Seed School - August 18-20, 2017

SKU: EVT0006
  • Event at Heritage Farm
  • Vegetarian lunches provided (Friday-Sunday)

Students will graduate from the three-day seed school with the confidence to:

  • Grow, harvest, store, and save seeds
  • Engage with their communities through seed libraries, seed swaps, and gardens
  • Discuss the importance of preserving crop diversity


This annual event draws seed savers, gardeners, orchardists, and scholars from all around the country. The workshop is full of practical knowledge, hands-on activities, and plenty of time in the garden.

Instructor Profiles

Tor Janson

Tor Janson is the Collection Curator for Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah, Iowa. As Collection Curator, Tor helps manage over 20,000 varieties of crops that are in Seed Savers Exchange's Collection. In addition to growing, preserving, and researching rare crop varieties, Tor and his colleagues collect seed histories, introduce unique varieties into the seed trade, and support an international network of seed savers.

Philip Kauth

Philip is the assistant curator at Seed Savers Exchange. His duties include managing the evaluation program and the Citizen Science Corps.

Shea Conlan

Shea is the Education Outreach Coordinator at Seed Savers Exchange. She studied English and Horticulture at the University of Georgia and previously worked as an environmental educator at Rock Eagle 4-H Center. Shea helps manage the Community Seed Resource Program and develops educational resources on seed saving.

Sara Straate

Sara joined Seed Savers Exchange in 2011 as seed historian. Sara coordinates our ongoing historical research to enhance the documentation of each accession in the Seed Savers Exchange collection. This research includes gathering stories and cultural information from seed donors and their families, tracking down historic and modern seed catalogs, and locating trade publications.

Amy Holmgren

Amy is the Greenhouse Manager at Seed Savers Exchange. Amy’s job includes starting hundreds of varieties of plants from our Collection that will be transplanted into the fields for seed increase and evaluation. Amy also leads seed processing efforts within the Preservation Department.


Friday, August 18th

  • 10:00 AM - Registration and Welcome
  • 10:30 AM - Introductions
  • 11:00 AM - Seed Biology
  • 12:30 PM - Lunch and Garden Exploration
  • 1:30 PM - Flower Anatomy
  • 2:00 PM - Open Pollinated Varieties vs. Hybrids
  • 3:00 PM - Break & Seed Lab Tour
  • 3:30 PM - Evaluation Garden Tour
  • 4:30 PM - Dismissal

Saturday, August 19th

  • 9:00 AM - Isolation Techniques and Hand Pollination
  • 10:00 AM - Seed Storage and Germination Tests
  • 11:00 AM - Seed Screen Construction
  • 12:00 PM - Lunch and Garden Exploration
  • 1:00 PM - Farm Tour
  • 2:30 PM - Seed Processing
  • 4:00 PM - Dismissal

Sunday, August 20th

  • 9:30 AM - Meet at SSE to depart to field trip
  • 10:00 AM - At-home Seed Saving and Collection Management
  • 11:00 AM - Root Cellaring and Biennial Seed Production
  • 11:30 AM - Lunch
  • 1:30 PM - How to Share Seeds
  • 2:30 PM - Collecting Seed Stories
  • 3:30 PM - Garden Planning
  • 4:00 PM - Seed Swap
  • 4:30 PM - Farewell


  • Vegetarian lunches provided on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • Light snacks and breakfast fare will be served throughout the weekend.

Directions and Parking

Heritage Farm is just outside Decorah, Iowa. Getting here is pretty straight-forward.

Refund Policy

We can offer full refunds up to seven days before the event. After that time, we are unable to refund your registration.

Lodging and Food

Why not make a weekend of your trip to Decorah?

  • Stay the night
  • Eat in town

  • Contact

    Our customer service will happily help you with whatever you need!

  • Send a note or
  • call 563-382-5990