Your Guide

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Rowen White

Rowen White is a Seed Keeper/farmer from the Mohawk Nation and a passionate activist for indigenous seed and food sovereignty. She is the director and founder of the Sierra Seeds, an innovative organic seed stewardship organization focusing on local seed and education. Rowen is the current National Project Coordinator for the Indigenous Seed Keeper Network, an initiative of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, a non-profit organization aimed at leveraging resources to support tribal food sovereignty projects. Rowen's passion is in teaching and mentoring, and has developed many curricula which focus on holistic, indigenous permaculture based approach to seed stewardship which honors the many layers of seed culture. She teaches and facilitates creative seed stewardship immersions around the country within tribal and small farming communities. She weaves stories of seeds, food, culture and sacred Earth stewardship on her blog, Seed Songs. Follow her seed journeys at

Questions? Comments? Email me!

About this course

Seed Seva Seasonal Journey;

A Distance Learning Online Mentorship

Our Seed Seva Educational program is a holistic, indigenous permaculture based approach to seed stewardship which honors the many layers of seed culture , from practical hands-on skills, cultural context and memory with guiding principles that are rooted in an indigenous ecology of interconnected relations.  Seed Seva is our signature educational seed stewardship program, developed by Rowen White and Sierra Seeds.  

Previously only offered in live immersions, we have created a wonderful distance mentorship curriculum to widen the circle of seed stewards and to make these teaches more widely available to our community worldwide.  Upon purchase of this mentorship, you will instant access to 8 multi-layered Modules, that follow the course of the season from Spring until Fall.  This is a self paced online course, but there are lots of students currently taking the course, so there is always folks to interact with inside the online classroom space, as well as in our active Facebook group. 

The heart of our mission at Sierra Seeds is to cultivate, empower and grow good Seed Stewards. Through mentorship and education, we create greater sustainability in our food and seed systems by sharing essential practical skills coupled with deep and integrated seed literacy.  

While this learning experience holds seeds as the center of our learning hub, we touch on many diverse array of topics on to cultivate fundamental seed literacy for all conscious and mindful eaters, lovers of life, guardians of life, storytellers, activists, and those who carry a new vision of Earth stewardship for future generations. Practical and integrative knowledge that will deepen your understanding of the cycles of life. 

Seed stewardship is not limited to the work we do in the garden; it also extends to the kitchen and dining table, how we engage in our local food movement and community and beyond.   We need more humans who care for the seeds! 

Learning about seed stewardship will fundamentally change your perspective on food, and how we can work together with our beloved plants to create sustainable food and seed sovereignty that is in alignment with our values and ethics.

Over the last 18 years of following the seed path, I have had the honor and privilege of meeting and weaving together a beautiful network of mentors and seed friends that have helped me root into my vision of how I can be of best service to the seeds.  They have helped me gather a proverbial basket of skills to feel confident as a Seed Keeper. It is through these relationships and experiences, and with the plants and seeds as my guides and teachers, I have been able to begin to cultivate my deep infinite knowing, and germinate my pure creative potential.  

I want to offer this to each one of you.

Join us as we walk together through the seasons together.

How will we learn together?

When you register for the Seed Seva Seasonal Mentorship, you will get an email with instant access to the full online course and classroom space.  This is a self paced online course.  Each module holds new resources for you to learn from. There will be a diversity of modalities that we will use to learn.  There are videos, audio recordings, readings, and templates that will inspire you as you cultivate your understandings of the cycles of life in a seed garden. There are planting guides, on how to cultivate a healthy and abundant seed and food garden, as well as thought-provoking readings and interviews from a wide spectrum of sources and teachers in our mentorship network.  

The platform to access the materials is intuitive and easy to use, and we will have regular communication through email to invite you into the next cycles and phases of learning.   You will have lifetime access to these resources and will be able to go review them throughout the seasons to continue to learn and grow.

There will also be a private community Facebook group where we can share inspiration, pictures of our gardens, insights, and reflections.  I will be able to listen in and offer support and mentorship as you learn from our beloved plants.  We can continue to learn from each other, and gather together in solidarity with other people of good hearts and minds who share our same vision for Earth Stewardship.  You will find a community of people who will inspire and uplift you in your journey to reconnect to seeds, earth, and ancestral seed culture. 

