Virtual Seed School

$25 Registration
$29.95 $15.00* The Seed Garden

*Use coupon code SSSGarden during checkout for half off The Seed Garden with your Virtual Seed School registration—cannot be combined with other coupons

  • Every Monday at 6:00 PM Central Time, September 14-October 26, 2020
  • 7 engaging live webinars led by SSE staff and Seed School graduates
  • Also receive $14.95 off The Seed Garden: The Art and Practice of Seed Saving and exclusive seeds
This event is now sold out.

*Remember: Use coupon code SSSGarden during checkout for a discount on The Seed Garden—cannot be combined with other coupons

Workshop Details

We are excited to announce that our 8th Annual Seed School will go on, albeit as a virtual education course.

Join gardeners from all over the country to learn the most important seed-saving techniques from Seed Savers Exchange staff and previous Seed School graduates.

This course will take place over seven weeks, each featuring a new topic and speaker. Zoom webinars will be presented live each Monday at 6:00 PM Central Time from September 14 until October 26. Participants will receive recordings of each webinar within the week should they not be able to attend the live broadcast.

In addition to the webinars, Virtual Seed School will feature access to a shared Google drive of educational content, the opportunity to participate in live discussion, exclusive Heritage Farm Collection seeds, and a copy of The Seed Garden: The Art and Practice of Seed Saving.


All webinars will take place from 6:00-7:30 PM, Central Time. Participants will receive an email with registration details before each webinar and a recording after the webinar.

  • September 14: Introduction to Seeds and Flowers, Phil Kauth
  • September 21: Seed Saving for the Backyard Gardener, Keith Joyal
  • September 28: Hand Pollination Techniques, Marcos Stoltzfus
  • October 5: Wet and Dry Seed Processing
  • October 12: Biennials on a Budget, Julie Sheen
  • October 19: Plant a Seed for Food Security, Kelly Rae Kirkpatrick
  • October 26: Building Community through Seed Saving, Kathryn Gilbery

Presenter Bios

Julie Sheen is the co-owner of Giving Ground Seeds—a homestead-based, certified organic seed company in Pocatello, Idaho, that specializes in growing rare, open-pollinated, and heirloom varieties for short-season climates, particularly those in the Mountain West. Julie has a master’s degree in education from Portland State University focusing on leadership for sustainability education. She has worked as a garden educator at the Learning Gardens Lab in Portland, Oregon; as a learning gardens specialist at Lane Community College in Eugene, Oregon; and at the Utah State University Student Organic Farm. Julie has also worked on many other farms and gardens and has helped organize community and school gardens her whole adult life. She attended Seed School in 2015.

Kathryn Gilbery is the Exchange and Outreach Coordinator at Seed Savers Exchange, where she organizes Seed School, engages members in the Exchange (our international seed swap), and compiles the Seed Trade Census. Kathryn has also led garden and nutrition education for schools and community groups. Her favorite things to grow are culinary herbs and anything that can be pickled.

Keith Joyal is an elementary music teacher as well as an avid home gardener and seed saver who is saving seed from his favorite crops to bolster self-sufficiency in the time of a pandemic. He practices gardening using the no-dig method in close quarters and saving multiple varieties of vegetables from varied vegetable families. Keith is from New Hampshire and attended Seed School in 2019.

Kelly Rae Kirkpatrick created the Plant a Seed Initiative to inspire a better understanding of our food system. Through partnerships, she co-founded The Seed Library at Rochester Public Library, teaches people how to grow food, and creates community food gardens that address local food-security issues. Kelly is from Rochester, Minnesota, and attended Seed School in 2018.

Marcos Soltzfus is an educator with 15 years of experience teaching within informal science education. He is also a backyard gardener who’s dabbled in veggies, grains, fruit trees, and canes. Current garden experiments include re-domesticating wild garlic, grafting table grapes onto wild rootstock, and growing out a mystery heirloom bean cross. Marcos is from Indiana and attended Seed School in 2015.

Philip Kauth joined Seed Savers Exchange in 2013 as the tissue culture lab manager and then served as assistant curator in charge of the evaluation program from 2014-17. As Director of Preservation, Philip leads the team tasked with managing the vast collection of over 20,000 open-pollinated varieties. Philip has master’s and doctoral degrees in horticultural sciences from the University of Florida.


What technology do I need to attend Virtual Seed School?

Webinars will take place using Zoom. Zoom is free to download and use on any computer or smartphone. Webcam and microphone are optional.

What if I can’t attend every live webinar?

Virtual Seed School will be most rewarding if you are able to attend the webinars live at 6:00 PM Central Time each Monday due to your ability to ask live questions. However, we will share recordings of each webinar within a day or two of the event so you can follow along if you cannot attend every live webinar.

Virtual Seed School is not intended to be a self-paced course, though you will have access to recordings and the Google drive for life. We prefer that you stay up to date with course material throughout September and October rather than waiting until after after the course to access content.


Virtual Seed School is being facilitated by Kathryn Gilbery, our Exchange and Outreach Coordinator. Feel free to reach out to Kathryn if you have any questions at or (563) 387-5672.