This course is aimed at organic farmers, market/community/home gardeners who are interested in learning how to save vegetable seed organically for themselves, their community or as an enterprise. It consists of eight in person modules over 2 years and is further supported by a once a month 1 hour online meeting and an online learning platform.

Of the eight modules, five are held at Irish Seed Savers Association and consist of a combination of classroom based theory, practical demonstrations and advice on how to save seed successfully in the Irish climate. The remaining three modules consist of site visits to a contract seed grower, a seed company and a public market garden which also focuses on growing seed. These field trips allow participants to experience different scales of operation and perspectives on seed saving, while facilitating specific discussions and demonstrations relevant to the time of year specific context.
The monthly 1-hour online group meetings are tailored to supporting participants with their own seed saving at home throughout the course, while the online platform contains all class content, useful links, further reading and is linked to an international community of organic seed related activities.

Course Objective
This course aims to equip participants with the knowledge, skills, competence and confidence to plan for and successfully save high quality seed from a range of open pollinated horticultural crops.

Course Aims
To provide participants with an understanding of the evolution and development of seed saving through history to the present.
To provide participants with an understanding of plant physiology, taxonomy, flower morphology, pollination and fertilization in order to be able to correctly plan and successfully grow a range of open pollinated seed crops.
To equip participants with the understanding of the important quality measures to be implemented at each phase of the seed growing cycle.
For participants to carry out and gain important practical experience in plant selection, and the harvesting, processing, drying and storing of seed.
To allow participants to see different scales and approaches to seed saving through field trips.
To support participants in successfully growing their own annual, overwintering-annual and biennial seed crops.

Course Modules and Timeline
Length of CPD: 52 hours (eight full day workshops)
This course consists of eight modules, taught over eight full days over 2 years.
Course Locations: Irish Seed Savers Association, Scariff, Co. Clare (5 modules) Leen Organics, Rathclooney, Co. Clare (1 module)
Brown Envelope Seeds, Ardagh, Co. Cork (1 module)
Airfield Estate, Dundrum, Dublin 14 (1 module)

For further information and to register contact Jeanne Merer, Irish Seed Savers at educationassistant@irishseedsavers.ie

Course start date: January 16th 2023