eNewsletter for December 28, 2017
We're Doing It!
Thanks for another fabulous year! Your belief in our work is helping the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance rise up as a leader in the grassroots seed movement.
We feel strongly that the way to increase biodiversity is by strengthening our regional food systems and the seeds that create them. In addition to conserving seeds in a seed bank, we encourage seed citizens everywhere to save and preserve their own seed supplies. RMSA provides a wide range of programs and networking resources to support this vision.
The local seed movement is alive and thriving in the Mountain West—and you are making this beautiful transformation possible!
We would also like to thank the Kalliopeia Foundation for their continued generous support of our collective efforts. So much gratitude!
Haven't sent in your year-end campaign contribution yet? Click here and feel good about helping grow this movement in so many ways (and dodging a tax-bullet with the new tax plan)! Thank you.
Looking ahead to the new year, there are many exciting things on the horizon. We will be continuing to spread seed saving knowledge far and wide through our diverse educational offerings.
Coming up, RMSA will be hosting a five-day residential Seed School at Sterling College in Vermont—our first northeastern excursion!
Also, it’s not too early to mark your calendars for a big event in early 2019. RMSA is thrilled to be returning to Santa Fe for a repeat of our fabulous convergence of seed ambassadors at the second Mountain West Seed Summit, scheduled for February 2019. Planning for this will keep us busy in the year to come, so stay tuned for updates!
We are just a few weeks away from Grain School 2018—but some spots still remain! Start the year off right with a deep dive into the fascinating world of heritage grains.
January 12–14, 2017
University of Colorado, Colorado Springs
This has become one of the premier events for millers, bakers, farmers, seed growers, and lovers of grain-based cuisine (that supports intestinal health). If you are passionate about local grains, join us and learn from true leaders forging the path in cultivating, using and marketing rare and ancient grain varieties.
RMSA’s Heritage Grain Trials program, which began two years ago in collaboration with UCCS and Grain School, is flourishing!
We have 66 “grain trialists” throughout the country (see the directory on our website) engaged in growing and evaluating heritage grains to determine which varieties work best where they are grown. Grains are trialed and assessed based on a range of characteristics such as height, vigor, and lodging (the tendency of grain stalks to bend or break).
After extensive tests, we now have some top-performing varieties to announce! The winners are: Sin El Pheel wheat, Mauri-Black Awned wheat, Milagre wheat, Mirabella wheat, Tibetan Purple barley, and Dolma Purple barley.
Whether you have an open field or a corner of your garden to spare, you can become a Heritage Grain Trial champion! No grain-growing experience is necessary. Click here to learn more and sign up.
Local Grains Are Going Global
Heritage grain fever is sweeping the planet—and we’re getting in on the action. RMSA is submitting a paper to the 1st International Conference of Wheat Landraces for Healthy Food Systems. The worldly conference is set to take place in Bologna, Italy in June of 2018. If we are selected, an RMSA staffer will travel to present our groundbreaking Grain Trials program and expand our network.
Will you be in Italy next summer and want to help? Contact Belle Starr at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Seed and Discuss
By now, you’re probably heard of—and very likely seen—the beautiful and inspiring documentary SEED: The Untold Story, which prominently features RMSA’s Seed School program and Executive Director Bill McDorman.
It has been amazing to have RMSA's work included in this unique and timely film that is galvanizing the local seed movement worldwide. To help convert the message of the film into action, RMSA teamed up with Collective Eye Films to create a Discussion Guide for SEED: The Untold Story.
This five-part guide is designed for schools, community groups, gardening clubs, and local activists to use to explore the issues presented in the film—from GMOs and pesticides to indigenous rights and spirituality. Download the FREE guide here.
It makes a great Q&A companion following a screening. You can also use it as a stand-alone educational tool. Like the film, the guide is definitely not all doom and gloom—each section offers solutions and resources to take action.
We hope you enjoy reading, sharing, and spreading the knowledge in this resource! If you haven’t seen SEED: The Untold Story yet, stream or download it here.
Seed Up in AZ
RMSA has a couple of upcoming events in Arizona for our seed-loving friends in the Southwest.
Seed School in a Day – Prescott, Arizona
March 24, 2018
Co-presented by Slow Food (Prescott, AZ)
Seed School in a Day @ Northern Arizona University
April 14, 2018
Co-presented by Northern Arizona University and the Museum of Northern Arizona.
Look out on our website in early January for registration links and more information!
Training Tomorrow's Seed Heroes
Our Seed School Teacher Training this past October at the Posner Center was a remarkable experience. We've realized how powerful the "train the trainers" approach can be to rapidly ramp up seed saving knowledge in our communities. Just as each seed has within it the potential to create thousands more, our graduates are spreading their wisdom exponentially where they live!
If you are feeling the call to step up as a local seed leader, don't wait to register for our next session at the Posner Center in Denver:
Seed School Teacher Training
April 22 – 28, 2018
Posner Center, Denver, CO
Grain Farming Apprenticeship
This exciting opportunity came to us by way of the Quivira Coalition, a foundation supporting regenerative ranching and farming in the West. We are always looking for ways to network with like-minded groups and spread the word about amazing opportunities among our community.
Vilicus Farms is a first generation, nationally recognized organic, dryland crop farm located in northern Hill County, Montana. Established in 2009, Vilicus Farms grows a diverse array of heirloom and specialty grains, pulse, oilseed and broadleaf crops within a 5+year rotation on approximately 5,000 acres.
The Vilicus Farms Apprenticeship is a multi-season training and mentoring program that immerses highly motivated young professionals in organic farm operation and management - a journey that ultimately ends in farm ownership. Learn more and sign up here.
Vilicus Farms also has a two-year organic farmworker apprenticeship program in Montana with funding available for veterans. Read more about this program here.
Seed School Online Helps Sprout Project
We love hearing from our past students about the incredible projects they are involved in. One such email recently came in from a Seed School Online student working on promoting foods for wildlife. We wanted to share a bit from this email to inform and inspire our community:
“Since we last corresponded some time back—during Seed School Online—I have finally gotten my new wildlife foods website up and running! (www.wildfoods4wildlife.com)
The goal of this project is ultimately to provide access to resources that will allow wildlife rehabilitators to better manage wildlife that are in their care due to being injured or orphaned. Your help completely shaped my understanding of the conditions to store seeds. Kudos for ALL your VALUABLE work. "
Are you a Seed School graduate with a story to share? Please send it our way!
Seed Libraries 101
Every week, we receive emails from people eager to start a seed library in their community. Good on you! We’ve created a page on our website with free resources and quick tips to help you get rolling—check it out here.
For starters, your best bet is to visit RichmondGrowsSeed.org for step-by-step instructions including a free, downloadable toolkit. Also be sure and sign up with the social network at SeedLibraries.org to connect with other budding seed librarians.
The most important thing is to inspire your community to start saving something! Begin with the easy things: tomatoes, peppers, beans, lettuce and peas. Start small and let your efforts grow over time.
Once you have a seed library up and running, make sure to add it to our growing directory of regional seed lending libraries. You can also search this directory to find other seed librarians nearby who might be able to help in your process.
And of course, RMSA’s educational programs (like Seed School Online) are a great way to learn the basics and ramp up your efforts, no matter where you are in your seed journey!
Stay Connected with RMSA
For questions regarding seed saving and current seed news, contact Bill McDorman: email@example.com
928-300-7989 | www.rockymountainseeds.org