Here is a peak into some of the topics that we will explore together:

-Restoring Relationships; The Foundations of Seed Seva

-Moon Cycles and Phenology of Planning Our Seed Gardens

-Honoring Seed Origins; Sourcing Seeds Ethically

-Cultivating our Seed Heritage; Creating our Seed Garden Plans

-The Garden Journal; Good Record-keeping to Inspire Reverent Curiosity

-Seed Stories; Finding our way home

-Plant Kinship and Plant Midwifery

-Maintaining Good Seed through Mindful Seed Stewardship

-The Co-Evolutionary Dance; Indigenous Plant Breeding

-Seeds of Resistance; Cross Cultural Seed Stories

-Enduring Seeds and Original Agreements;  A Modern history of Seed Stewardship and the Public Commons

-Seed Rematriation and Reconciliation

-Biennial Seed Stewardship

-Seed to Table; Seed Stewardship in the Kitchen

-Dry Seed Processing

-Wet Seed Processing

Good Recordkeeping for a Small Farm or Community Seed Bank

-Community Seed Systems

-Seed Justice

-Seed Storage

With this Instant Access Mentorship Course, you will receive: 

~A seasonal themed Seed Stewardship learning module that aligns with every month of the season. This will have a video learning component with it. 2 monthly informative or inspirational videos; some based on practical hands-on skills and others based on potent and important issues and topics that further seed literacy.  Each module has discussion prompts that are linked to a community forum inside the classroom space and also downloadable resources.  

~Interviews and complementary content from an amazing lineup of inspiring seed stewards from around the country focused on the themes of the monthly seasonal cycles.  These will vary from extra videos, podcasts, written articles and other downloadable resources. The heart of the content in the classroom is curated and cultivated by our lead seed mentor, Rowen White. 

~Access to our private Facebook group to share inspiration with all the others who make up our vibrant learning community; This is an inspiring place to share your insights on this journey of learning from the seeds. 

~The theme of this season is to cultivate a useful cyclical framework for our seed stewardship journey in the form of a seed inspired garden journal.  There will be templates and prompts to assist our circle in this learning and observational multi-sensory learning experience.

~Seed of the Week interactive learning, where we go deep into the cultural memory and beauty of an heirloom seed variety each week. 

Course primarily taught by Rowen White, founder and director of Sierra Seeds, with the help of numerous regional and national wise seedkeepers and other knowledge food and seed artists and activists. 

No prior experience necessary, just come with an open heart and mind!  

Through this group mentorship circle, I will invite you to unfurl into a place of empowerment, to step with greater depth onto the path of being a SeedKeeper and life steward.  I have offered this mentorship in individual settings with great success to help springboard community organizations like seed libraries and seed cooperatives, and to individuals who wanted extended clarity on how to bring seed stewardship into their yearly garden plans and to enrich their lives overall.  I have also customized this mentorship work to help support a network of elementary schools integrate seed stewardship into their seasonal curriculum.  I have worked with community activists, with chefs, with musicians and artists, with food writers and film-makers, along with farmers and gardeners to elevate their home gardening experience as well as bring more meaning and depth into the relationships that exist in our homes, kitchens, dining tables and our gardens.

I want you to feel supported in your embodiment of this Seed Keeper pathway. Imagine this space is an earthy and cracked vessel, an ancient collective seed pot;  hand shaped by an endless chain of Seed Keepers of all colors, stretching back through the ages. Your dreams and visions of how you want to make a contribution to the larger global movement of Seed Freedom will be honed and cultivated.  The group container will hold you in a safe space of accountability and reflection for what shifts you want to make in your life to begin to cultivate gratitude and “Seed the Local Revolution” in your own unique expression.

Why are we offering Seed Seva in a Distance Learning Format?

As many of you know, I love to gather in a circle with all manner of people to share seed and stories and inspiration. I have spent the last few years teaching seed trainings and facilitating gatherings all over the country.  In my travels and in conversations with my students, I realized was lacking in the teachings that we were offering was a commitment to mentorship and embodied follow-through.  Once the juicy bubble of excitement and inspiration wore off from our 5-8 days together, it was can be difficult for participants to create small actionable ways to bring the seed work closer to home, integrated in their daily work and rhythm.

How many trainings or workshops have you been to where the sheer amount of new information, new skills, and knowledge leaves you feeling overwhelmed and hard to know how to integrate once you are back home?  

Imagine the feeling of bringing the wisdom of this class into your home and garden, to learn at your own pace and rhythm.

