Going to Seed started as an online course that teaches gardeners how to develop resilient annual food crops adapted to local conditions (“Landrace Gardening”) taught by Joseph Lofthouse. There are now two existing courses, and a third in development, with about three hundred people enrolled. The initial collaborators/students were enthusiastic and motivated, and have started building an organization. Going to Seed will bring awareness, practical skills and seeds towards achieving the decentralization of agriculture, empowering food producers to adapt crops to a changing climate, and to grow food with fewer resources. We recently added a decentralized seed sharing platform that will provide new and existing participants with diverse seed to begin the adaptation process under their own local challenges. Because this gardening method incorporates the ancestral seed selection techniques that many Indigenous communities still practice, another current project documents the methods used by farmers and seed savers in southern Mexico. The eventual goal is to expand content creation and the seed distribution template to groups internationally.
While there are many important ongoing projects working to preserve the remaining traditional crop heirloom and ‘landrace’ populations from around the world, Going to Seed is unique in that it focuses on supporting the journey of small food producers to develop their own genetically diverse, adaptable crop populations that thrive wherever they are. ‘Landrace Gardening’ will be especially useful in adapting our food system to the increasing pressures caused by climate change, because not only do crops need to adapt to local conditions, but to conditions that are changing every single year. Going to Seed promotes a mindset that embraces genetic diversity among plants of a single species rather than genetic uniformity. It does not require the use of additional resources, generates no pollution, and is accessible to anyone and everyone in the world. It is the only approach that can empower all food growers regardless of their means.