Global Seed Summit
This free 4-day event begins Tuesday, November 17th and continues through Friday, November 20th.
Create a healthy, self-sufficient life for yourself, your family, and the world with our visionary presenters.
Register Now!

Global Seed Summit
Knowledgeable Inspiring Empowering Speakers and Schedule

When we visit our grocery stores, the rows and rows of produce on display may seem like an abundance in varieties. But did you know that over the last 2 decades, 75% of genetic diversity of agricultural crops has been lost?

Take a moment to imagine if your favorite seeds disappeared from catalogs tomorrow. Wouldn’t you like to have a back up plan? From local seed varieties going extinct every year to GMOs and seed patenting, we’re experiencing more insecurity in our world’s seeds than ever before.

That’s why small farmers and hobby gardeners around the world are joining together to preserve seed diversity not only to grow robust, high-yield crops in their own gardens, but also for the sake of the greater world.

The Global Seed Summit gathers thousands of food growers from around the world to discuss the importance of seeds and how YOU can become a part of the seed movement. Over 4 days, you’ll learn how seed libraries strengthen food sovereignty, and WHY you’ll want to join or maybe even create one in your own community. You’ll also learn about seed adaptation for extreme climates, and be amazed by inspiring seed initiatives from around the world.

The event is free to join, and there will be opportunities for you to stock up on bulk seeds to start your own seed journey.

If you haven’t signed up yet, click here to reserve your spot. 

DATES: Tues, November 17th – Fri, November 20th, 2020

TIME: Daily from 2pm – 5pm PST | 3pm – 6pm AZ time 

LOCATION:  Online. Links to attend will be sent to your inbox each day of the summit (after you sign up)

Starting SOON!


Speakers at a Glance


The How and Why of
Seed Libraries

Nov 17 at 2pm PST

Penn Parmenter

“You Can’t Grow That Here!”
on Seed Adaptation

Nov 18 at 2pm PST

Sherry Manning

Redefining Seed Sovereignty Across the Philippines.

Nov 19 at 2pm PST

Karen Lee Hizola

Redefining Seed Sovereignty Across the Philippines.

Nov 19 at 2pm PST

Beata Tsosie-Peña

The Española Healing
Foods Oasis

Nov 19 at 3pm PST

Main Presenter:
Bill McDorman

Bill is the creator of the comprehensive online course Never Buy Seeds Again: Seed Saving for Health, Vitality and Self-Reliance (Seed School Online), plus and a daily presence on our Global Seed Summit Summit. Each day, Bill will be teaching about seed saving or storing, plus be online for live Q&As!
Bill McDorman is Executive Director of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance which he cofounded in 2014. He got his start in the bio-regional seed movement while in college in 1979 when he helped start Garden City Seeds in Missoula, Montana. In 1984, Bill started Seeds Trust/High Altitude Gardens, a mail order seed company he ran successfully until sold to an intern in 2012. He authored the book, Basic Seed Saving, in 1994. In 2010, he and his wife Belle Starr created Seed School, a nationally recognized weeklong training that has graduated hundreds of students from around the world. He and his wife served as Co-Directors 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.

Your Host:
Farmer Greg Peterson

Farmer Greg is the creator and your main host for the Global Seed Summit. You will find him introducing each speaker, plus jumping online for live Q&As daily.
Farmer Greg has been digging his toes into the earth, listening to the plants, and experimenting wih progressive permaculture techniques in his yard for over 40 years. His 1/3-acre home in Phoenix, AZ has been converted into an entirely edible landscape open to the community for tours and classes, and his fruit tree program has resuted in the planting of over 10,000 fruit trees. Greg's mission is to show others that they too can realize the power, joy and deliciousness of urban farming! Greg received his Master's degree in Urban and Environmental Planning from Arizona State University, and has since taught at a trade school and even returned to his alma mater to teach Sustainable Food and Farms. He started to build a community for urban farmers and home gardeners around the world to come for inspiration, education, and advice. His podcast, The Urban Farm Podcast, has been so fun and successful that he has decided to expand his reach to even more people by starting the Edible Backyard Summit.

