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eNewsletter for December 18, 2018


What's Up with "Reunion of the Radicles?"

radiclesWhy did we choose this title for the Mountain West Seed Summit? This harkens back to a campaign which involved RMSA Executive Director Bill McDorman and Board Chair Kelley Weston during their college days in Montana. Like the radical activist movements of the 1960s and 70s, our seedy “radicles” are standing up for a more just, diverse, and abundant world.
The terms “radical” and “radicle” both refer to “roots”—the former to our essential origins as a culture and species, and the latter to the tender, earth-probing root that first sprouts from a germinated seed. When we reconnect to our roots, remembering that emergent source we all spring from, only then is a new, more beautiful world possible. 
Join us for the Reunion of the Radicles and take part in a unique cross-pollination of ideas and perspectives with people from all walks of life coming together to explore our common roots, and take radical action. Topics to be explored range from the practical to the political and spiritual, with a representation of presenters that reflects our diverse regional communities.
Mountain West Seed Summit
February 21 – 23, 2019
Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, NM
Native Seed Cuisine Workshop at MWSS - Just Added
chefsThis gastronomical experience was such a hit at our last Seed Summit, we're hosting it once again! Join celebrated chefs Lois Ellen Frank and Walter Whitewater of Red Mesa Cuisine for an experiential journey through Native American foods of the Mountain West. Frank and Whitewater will talk about seeds as cuisine and will serve two food tastings featuring a Three Sisters Stew and a Sunflower Seed Cake with hand-harvested Choke Cherry Sauce!
Seed Cuisine Workshop
with Chefs Lois Ellen Frank and Walter Whitewater
Saturday, February 23, 2019 – 1:15 to 2:15 p.m.
$20 added on at registration
Let your mouth water and your taste buds play in this delectable workshop offered as an optional event for Mountain West Seed Summit participants. 
Membership Has Its Advantages
sscCalling all home gardeners and small farmers passionate about seeds! Our compatriots at the Snake River Seed Cooperative (directed by RMSA Board Member Casey O’Leary) have just launched an exciting new Seed Savers Club for those that want to improve their seed saving skills and connect with others.
By joining, you will play an important role in supporting the efforts of the co-op and the local farmers they work with, while increasing your own knowledge of seed saving and building a community of committed seed savers.
Membership includes discounts on Snake River Seed Cooperative items, free giveaways, and a lot of perks and resources to advance your seed saving skills! In addition, members support the efforts of the Co-op and their growers by trialing new varieties of herbs, flowers and vegetables.

The Genius of the Team

winnowOur Heritage Grain Trials participants are quite a talented lot. Beyond the passion and sweat they put into trialing and assessing regionally adapted grains for the program, they bring a host of other skills to their work.
One such example is Jonathan Birck, who recently emailed us about his latest invention—a seed winnower created from a section of drain pipe, perfect for cleaning small quantities of grain seed!
The contraption uses a shop vac (in vacuum mode) which attaches to the top of the right-side tube. This sucks the chaff over to collect at the base on the right side as grains are poured into the top of the left side. Blocks or other material placed inside the left tube near the junction bounce and slow the grain as it falls, allowing the chaff to be drawn away.
Brilliant! And according to Jon, it works like a charm and costs very little to construct. Homegrown bread just got a lot easier. Thanks, Jon, for sharing your genius with us!
Colin Khoury Joins RMSA Board of Directors
colinWe are thrilled to announce a new board member has joined the RMSA team: Colin Khoury! Colin is a respected name in the seed world due to his impressive research into crop genetic diversity.
He is a crop diversity specialist at the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and a researcher at the USDA’s National Laboratory for Genetic Resources Preservation in Fort Collins, Colorado. His latest publication as an editor explores crop wild relatives in North America and their genetic implications for breeding climate-resilient varieties.
Colin brings this wealth of knowledge to RMSA to help guide our programs and support regenerative seed systems in the Mountain West. We are very grateful to have him joining us!
If you are in Arizona on January 14th, Colin will be speaking at the University of Arizona for a special forum about North America’s Crop Wild Relatives. The event will take place at the ENR2 Haury Lecture Hall on the U of A campus from noon to 2 p.m.
A New Year, a New Crop of Seed Schools
willWe’ve got some exciting programs lined up for 2019! Join us for any (or all) of the following events to advance your seed knowledge, whether it be in seed saving, grains, or seed education!
Grain School – Cottonwood, AZ
Eco Learning Center
April 12–14, 2019
Featuring special guest instructor Gary Nabhan (University of Arizona, SW Center) and Don Guerra (Barrio Bread, Tucson, AZ)
Grain School in Albuquerque, NM
Albuquerque Museum and local field sites
July 26 & 27, 2019
Seed School – August 2019 – location and details TBA
And be on the lookout for a special training event in October 2019!
Help Us Repair the World - This Friday!
seedFor our friends in the Phoenix area, come to a free screening of SEED: The Untold Story at the Jewish Heritage Center in collaboration with the Tikkun Olam, Repair the World art exhibition (continuing until January). Bill McDorman, who is featured in the film, will be on hand to do a Q&A after the showing.
SEED: The Untold Story – Free Screening
Friday, December 21, 2018
Doors open at 6 pm, movie starts at 6:30 pm, gallery open until 9 pm.
Jewish Heritage Center, Phoenix, AZ
122 E. Culver Street
Phoenix, AZ   85004-1720    Next to the Burton Barr Phoenix Library
(Take 2nd Street South of McDowell)
Special RMSA seed packets will be gifted to the first 100 attendees.

More Arizona Happenings

Tuesday, January 8th and Wednesday, January 9th, Tucson hosts the Arizona Food Summit at the Jewish Community Center.  

The 2019 Food Summit is an opportunity to bring people together from across the state to discuss issues, share ideas, and learn about food system success stories.

Of course, no food system is secure without the local seeds needed to sustain it. Enter Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance and our ongoing efforts to foster seed education and promote local seed systems whever we go. 

Bill McDorman will be presenting a workshop on Wednesday, the 9th of January entitled:

Seeds: The Forgotten Key to Arizona's Sustainable Agriculture

To register and for more information, click here. 

Stay Connected with RMSAheart_of_idaho

For questions regarding seed saving and current seed news, contact Bill McDorman:

For questions about seed vaulting or seed libraries, contact John Caccia:

For general inquiries, contact Belle Starr:

For questions about the Seed Stewards or Grain Trials programs, contact Lee-Ann Hill:

928-255-1125 |

Stay up to date with current seed news by checking in regularly with the RMSA Facebook page.
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Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance
PO BOX 405
Mancos, CO 81328
United States

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