online & in-person)
|Portfolio presentation & next steps
Assessment and Accreditation
Assessment is by means of a seed portfolio presentation and a minimum of 80% attendance. Your regional coordinator may also ask you to complete small tasks to consolidate your learning. This is a non-accredited, non-certificated course. Completion of this course gives growers access to our Advanced Learning Opportunities such as the International Seed Exchanges and Trials.