Your Co-Host:
Janis Norton

Janis is an integral part of The Urban Farm Team and will be co-hosting this summit with Greg. You will find her helping out in between the presentations and assisting in guiding the Q&A's for all our presenters
Janis is the General Manager for The Urban Farm. A large part of her managing duties include the annual Urban Farm Fruit Tree Program (fruit tree education and a pop-up nursery for the Greater Phoenix area) and the GrowPHX Collaborative, both of which give her an outlet for her mad organizational skills. Janis earned her degree in Sustainability from Arizona State University. With a lifetime of focus on community and education, she did not realize how much she could do with the local food system until her Sustainable Food and Farms class. From that point on, she has been an active part of the Urban Farm core team bringing her enthusiasm to all her projects at the Urban Farm.

Daily Schedule

Tuesday, November 17th

2pm PST / 3pm AZ: The How and Why of Seed Libraries, also Who, What, Where and When: A Deep Dive into Home Gardens, Agrobiodiversity and Community Seed Saving – with Hillie Salo

It is clear that biodiversity is not going to be saved in the marketplace. In fact, biodiversity is going to be saved in home and community gardens and by amateur plant breeders like you! Learn about seed libraries, community based strategies to adapt to climate change and strengthen food sovereignty. 

3pm PST / 4pm AZ: Seed Saving HACKED: Why Seeds Matter, Why Saving Them is Easy, and How to Save Your Own – with Bill McDorman

Discover how to save your own seeds from tomatoes, peppers, peas, beans and lettuce. You’ll learn how to select for amazing taste, insect and disease resistance, or drought tolerance (even though we are conditioned to think we can’t).

4pm PST / 5pm AZ: Live Q&As

Get your seed questions answered LIVE by Bill and Greg.

Wednesday, November 18th

2pm PST / 3pm AZ: “You Can’t Grow That Up Here!”: Seed Adaptation for High-Altitude Gardens & the Wild People Who Grow Them – with Penn Parmenter

When the Parmenters arrived on the mountain they were told all of the things they would not be able to grow at altitude. Sourcing seed grown in extreme or similar climates along with saving their own seed was the answer to growing more diversity than they could imagine. In this class, learn to adapt seeds to extreme climates (or wherever you are on the planet), and more.

3pm PST / 4pm AZ: The Art of Seed Preservation: The Where, Why and How of Storing Your Seeds – with Bill McDorman

Learn a vitally important, but little discussed, body of knowledge that is absolutely essential for any seed saver: how to store your seeds. This is an in-depth exploration of the “do’s and don’ts” of seed storage. You’ll learn how to use this simple mantra for storing seeds: “cool, dark and dry.” After this class, you’ll be well on your way to knowing the best way to keep your seeds safe and viable for future planting.

4pm PST / 5pm AZ: Live Q&As

Get your seed questions answered LIVE.


Thursday, November 19th

2pm PST / 3pm AZ: Redefining Seed Sovereignty Across the Philippines – with Sherry Manning and Karen Lee Hizola

Learn about the fascinating landscape of agriculture in the Philippines and the inspiring story of Global Seed Savers and their ongoing work. 

3pm PST / 4pm AZ: The Española Healing Foods Oasis: Ancestral Ways of Knowing and Nurturing Beloved Community – with Beata Tsosie-Peña

Get inspired by this amazing initiative led by Beata Tsosie-Peña of Tewa Women United: the Española Healing Foods Oasis demonstration garden and Española Healing Foods Seed Library. You’ll learn about honoring the story of place in project design and why community engagement is so important for any project.

4pm PST / 5pm AZ: Live Q&As

Get your seed questions answered LIVE by Bill and Greg.

Friday, November 20th

2:10 pm PST / 3:10 pm AZ: Basic Seed Saving
with Belle Starr

2:25 pm PST / 3:25 pm AZ: Seed Saving Myths
with Bill McDorman

2:50 pm PST / 3:50 pm AZ: Seed Starting 
with Kari Spencer

3:15 pm PST / 4:15 pm AZ: Seed Storage
with Bill McDorman

3:40 pm PST / 4:40 pm AZ: Pollinators for the Garden
with Kari Spencer

4:00 PST / 5:00 AZ: Lighting the Fire for Saving Seeds
with Belle Starr & Renée Fourie

