Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Seeds – saving and sovereignty and why it matters

Seeds – saving and sovereignty and why it matters

Key Info: 
  • Learn the practice of seed saving
  • Widen your understanding of food production

With Ashley Wheeler, Ellen Rignell and Jane Gleeson

£ 335.00
Course fees include private accommodation with shared bathroom and all vegetarian meals. Fee also includes any field trips, materials as well as all teaching sessions.

Just four companies control 60% of the global seed market. This situation is fundamentally unsustainable and it’s vital that we find ways of protecting and developing a diverse and ecological seed sector.

This course offers participants the opportunity to dig into the subject of seed sovereignty using their heads, hearts and hands. You will have a chance to discover the history and politics of global seed sovereignty; to hear stories of local seed producers and to learn the practice of seed saving.

The course is open to anyone with an interest in sustainable seed production, from home gardeners who are interested in saving their own seed, to activists or campaigners who are wanting to widen their understanding of food production.

*The Booking Deadline gives us an accurate idea of course participant numbers at approximately 6 weeks before the course is due to run, at which point we confirm the course, add additional time for people to book on or cancel the course. We encourage people to register early for courses as places are limited.

With Ashley Wheeler, Ellen Rignell and Jane Gleeson
Ellen Rignell

Ellen Rignell

Ellen is a grower and seed producer at Trill Farm Garden. She coordinates seed production in the market garden for on farm use and for sale to seed companies such as the Real Seed Catalogue. She is the South West regional coordinator for the UK and Ireland Seed Sovereignty programme, developing grower networks as well as seed production training and mentoring opportunities. She studied Plant Sciences at Sheffield University, specialising in soil health and minimum tillage. She then went on to work in agricultural plant pathology before moving to the South West to get back to the land and has been there ever since!

Ashley Wheeler

Ashley Wheeler

After being brought up on an organic council smallholding, Ashley studied horticulture at Reading University and pursued his interest in restoration of historical gardens for a couple of years, before finding Trill and returning to vegetable growing setting up Trill Farm Garden. The garden is about 2.5 acres and includes several large poly-tunnels which house tomatoes, beans, cucumbers, peppers and the like in the summer, and is used for salad growing through the winter. Trill farm garden grows for seed production supplying Real Seeds.

Jane Gleeson

Jane Gleeson

Jane graduated in Medical Sciences at Cambridge University in 1990 and spent over ten years working within the field of mental health. She also studied theology, looking at religion and mental health. 20 years ago she started gardening and soon was completely hooked. “I was simply bowled over by plants and how endless fascinating they are”. She studied and worked at Royal Botanic Gardens Kew for three years and then taught Horticulture at Hadlow College. Jane ran the Schumacher Gardens and Practical residency in sustainable Horticulture at Schumacher College for 7 years and is now teaching short courses in Sustainable horticulture and food production.

If you would like to book onto one of our short courses, you will need to create an account. This is a simple process of choosing a username, email address and password. Once you have created an account you will receive a verification email. Please click on the verification link within to have full access to the site and to make your booking. (You may need to  check your spam folder if you do not see this email.)  We will email you confirmation of your payment and any further communication about your course application.

Residential accommodation for "Changing the Frame"  is at Higher Close, a 20 minute walk from Schumacher College. All meals will be provided at the college.

A place can not be guaranteed unless we receive your deposit or payment on your chosen course. If you would like to apply for a bursary, please do this before making your course application.

Short Course Bursaries create an opportunity for an individual to experience the powerful transformative learning by joining a course that assists the participant to inspire their wider community and benefits from the participant’s own unique contribution. It is our hope that our bursaries support a wide cross section of participation on our short course programme. The number of bursaries available is limited, competition is strong and funding is not always available for every short course. Please be aware that most bursaries are in the region of 10% – 20% of the course fee so please be prepared to raise funding from other sources.  A bursary award is not intended to cover travel or incidental expenses.

Applications are viewed on a case-by-case basis and we are unable to enter into discussions on any decisions. We generally have many more applications for bursaries than we have funding available. We can only offer one bursary per person per year and priority is given to those who have not attended the college or received a bursary before. To help us support as many people as possible, please only apply if you would be unable to attend the course without a bursary.

How to apply for a bursary

NB: Please do not pay your deposit for the course yet. Any applications received where a deposit has been paid will be rejected and the deposit refunded.

Six weeks before the course is due to start all bursary applications will be considered and responded to.  If successful you will be required to accept our Bursary Terms and Conditions.

Please answer the following:

  1. What does a bursary mean to you?
  2. How will your attendance on this course benefit the wider community?
  3. If your financial situation justifies you applying for a bursary, how much are you able to contribute towards attending this course?

Please be prepared to supply an appropriate reference in support of your application.

More about our growing areas and philosophy

We follow ecological cycles as much as possible. Much of the food is grown in the five and half acre agroforestry field – in a system of alley cropping and in the developing forest garden. The field also has fruit trees and bushes; young nut trees; a flock of pasture fed poultry; two wild life ponds, a craft and pollinator garden and a hazel and willow coppice.

Other areas include two herb gardens; four polytunnels; a perennial no dig vegetable garden and several fruit areas. We compost our garden and kitchen waste for use on site, and use green manures for fertility building.

Our students find their time engaging with food growing, and all it entails, a truly transformative time.   Our gardens are as much about nurturing people as plants, and hundreds of students have found the contact with the land and soil to be a rich learning journey.

Integral to the College’s international learning community, you will get to know students, staff and volunteers through daily meetings and shared activities. There is also a diverse programme of events and evening talks, offered by college residents, visiting teachers and local experts.

Help & Enquiries

 Admission Enquiries
email us  
+ 44 (0) 1803 847212