About us

About the Seed Up Team.

We are a group of friends who decided we had the opportunity and know-how to make a difference in the way food security knowledge is being shared. We gathered our skills and put together a project that has started transforming the way people grow food.  Let us introduce ourselves…

Bill McDorman

Co-Founder.
Inspiring Seed Savers Everywhere

Bill is Executive Director of Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance, Ketchum, Idaho. He got his start in the bio-regional seed movement while in college in 1979 when he helped start Garden City Seeds. In 1984, Bill started Seeds Trust/High Altitude Gardens, a mail-order seed company he ran successfully until it sold in 2013.   He authored the book, Basic Seed Saving, in 1994.  In 2010, he and his wife Belle Starr created Seed School, a nationally recognized week-long training. He served as Executive Director of Native Seeds Search from 2011 to 2014.  Bill is a passionate and knowledgeable presenter who inspires his audiences to learn to save their own seeds.

 

Belle Starr

Co-Founder.
Seed Ambassador
Belle is with Seedsave.org and a co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance, an organization created to assure a diverse and abundant supply of seeds for the Rocky Mountain West. Belle, along with her husband Bill McDorman developed the ground-breaking seed saving program Seed School which has graduated over 600 people from around the world. Starr has an extensive background in publicity and media relations, grant writing, and community organizing. She was a professional broadcaster for almost 30 years.
kari

Kari Spencer

Co-Founder.
She Knows How to Grow… Food
Kari is a popular local gardening & homesteading speaker. As a Master Gardener and a Master Farmer, she enjoys sharing her passion for growing and raising food with others. In addition to teaching classes all over the city of Phoenix, she is the creator of Urban Farm U’s Growing Food the Basics & Backyard Livestock courses. Her book City Farming: How-To Guide to Growing Crops & Raising Livestock in Urban Spaces, by 5MPublishing is a comprehensive, yet easy to read resource for any gardener or urban farmer.

Greg Peterson

Co-Founder.
Yes he IS an Urban Farmer

Greg has lived at his home the Urban Farm for 30 years.  It is Phoenix’s first environmental showcase for urban farming.  This 1/3-acre yard features a primarily edible landscape, including over 70 fruit trees, rainwater and greywater harvesting, solar applications, and extensive use of reclaimed and recycled building materials.

Greg is the creator of the Urban Farm Fruit Tree Education program in Phoenix, Arizona which he began in 1999 when he discovered you could go into most nurseries and they would sell you a fruit tree that would never make fruit.  Back then the program was a yearly spring time education series on best practices for growing fruit trees.  Since then it has turned into a program where thousands of people attend free online and in person classes and get to preorder fruit trees for planting in the low desert.  Each year the program delivers over 5000 fruit trees into the local market.

Greg is also the host of the UrbanFarmPodcast.com that has released over 600 episodes, with over 2.5 million listens.  On his days off he hangs out in his garden with Heidi his sweetheart, Kismet his pooch and their chickens, creating new projects and catching some rays.


janis

Janis Norton

Partner, Manager.
Keeping things organized

Janis earned her degree in Sustainability from Arizona State University. Her previous experience in working classrooms, running youth programs, and Boy Scout Council Training and Camp leadership were all community and education focused. During her stint at the university, she snagged an internship with The Urban Farm. There she became motivated to learn all she could about gardening and urban farming while using her organization and project management skills to help facilitate a couple of The Urban Farm’s larger events and took on managing the 2nd Annual Great American Seed Up. Now that she’s found her calling and knows she is making a difference in her community, there is no stopping her!