One of the seed savers featured in the documentary Seed: The Untold Story is Bill McDorman, co-founder of the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance. McDorman is part of the growing movement of organized seed savers which are teaching the ancient practice of harvesting seeds to share and reuse in the following season.
Ross Rodgers is part of that movement and is a self described seed steward. “A seed saver, some people call it seed stewardship or a seed steward, is someone who will take care of seeds, who will grow them from one year to the next, harvest them out of the field, keeps them during the winter and then plants them in the spring.”
He has created a Living Seed Library at the Boulder and Lyons public libraries which offers people a chance to get seeds as well as books and information about seed saving. Basic heirloom varieties of vegetable seeds are available at the seed library, but Rodgers says that once people are more confident in their ability to save seeds, there is a collection of more rare varieties of seeds. “These varieties, we want to multiply so that we can offer those predominately at the seed libraries…varieties that are already adapted to our climate and our needs here in Colorado.”
Rodgers says that seed saving has been happening for ever, but there is now a sense of urgency due to the loss of diversity in seeds that has happened in the past 100 years.
In the last century 94% of vegetable seed varieties have disappeared largely due to the industrialization of agriculture and commercialization of the seed industry. These are issues addressed in Seed: The Untold Story that will be screened on Saturday March 31st at the Nomad theater in Boulder.