4:15 PST / 5:15 AZ: Live Q&A
with Bill McDorman & Greg Peterson

Additional Speaker Details

Speaker Spotlight:
Hillie Salo

The How and Why of Seed Libraries:
A Deep Dive into Home Gardens, Agrobiodiversity and Community Seed Saving
Hillie is a longtime gardener and garden educator in the San Francusco South Bay Area AKA Silicon Valley. She is a University of California Cooperative Extension Master Gardener since 2009, a seed saving educator/advocate since 2013, a graduate of Bill McDorman & Belle Starr's Seed School in 2014, and a Slow Food South Bay board member since 2015. Hillie is also the creator of One Seed One Community.
Hillie Salo

Speaker Spotlight:
Penn Parmenter

“You Can’t Grow That Up Here!”:
Seed Adaptation for High-Altitude Gardens
& the Wild People Who Grow Them
Penn has been growing food at 8,120’ in the Wet Mountains of Colorado since 1992 and seed since 2010. Along with her husband Cord, she is co-founder of Smart Greenhouses LLC, a no-fuel design and build greenhouse company. Penn owns and operates Miss Penn’s Mountain Seeds, providing wild and adapting seed to those growing at elevation and/or other extreme climates. Penn specializes in tomatoes and wild native seed, along with other veg, garden flowers and herbs. Penn grows or collects all of the seed she offers.

Find her at:
Miss Penn’s Mountain Seeds
Smart Greenhouses LLC

Speaker Spotlight:
Sherry Manning

Redefining Seed Sovereignty Across the Philippines
Sherry's work with Global Seed Savers began when she served as US Peace Corps Volunteer in the Philippines from 2006-2008. Sherry dedicated her service to helping her host family develop their ancestral land into an organic farming training center, youth environmental education facility, and leading sustainable eco-tourism destination. This critical work continued when she founded Global Seed Savers (GSS), an International NGO committed to building hunger free and healthy communities with access to farmer produced seeds and food. Since 2015, GSS has trained over 5,000 Filipino Farmers in seed saving, established two seed libraries and inspired the creation of two others that are locally led, and is building a movement across the 7,000 islands to restore the traditional practice of saving seeds!
Sherry holds a Master’s Degree in Environmental and Natural Resource Law and is a proud graduate of Bill McDorman & Belle Starr's Seed School and has facilitated multiple Seed Saving courses in the US and the Philippines. When not working for Global Seed Savers she can be found playing in the beautiful Colorado Mountains and enjoying delicious craft beers.
Sherry Manning

Speaker Spotlight:
Karen Lee Hizola

Redefining Seed Sovereignty Across the Philippines
Karen is the Executive Director of Global Seed Savers (GSS) Philippines. Karen has been instrumental in the growth of the organization and played a hand in the formation of the Benguet Association of Seed Savers and the Cebu Seed Savers group, and was the driving force behind the adoption of seed saving by some organic and permaculture practitioners. Karen has conducted numerous trainings in many parts of the country on seed saving, introduction to permaculture, seed school teacher training, and leadership.
Karen is an electronics engineer by profession but an environmentalist, artist, permaculture enthusiast and seed advocate by passion. In 2012, she underwent her first Permaculture Design Course under Bert Peeters of the Philippine Permaculture Association. Karen received her certificate in Seed School Teacher Training from the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance in Denver, Colorado. She has spoken in many platforms on seed saving and community-led seed libraries. When not doing environmental advocacy work, Karen spends time with her partner, works on her plants, or on her creative pursuits in music and the visual arts, in personal growth and development.

Speaker Spotlight:
Beata Tsosie-Peña

The Española Healing Foods Oasis:
Ancestral Ways of Knowing and
Nurturing Beloved Community
Beata is from Santa Clara Pueblo and El Rito, NM. She is certified in Infant Massage, as a Developmental Specialist, an Educator, a Doula, and in Indigenous Sustainable Design. She is currently on the steering committee for the Traditional Native American Farmers Association and Flowering Tree Permaculture Institute's Board of Directors. The realities of living next to a nuclear weapons complex has called her into environmental health and justice work with the non-profit organization, Tewa Women United for over a decade. As part of her work with TWU, she is currently managing the creation of the Española Healing Foods Oasis demonstration garden project and Española Healing Foods Seed Library.
Beata Tsosie-Pena