In less than a century of industrial agriculture, our once abundant seed diversity—painstakingly created by ancient farmers and gardeners over countless millennia—has been drastically winnowed down to a handful of mass-produced varieties. As the renowned naturalist and author Gary Paul Nabhan puts it, “Many of our seeds today are as endangered as a panda or polar bear.”
The speed and scope of this loss is staggering, and its implications for our future are stark. An article in National Geographic reported that up to 96% of the vegetable seeds available in 1903 have disappeared. In an era of climate uncertainty, this dearth of diversity is a recipe for catastrophic crop failure and human suffering.
Now under the mantle of their newly formed Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance nonprofit, Seed School continues to instill participants with the knowledge, resources, and inspiration to develop more sovereign and secure seed systems where they live. The training now focused in the Rocky Mountain West will also help RMSA identify and connect with potential “Seed Stewards” and community seed growers and educators who will collaborate with the Alliance to assess the needs, available resources, and seed management strategies in their communities.