 Do you need a garden to join? No! There are many ways you can integrate this knowledge and experience outside of the garden! Over the years of teaching, many of my students don’t primarily identify as gardeners, but informed eaters, activists, teachers and others who wish to bring greater intimacy with the cycles of life that nourish us. 

It is very difficult to condense a full season of learning into just a few days.   This Seed to Seed Journey will allow right rhythm and space to fully integrate the teachings into your hearts, minds, and lives.   This will be a potent multi-sensory learning experience!!  You can follow along and we will assist you in learning in your own garden, or if you are just beginning the journey of growing your own food and seed, you will be inspired to visit local farms, botanical conservatories or community gardens to integrate the teachings. We will be offering videos and detailed pictures of all that we are doing on the farm during each month, so that you can follow along and learn in the natural rhythms of life, as the season’s change and the plant’s cycle from seed to sprout to blossom and back to seed again.  

I feel compelled to offer this group mentorship circle as a way to complete the cycle of inspiration, and to truly cultivate and help water all the seeds of dreams and hope that we are all sowing!

 Envision this a putting a nice layer of compost and fertility on the garden of seeds you have already planted, or the garden that you dream of planting.  

This group inspiration time will bring increased abundance and life to the dreams that already are waiting for germination in the fertile soil of your heart and soul.  The seeds rejoice to know that you are a continued ally and steward!

“The SEED SEVA Immersion is a weaving of circles; a tracing of the shapes and actions of seeds, their stories and lineages, and the relationship countless hands and hearts have nurtured to keep the cyclic nature of seeds alive. In addition to coming into knowing and/or remembering the beautiful artistry and science that is most definitely a part seed-saving, Rowen teaches and speaks to the global need for seed solidarity, of food sovereignty and the utter importance of indigenous rights when facing a global crisis of climate change, the fight for resources and countless social injustices.  Her solution is powerfully simple and it lies within the seeds. So much has resonated within me from my time at Sierra Seeds with Rowen, her family and my fellow semillistas that I will take with me in my continued life-long subversive seed practice. “ -Renae S.

“This is the learning we all deserve and need in k-12 education if we are to truly turn around our collective relationship with mother earth and tend a sustainable future for and with our children and grandchildren.  Part botany, part biology, part sex ed, part farming and all organic with a solid integration of nutrition, global, colonial to grassroots local seed history,…this Seed Seva Intensive covered so many issues and Rowan and her team/fam were beyond gracious hosts and teachers, more like extended family.  Grassroots, inspirational, sociological and distinctly indigenous.  Extremely relevant to my life and community.  Thank you!” -Kris H.

“Even coming into the Seed Seva Immersion with experience in restorative agriculture and seed saving, I was astounded at the depth to which Rowen took us in our explorations of what it means to become a caretaker of the sacred knowledge of saving, sharing, and especially honoring the seeds(and plants) that we all depend on in order to survive and live well.  Drawing beautifully on the ancestral wisdom of her people, coupled with her intuitive understanding of how to be in reciprocity with the natural world, Rowen guided us through all aspects of her day to day work on the farm, as well as helping us to see how these tasks fed into a larger understanding of the stories that are so important to a deeper, felt relationship with all of creation.  We were also offered the opportunity on a daily basis to weave our own stories into this intricate fabric.  This brought the entire group to a closeness with one another rarely experienced in most folks’ everyday world as well as to an intrinsic knowing of our respective unique places in the universe and in the fight to protect what we love most.  I came away from the experience well fed(in all ways!) and feeling tremendously inspired to immerse myself in work that will allow me to pay forward in a meaningful way the knowledge I’ve been graciously gifted.  Thank you Rowen for your generosity, warmth, patience, humor, and especially for your dedication to loving and living beautifully in service to a time beyond our own.” -Joe Italiano

“Seed Seva Immersion 2014. Beyond appreciation for the teaching of Rowen White. Cherishing every minute of this course to saving sacred diversity of  seeds.  The farm and classroom workshops are engaging applications that have transformed my heart in an awakening of the ways of my ancestors. “ – Maryann R.

“The Seed Seva was a transformational educational experience for me!  Bridging practical skills, scientific information, activism and the sacredness of the seeds together is no small feat!  I leave the immersion feeling inspired and prepared to steward seeds and to educate others as to why they are so important in all of our lives.  It has changed how I teach.  I can’t reccomend this course highly enough!” -Amanda T.

“The immersion was one of the more profound educational journeys of my life. It’s hard for me to separate it from the internship I did all season, as it was really an uninterrupted dive into the into the content we had been living since April, but the four weekends we had together in the immersion were surprisingly rich in themselves!

