Help Save Seed Diversity—Become a Seed Steward!
The Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance is seeking gardeners and farmers to become Seed Stewards in their communities. Seed Stewards are individuals who are committed to preserving and sharing seed diversity. They may already be skillful seed savers or just beginning to learn about this ancient art and practice. Seed saving is essential for ensuring that diverse and abundant supplies of regionally adapted seeds are securely maintained for the benefit of current and future generations.
Seed Stewards are a vital force in the burgeoning seed sovereignty movement. From starting community seed libraries to preserving precious heirlooms in backyard gardens, the efforts of these grassroots leaders are laying the foundation for community-based seed systems that can replace the unsustainable paradigm of industrial agriculture. The Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance (RMSA) recognizes the fundamental role Seed Stewards play in accelerating this crucial shift. We have created the Seed Stewards program to support and expand the efforts of seed savers in the Rocky Mountain West by providing them with resources, technical assistance, education, and networking opportunities.
Duties and Benefits
To participate in this program, Seed Stewards will commit to grow (or wildcraft), save, and share seeds within their community from at least one plant variety, including herbs, flowers, edible crops, ceremonial plants, wild natives, trees, and shrubs. Seed Stewards will ensure their seeds are carefully grown, skillfully selected for saving, and securely stored. As community seed leaders, Seed Stewards are also encouraged to be involved with the distribution or sharing of seeds through seed libraries or exchanges. They should strive to learn as much as they can about seed saving and share their knowledge with others.
In exchange, the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance will support Seed Stewards with the following benefits:
- a digital download of Basic Seed Saving written by RMSA Director Bill McDorman
- a subscription to our eNewsletter and Seed Steward updates;
- technical support for your seed saving efforts via email and online resources; and
- free and secure long-term seed storage backup** at our Rocky Mountain Regional Seed Vault proposed for the Sawtooth Botanical Garden.
**In order to store seeds in the Rocky Mountain Regional Seed Vault, some basic protocols must be followed. Read more about this here. RMSA promises to never sell, trade, or otherwise distribute your stored seeds and will not attempt to grow them out without your written consent.
At RMSA, it is our goal to inspire all farmers and gardeners to join in the ancient tradition of seed stewardship. We have seen firsthand the incredible impact that passionate individuals of all backgrounds and skill levels can have in creating more resilient, healthy, and sustainable communities through seed saving. There are four different Seed Steward levels to choose from according to your experience and proficiency, from first-year beginners to seasoned experts. If you feel called to do this work, regardless of your experience level, we encourage you to join us as a RMSA Seed Steward.
Search our Seed Stewards Directory to find other seed stewards living near you.
How to Sign Up
To become a RMSA Seed Steward, please begin by clicking here to access the Seed Steward Application page. This automatically makes you a RMSA member if you are not one already, so you can stay up to date with the latest seed news about our burgeoning movement.
Applicants will be asked to agree to the four-point Seed Steward Pledge:
- I agree to become knowledgeable about all aspects of seed saving, with an emphasis on the seed varieties that I steward within my community.
- I agree to follow, to the best of my abilities, organic principles and seed quality best practices for the varieties that I grow.
- I agree to include accurate and detailed labeling information with all the seeds that I grow, harvest, and share.
- I agree to not knowingly buy, grow, or share genetically engineered (GMO) seeds or plants.
Please consider making a donation to help us underwrite other Seed Stewards to join us and provide them with a host of benefits to inspire their participation.