As 2022 comes to a close, let’s look ahead at some of the exciting events and opportunities that will be coming to the Midwest region in 2023. We want you to take your skills to the next level, meet new people, reconnect with friends, discover new varieties, and help build a thriving network of seed keepers and practitioners in our region. While the Midwest may seem vast and all of us may be spread far and wide, we hope that our work in the next year will be able to bring folks together toward common goals and strengthen our relationships and seed systems.
Webinar Series: Practical Training for On-Farm and Collaborative Plant Breeding
One of the first opportunities for you to learn new skills will be a series of webinars starting in January titled, “Practical Training for On-Farm and Collaborative Plant Breeding”. Over the years, we have received frequent requests for more advanced training on important biological, technical, and business-related considerations in plant breeding, and this series will address those needs. Content will be targeted to the Upper Midwest, but much of the material will be relevant to other regions. Learn more about the series and register online using the button below.
SeedLinked & Seed to Kitchen Collaborative Variety Trials
If you are growing vegetables at any scale, whether it is on a commercial farm or in a garden plot, consider getting involved in a variety trial through SeedLinked and the Seed to Kitchen Collaborative. You can join a network of other growers around the region in evaluating new and soon-to-be-released varieties, and the information you return helps independent breeders and small seed companies that are developing regionally adapted crops. You can even take the project one step further and save seeds from the best plants in your trial, which can be the first step toward breeding a new cultivar based on your own needs and desires. More information about the 2023 trial opportunities will be coming out shortly, so keep an eye out for more announcements and sign-up lists.
Organic Seed Alliance and partners are working to develop two in-person gatherings that will be held next year in Michigan. The first will be a farm field day hosted at Nature and Nurture Seeds farm near Ann Arbor, likely occurring in August. The event will highlight the tomato breeding projects happening on the farm, in addition to the seed production and variety trials on-site. Later in the autumn, we will be hosting a gathering as a follow up to the 2019 Upper Midwest Seed Summit. More information will be coming as we work with regional partners to pick a time and location, in the meantime you can check out a recap from the previous event.
Midwest Network in Organic Seed Commons
You are invited to join our regional network online in Organic Seed Commons, or if you are already a member, come back and make a post to share an update, ask a question, or find new partners for your seed work. In this virtual community space, we can build relationships and learn new things together. We will be sharing information there about some community meetings held over Zoom throughout the year, where we can all chat and see each other, even if it is through a screen.
Virtual Midwest Get-Together on December 29th
If you want to get together one last time in 2022, OSA will be hosting a virtual get-together for the Midwest region on Thursday, December 29th at 7 pm ET / 6 pm CT. Find a link to join on Organic Seed Commons, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Staying in Touch
The colder months in our region are always a time of both reflection on the past year and planning for the future. While some of this work can be done solitarily, it is also the time for conferences and seed swaps. What events are you planning on going to this winter?
Follow Organic Seed Alliance on Facebook and Instagram to keep up with where we will be, and let us know about any events you are planning to attend. Email me or tag Michael Lordon on your posts in Organic Seed Commons so I can keep up with all the happenings!
Best wishes to you all going into the new year, and we hope you all have a safe, happy and productive 2023!