Here’s how the Decorah, Iowa, institution describes the upcoming conference weekend:
“Cultivate community, knowledge, and an appreciation of seeds during the 37th annual Conference & Campout. Each year in July, gardeners, educators, and leaders in the seed world gather at Heritage Farm for a weekend of workshops, tours, inspiring keynote speakers, community, and great local food.”
Events during the weekend include tasting sessions of vegetables grown from Seed Savers’ heirloom seeds, seed swaps, bonfires, hay rides, and workshops. A pre-conference Heritage Farm Field Day tour is available on Friday (separate registration required).
Keynote speakers include:
- Minneapolis-based chef Sean Sherman, Oglala Lakota, born in Pine Ridge, SD, has been cooking in MN, SD & MT for the last 27 years. In the last few years, his main culinary focus has been on the revitalizing of indigenous foods systems in a modern culinary context. In 2014, he founded a catering and food education business, The Sioux Chef.
- Hank Will, born Oscar H. Will III but called Hank from his middle name, is the great-grandson of Oscar H. Will, founder of the legendary Oscar H. Will Seed Company. Popular writer, speaker, advocate and leader, Hank is currently Editorial Director of Ogden Publications and Editor-in-Chief of Mother Earth News and Heirloom Gardener.
- Lee Reich, PhD dove into gardening decades ago, initially with one foot in academia, as an agricultural scientist with the USDA and Cornell University, and one foot in the field, the organic field. He eventually expanded his field to a farmden (more than a garden, less than than a farm) and left academia to lecture, consult, and and write. He is a book author and a syndicated columnist for Associated Press.
- Joy Hought leads Native Seeds/SEARCH’s efforts to conserve the rich agro-biodiversity of the arid Southwest. The nonprofit organization maintains 2,000 varieties of arid lands-adapted seeds in its seed bank in Tuscon, Arizona, and promotes the use of these ancient crops by distributing seeds to traditional communities and gardeners worldwide.
Conference / camp out registration deadline is today, July 11. To register, or for more information, check out the Seed Savers website.