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Author: Janis Norton

2023 SEED LIST – Phoenix Seed Up Event October 27-28

WOW – This year’s event came up on us fast!  Hopefully, you can understand how life can get us distracted.  Anyhow….

Click HERE to download our list of this year’s Great American Seed Up seeds! 105 varieties of open pollinated amazing seeds for your scooping pleasure with several new varieties not even added to our Seed Up In a Box yet.
Seed list 2023

Note: Some varieties will have limited availability.

It’s not too late to get your tickets to the most incredible seed saving event on the planet.

The Great American Seed Up is this coming Friday and Saturday and features a room full of open pollinated seeds for your scooping pleasure. It is the most amazing seed bulk buy you will ever see.
Remember growing seeds is the most abundant and simplest action you can take for the long term success of your garden.

Seed Resources: Navigating the Abundance of Knowledge

In today’s world, accessing information has become incredibly easy thanks to technology. But with the vast amount of knowledge at our fingertips, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, especially when searching for specific resources like seed saving techniques. In a recent Seed Chat (Urban Farm’s monthly online zoom class) held on July 18th, Greg Peterson and Bill McDorman shared invaluable insights into uncovering relevant information for all things related to seed resources. From local gardening expertise to the nuances of seed varieties, this discussion sheds light on the importance of finding the right sources and simplifying your approach.

Starting Locally: The conversation emphasized the value of tapping into your local community for information. Veteran gardeners who have weathered years of seasonal cycles and trials can offer valuable advice and solutions. Landscapers with decades of experience on the ground can share practical insights that transcend theoretical knowledge. Often, local sources are overlooked in favor of national conferences or online resources. However, the wisdom from those who understand the local conditions can be the most important research you conduct in your journey of gardening and seed saving.

Beware of the Cult of Expertise: Bill McDorman cautioned against the pursuit of expert-level knowledge. While modern society promotes specialized expertise, delving into various subjects related to seed saving and gardening can be overwhelming. Instead of getting lost in a sea of information, Bill suggests a more focused approach. He advocates for simplicity and emphasizes the importance of finding the information that directly aligns with your needs and goals.

Taking a Step Back: Bill and Greg shared insights on modern tendencies to drown in vast amounts of data. While technology grants us access to a wealth of information, it’s not always leading to meaningful solutions for real-world problems. Bill suggests stepping back from the data overload and focusing on what truly matters – personalized solutions that can be implemented at the community level. By grounding your search for resources in practical applicability, you can make meaningful changes that resonate with your needs.

Getting Nichey and Focused: Greg Peterson likened the advice to the concept of “getting nichey” in business. The idea is to focus deeply on a specific area and excel in it. Bill McDorman shared his experience with his high-altitude seed company, which focused on a particular niche, contradicting the conventional wisdom of expanding for wider reach. The principle is applicable to seed resources as well – identifying a specific need and focusing on acquiring knowledge in that area can lead to greater mastery and impact.

Exploring Seed Resources: The discussion turned towards a collection of seed resources that can aid those seeking to expand their seed-saving knowledge. These resources cover a range of topics, from seed classes and online education to books that provide comprehensive insights into gardening, seed saving, and more. Among the standouts mentioned were “The Resilient Gardener” by Carol Deppe, “Seed Time” by Scott Chasky, and “The Dao of Vegetable Gardening” by Carol Deppe. These resources offer readers a chance to dive deep into the art and science of growing and saving seeds.

Ancient and Heritage Grains: Bill McDorman emphasized the importance of grains in the quest for self-reliance in food production. With challenges such as climate change and global dynamics affecting grain supply chains, it’s essential to relearn the craft of growing and saving grains. Resources like Amy Haller’s “The New Breadbasket” offer insights into the movement towards more diverse and regional grain systems, highlighting the significance of growing grains that are adapted to specific local conditions.

Seed Libraries and Exchanges: The conversation concluded with a discussion about seed libraries and exchanges. These community-driven initiatives provide platforms for sharing and acquiring seeds, fostering a culture of abundance and sustainability. Bill emphasized the importance of community involvement and encouraged the sharing of seeds grown organically. While not all seeds available in these libraries might be organic, the focus on diversity and adaptation remains paramount.

Navigating the sea of available information on seed saving and gardening can be overwhelming, but by focusing on local knowledge, simplifying your approach, and seeking out experts, you can enhance your skills and make a meaningful impact in your community. Engaging with resources such as books, seed libraries, and online courses can provide a well-rounded education, further enriching your journey towards self-reliance and sustainability. Remember, the beauty of seed resources lies in their ability to connect us to the Earth and each other, reminding us of the power of shared knowledge and community engagement.

Our Statement on Human Rights

The Great American Seed Up was solely created for the purposes of hosting a unique seed education & bulk purchasing event and to promote seed resiliency in our community. At this time, several recent events are highlighting very serious Human Rights concerns, bringing them to the forefront of national conversations and rightly keeping them there. As a team, we are heartbroken and devastated by what is happening in our country.

Individually we strive to be respectful, inclusive, and fair in all areas of our lives. Our separate businesses and nonprofits are focused on making a positive difference in our communities and as far as our voices can carry. We strongly feel the right to healthy food is important to everyone. Up to this point, we have chosen not to bring our collective organizations into political discussions because we did not feel it was appropriate.

That being said, we feel it is important to establish our position on the conversation about human rights.

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.”
Desmond Tutu
We stand against the racial inequities that are pervading our country. We stand for just treatment of all our fellow citizens and recognize that too many are marginalized too often. We call out to our elected local and national representatives to institute the policies that will clearly halt and rectify this pervasive disease of systemic racism.

To people of color in our communities: We may never fully understand what it is like to live in your shoes, but we are listening. We understand our privilege and will stand up with you, because we value who you are, the importance of your presence, and what you contribute to our community at large.

To our entire urban farming community: Please, add your voice to the movement to empower access to basic human rights and dignity in America and across the world. Become more informed and involved.

How to help: The Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance letter to their members listed many organizations that are making a difference in the lives of people of color, and suggested readings that offer enlightenment on how we got to this current state. The Urban Farm’s Statement on Human Rights listed several organizations that can help marginalized communities in their quest for a healthier food system, as well as several podcasts with some inspiring interviews. Please explore as many as you can and support the ones that resonate with you.

What we are doing: As a group, for many years we have been working with different individuals and organizations in the southwest and across the country who are committed to improving their local food system. We are delighted to announce that our special guest for the 2020 Great American Seed Up is Darren Chapman from Tiger Mountain Foundation. His story and the mission of his organization are critical at so many levels as they help challenged communities through their community gardens and education programs for youth and adults. These programs give purpose, increase healthy food access, reduce recidivism, and provide job skills. Please join us in supporting him and his foundation.

Our goal is to expand The Great American Seed Up and share it with communities across the nation. We believe this can make a difference in food insecure communities, and will improve resilience for all that it touches. We welcome anyone who wants to connect with us about making that happen in their community.

We offer this statement to you to establish where we stand on the issue of human rights. We will continue in our mission to create food resiliency through seed knowledge, as it is critical during this time of food system supply disruption.


The Great American Seed Up Team

If you have any thoughts, questions or concerns, please email us at: