This online community is a project of a non-profit organization called Going to Seed. Our other current projects include the Landrace Gardening online courses, an upcoming course based in southern Mexico, and the Landrace Seed Library.
Going to Seed is a fiscally sponsored project of Empowerment Works. This makes all donations tax deductable.
Going to Seed seeks to inspire a shift in agriculture towards adaptation, community, and diversity.
We envision a world where everyone is empowered to grow food that heals the body, the soul, and the planet. Together we create a resilient and environmentally responsible food system that works with nature and can withstand its unpredictability.
Community, sharing, generosity
Respect and reverence for natural ecosystems
Valuing ancestral and indigenous wisdom and people
Food Security, access to healthy food
Diversity in goals, methods, results and people
Resilience against climate change
Decentralization of agriculture
Going to Seed has an advisor team that meets occasionally and includes:
- Joseph Lofthouse
- Julia Dakin
- Anna Meiritz
- Masha Zager
- Debbie Ang
- Lowell McCampbell
- Holly Hanson
- Emily Sorensen
- Erin DeShong
Going to Seed started as an online course that teaches gardeners how to develop resilient annual food crops adapted to local conditions (“Landrace Gardening”) taught by Joseph Lofthouse. There are now two existing courses, and a third in development, with about three hundred people enrolled. The initial collaborators/students were enthusiastic and motivated, and have started building an organization. Going to Seed will bring awareness, practical skills and seeds towards achieving the decentralization of agriculture, empowering food producers to adapt crops to a changing climate, and to grow food with fewer resources. We recently added a decentralized seed sharing platform that will provide new and existing participants with diverse seed to begin the adaptation process under their own local challenges. Because this gardening method incorporates the ancestral seed selection techniques that many Indigenous communities still practice, another current project documents the methods used by farmers and seed savers in southern Mexico. The eventual goal is to expand content creation and the seed distribution template to groups internationally.
While there are many important ongoing projects working to preserve the remaining traditional crop heirloom and ‘landrace’ populations from around the world, Going to Seed is unique in that it focuses on supporting the journey of small food producers to develop their own genetically diverse, adaptable crop populations that thrive wherever they are. ‘Landrace Gardening’ will be especially useful in adapting our food system to the increasing pressures caused by climate change, because not only do crops need to adapt to local conditions, but to conditions that are changing every single year. Going to Seed promotes a mindset that embraces genetic diversity among plants of a single species rather than genetic uniformity. It does not require the use of additional resources, generates no pollution, and is accessible to anyone and everyone in the world. It is the only approach that can empower all food growers regardless of their means.
December 2022 to March 2023
- Improve the online community space platform to increase visibility, user functionality and value, and the number of engaged, contributing participants.
- Finish, translate, and release a new online course about Mexican Indigenous farming methods.
- Ongoing work with the seed distribution pilot project. Seeds were collected from gardeners, and pooled seeds are available for members to order (ongoing).
- Work on the marketing plan, seed storefront, presentation materials, website, and videos in preparation for a marketing launch.
April to December 2023
- Make the content, community and seeds free to people who aren’t able to pay. Tap into member networks to help publicize the free educational content to their own communities.
- Apply for grants, make presentations to potential foundations especially in the open source technology and climate change spaces.
- Build partnerships with other organizations that are working nationally and internationally in agroecology, food security and food sovereignty, increasing farming sustainability practices, and increasing food nutrient density.
- Additional educational content: find speakers for a series of expert interviews on plant breeding, nutrient density, and the importance of genetic diversity. Support members in conducting recorded video interviews.
- Support (with presentation materials and/or seeds) seed libraries, community gardens and other garden groups. Support Joseph Lofthouse’s speaking engagements with materials and funding.
- Evaluate and adapt the seed distribution program. Start collecting the seeds for phase 2. Use part of the funds raised to purchase additional seeds from breeders and small farmers. Implement selection criteria for the contributed seeds by gardeners to improve seed performance.
Is there something that you’d like to help us with? We’d love to hear from you. Email us: LandraceGardening@gmail.com
You can also make a donation