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.
We seek to embody the parable: You can give a man a fish and feed him for a day, or teach a man to fish and feed him for a lifetime. The same is true for seed stewardship. Our greatest contribution to long term sustainable food and seed security in our community is to raise a whole next generation of people who care for the seeds, and steward them for future generations.
Imagine this space is an earthy and cracked vessel, an ancient collective seed pot, hand shaped by an eternal 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.
Over the last 15 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. It is through these relationships that I have been able to begin to activate my deep infinite knowing, and germinate my pure creative potential. I also have had the honor and privilege of re-establishing relationship with seeds, and learn from the seed-to-seed cycle as a seed steward for nearly 2 decades.
I want to offer this to each one of you.
Through this group internship circle, I will invite you to unfurl into a place of empowerment, to step with greater depth onto the path of being a Seed Keeper 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. I have also customized this mentorship work to help support a network of elementary schools integrate seed stewardship into their seasonal curriculum.
The possibilities of activation and integration of this seed wisdom is as diverse as the seeds that gather in the collective seed pot of humanity… endless shapes, colors and flavors of unique expression.
I want you to feel supported in your embodiment of this Seed Keeper pathway.
The summer internship program at Sierra Seeds has an emphasis on education around ethical and heart-centered organic seed stewardship.
I have crafted a seasonal curriculum to teach all aspects of seed stewardship over the 7-month season on our Seed Farm in North San Juan, California. Sharing my passion for seeds and socially responsible business enterprise is one of my favorite aspects of the internship.
I have a background in organic plant breeding and on-farm crop improvement, and much of the work we do at Sierra Seeds relates to regional seed adaptation. In addition to my work as Director of Sierra Seeds, I have been facilitating and teaching workshops and seed saving immersions all over the country with Native Seed/SEARCH groundbreaking educational program called “Seed School.”
This internship opportunity is at the cornerstone of the work we do at Sierra Seeds. While our mission is to provide access to regionally adapted seeds, the true heart of what we strive to do is to empower and grow confident seed stewards.
By providing economic incentive and on-the-ground support and assistance to our growers, we are building a truly sustainable local seed system in Nevada County. We run a number of creative educational programs that reawakens seeds in the hearts and the minds of the people.
Hands-on activities include:
- direct seeding and transplanting
- seed saving
- on-farm crop improvement
- taxonomy and botany
- weed/native plant identification
- bed preparation
- cultural importance of seed and food
- sacred seed stewardship
Interns will also learn about the importance of small, human-powered, local farming through thought-provoking, inspiring, and sometimes controversial excerpts from several books and articles provided. We will provide trainings in these skills, as well as a well-rounded reading list to provoke thoughtful dialogue at our farm lunches. We create lasting friendships and thoughtful conversations as we work together to bring a diverse array of vegetables, flowers, and herbs from seed-to-seed.
Here’s a quote from a previous intern:
“Working with Rowen and her family at their farm, Sierra Seeds was like coming home to a part of me that modern education/culture doesn’t emphasize. The conviction, information, and heritage that Rowen brings to the internship makes it an extremely educational and hands-on experience.
“Not only did I learn how to plant, care for, harvest, and save seed but I reconnected to the sacred intention of it all. Leaving the internship, I feel grounded in the belief that food sovereignty is a right that we each have and empowered in moving forward with my own work in this area!” ~Rachel T. 2013
Season is April–Nov.
Two Half-Day work commitment, 4–5 hours work each day, plus 1 hour lunch/discussion. Workdays are from 8am-1pm.
There will be 4-6 internship positions, so there will be a diverse community of individuals to keep it lively and interesting!
We open our home and hearts to the skills and stories that each intern has to share with us. You need no previous farming experience, just a willingness to work hard and a curious mind to learn!
Your responsibility is to make a steadfast commitment to the farm, to showing up ready and willing to learn and to work. In addition to the educational experience, Interns will receive weekly produce from the farm, plus 2 books and handouts, and a diverse seed collection at the end of the season.
There is no housing provided with this part-time internship.
We have crafted the program schedule so that there is time and space for you to have another part-time employment off the farm.
This internship is an equitable exchange between farmer and interns. We will be your certified Farmer Mentors, and we work hard to share with you everything we know about running a farm-based seed company and seed farm.
We also aim to connect you with a vast network of resources and other local experts to fill in the gaps. As an intern, you become an integral part of the farm, with unique responsibilities and an opportunity to develop a wealth of skills.
If you have a longing to re-engage into the cycles of seed stewardship, to deepen and elevate your connection to your garden plants, then this is the right internship for you!
If this is interesting and intriguing to you, contact Rowen directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or call her at 530-368-1350.
You can get the full internship packet with application.
Please share this with others who may be interested!