Great American Seed Up Returns to Phoenix on October 11 and 12

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Great American Seed Up Returns to Phoenix on October 11 and 12

Two-Day Event Features Desert-Hardy Seeds, Education, and More

The Great American Seed Up (GASU), a one-of-a-kind, pop-up bulk seed buying bazaar, is gearing up for its 10th annual event, scheduled to take place at North Phoenix Baptist Church (5757 N. Central Avenue in Phoenix) on the evening of Friday, October 11, and during the day on Saturday, October 12. This globally unique one-of-a-kind gathering offers attendees an immersive experience where they can physically interact with a diverse range of seeds, fostering a deeper connection with gardening and the planting process. GASU’s mission is to encourage seed-saving practices ultimately building the local Arizona seed economy, leading to stronger crops, enhanced pest resistance, and more flavorful produce. 

“Do you know that our grocery stores only have a three-day food supply,” said The Great American Seed Up cofounder, Greg Peterson. “And there may be only a couple of racks of seeds at the big box store. This event is about strengthening our local food system, by teaching our community how to grow and save open-pollinated seeds.” 

Seed Up Schedule

Friday, October 11:         Doors open at 4 p.m. for those who are pre-registered for seed purchasing and will close at 7:30 p.m. Walk-ins are accepted after 5:30 p.m.  At 7 p.m. Don Guerra from Barrio Bread in Tucson and Gilbert will share his journey of starting his sourdough bread bakery in his garage in Tucson in 2010 and becoming a James Beard Award Winning Baker in 2022. Guerra, who calls himself a “yeast farmer”, helped launch the “fresh flour movement” in Arizona using locally adapted heritage grain varieties. Samples of his famous sourdough bread will be available for tasting.  

Saturday, October 12:   Doors open at 9 a.m. for those who are pre-registered and close at 1:30 p.m.  Walk-in registrations are accepted after 11 a.m. 

Registration:                     Registration is $7.50 per day, granting entry to the Seed Room for seed purchasing, as well as access to an abundance of online educational resources and live internet presentations. Early registration is now open on the event’s website: GreatAmericanSeedUp.org.

Pre-registered attendees for either day will gain online access to recorded seed-related classes and an array of presentations focused on the art and techniques of seed-saving.

According to Bill McDorman, co-founder of the Great American Seed Up and Seed School, and a seasoned seed saver and educator, “Seed saving is fun, easy, and critically important, especially during these climatically uncertain times. The key to combating our increasingly unpredictable climate lies in saving seeds that are adaptable to your local conditions. Seed saving is an important answer to our agricultural challenges. The Seed Up event is a wonderful opportunity to acquire desert-hardy seeds and embark on your seed-saving journey.”

Seed Up Highlights:

The event showcases a seed bazaar stocked with generous quantities of open-pollinated, non-GMO vegetable, wildflower, flower, grain, and herb seed varieties at significantly discounted prices. By eliminating packaging and printing costs, savings are transferred to event attendees. The selection includes a continually expanding variety of seeds, with this year’s additions encompassing more vegetables (with a focus on tomatoes), grains, flowers, and even cover crops. The Seed Up caters to all levels of seed enthusiasts, from market farmers to home gardeners. Families, community groups, and individuals passionate about gardening can shop for seeds, and network with fellow gardeners, seed librarians, and backyard growers. All available seed varieties have been carefully chosen for their adaptability to hot, dry desert climates. Many of these seeds originate from the same sources as top seed companies but are offered at a fraction of the cost.

For those unable to attend in person, an online bulk seed purchasing platform “Seed Up In a Box” was established during the pandemic, providing people worldwide with access to the same selection available at the in-person event in bulk amounts to encourage community events (GreatAmericanSeedUp.org). The Great American Seed Up is proudly presented by Seedsave.org, The Urban Farm, and Two Peace in a Pod.

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