The depth of this work is immeasurable. Working with seeds is really working with the energy of life itself, of creation, of potential, of our ancestors, and of the future generations. Rowen has a very special way of sharing knowledge that touches on not only practical and evidence-based lessons, but also on the intimate and sacred aspects of it all, of why this matters to all of us and all our relations. And how we really can make a difference.

She brings worlds together so they do not feel so far apart.

She helps us see the humanity in those that are in power, and helps us to feel a sense of purpose in our relationship with seed-keeping and the many ways we can be a part of a solution-based movement to bring the seeds (in other words our capacity for sustenance) back into the hands of the people.

I highly recommend this immersion for anyone, whether you think you are interested in seeds or not. If you are living and breathing on this planet, you are eating, and the seeds matter to you” -K. H.

“What a glorious journey this seed seva has been. I’ve made such a paradigm shift there will be no going back. It has renewed my relationship with seeds and I look forward to working with this new knowledge and my new friends in the seed world.” -Ellie L.

“Seed Seva Immersion was a learning experience like no other. We were completely immersed into Rowen’s family farm. We were made to feel so welcomed, as if one of her own family members. As students, we bonded with each other to form memories and friendships. We were able to share knowledge and skills and apply them to our work as Seed Sevas. Rowen’s teaching style is unmatched.  She provides information, inspiration, and a personal attentiveness to each student, while still creating a learning environment that penetrates the imagination of the mind and heart.” -K. T.

“In the organic seed world, there is an expression that a thing has gone “mycelial.” The “vegetative fungus” of a practice or idea has spread, and is popping up little fruiting bodies in brand new places. My inoculation in the Seed Seva Immersion has sprouted in me a wide variety of healthy, wise, tasty “mushrooms”…

First off, I have two full shelves now, sparkling with living seeds. In packets, jars, open bowls and brown bags, cotton, corn, beans, tobacco, brassicas, melons, peppers and flowers hum with vision and memory.

In the spring, when they glide from their vessel, through my fingers, into the soil, and pop up out of the ground, they will remind me that they are the reason I am alive.  And as they fruit and go to seed, I will harvest their future generations into my hands, caring for their family, as they are nourishing mine.

With practical skills of selection, harvesting, stomping, fermenting, winnowing, shelling, steckling, braiding, drying and waiting, I’ve learned to save their seeds, and engage in the ancient agreement to help each other live.

I was well sown, in this immersion, with the history of seeds on our planet, from the fact that carrots all come from Afghanistan, to deep discussions of current and proposed legislation that restricts the rights of humans to save and share their seeds.

As I nestle myself into the Seed Mandala, as a human who plants and re-plants seeds, I am held by the hands of so many… One of the most powerful gifts of this immersion is the circle of support formed by Rowen, the guest speakers, the voices of the teachers whose words we reference, and the seed warrior students, who will remain my friends as we, mycelially, “seed the local revolution.”  -Melanie D.

“This workshop was taught with full heart, sacred mind, and connection at the center. The experience I gained from this immersion was practical, scientific, intuitive, hands-on, and simultaneously inclusive of story– that which makes clear the larger contextual framework surrounding the urgency of Seed Work at this time. My heart is full from the time spent with Rowen and the beautiful land to which she tends.  “ -Melody O.

“The seed seva immersion with Rowen is a WONDERFUL class for EVERYONE!! In a time where there are so many imbalances, destruction, and chaos happening on the earth; we still have hope… that hope is the seed. From one tiny seed comes all the potential for life, creation and sustainability. I really love that no one owns the seeds but we are just in a co-creation with the plants stewarding the seeds as we steward the land. By learning this integral part of the process comes sustainability and adaptability. The plants adapt to your land and thus are more productive. Selective breeding, choosing the fruits that have the most desirable traits for you gives us the opportunity to co create new varieties of fruits that are desirable for eating and growing.
For people who are not farmers, this class is still good because it encourages us to tend our inner gardens and be selective about the seeds that we sow. Such a wonderful education that all should know!”  -Alene

“The workshop offers a remarkable balance of practical skills, spiritual inspiration, and revolutionary ideas. After each class I came home with a renewed excitement to expand my work with seeds at our little farm, with expanded knowledge about the global context of seed production, with stimulating new thoughts about my relationship with plants and our co-evolution as organisms/species, and with specific steps to take at our homestead to build our seed-saving capacity.” -C. M.