Panayoti Kelaidis discovered us. He brought us from the trees into the light. We teach because of him and Denver Botanic Gardens. He is our dear friend and brother. His delightful girlfriend Jan will come along with him and she is our wonderful friend too. Panayoti is a seed hunter, a world traveler, a water saver. He searches the world for high and dry plants that can thrive in our extreme climate. He is an alpine plant specialist which takes him all over the world searching for teeny tiny plants on top of mountains summited only by camel or donkey. South Africa, Mongolia, Pakistan, Russia, Sweden and on and on he goes, coming back and blowing our minds with stories of his travels. Many of his most treasured finds are then added to the Plant Select program here in Colorado. These are plants that come from similar climates and can thrive in high and dry conditions. They are recommended for Colorado Gardeners and most importantly they are not water hogs!
Steve Peters was a guest teacher at the first seed school ever - way back in 2010. We followed him home to Santa Fe and made friends with his lovely wife Moria and just hit it off from day one. When we returned from Seed School - we hosted a seed symposium here in Westcliffe and Steve and Moria drove up from Santa Fe and taught at the event for FREE! That's Steve man, rock and roll. He is a DYNAMIC teacher full of experience and ideas. He is an upbeat, positive, solution maker. Steve grew for Seeds of Change for a very long time and now owns Seed rEvolution Now! We like him. You will too - sign up for Mountain Seed School and see what I mean.
And then there is Carol. We have never met but we feel like we have because of her books. Carol makes you feel like you can do this. One of her specialties is teaching beginners and there are often newbs at seed school. She is the best in the business it seems to me and I know there are other amazing seed rockstars out there but it's Carol Deppe! She has threatened to teach us her OSSI fight songs! The OSSI is one way we protect seeds from being patented and controlled. She will start off the week with genetics of course - and help us nail down the basics. As the week wears on, all we learn from Carol will be experienced and incorporated into our activities.
Mountain Seed School is a heavy-weight, comprehensive seed course addressing everything you need to know to bring seed, it's production, storage and growing, into your gardening universe. You do not have to be a professional to attend seed school, seed can be brought back into any system, from a potted tomato hanging out of a sky rise window to full scale farming operations.
Seed remembers and regional adaptation is the answer for the mountain people. This is how our gardens thrive. Seed learns and carries the information into the next generation, growing stronger and smarter every day.
Come and hang out with us for a week and soak up the seedy stuff. You will make lifelong friends and you will eat. I am on a Mission From God to feed you. You will eat well. Three, luscious, organic, mountain sourced meals a day. Plus more to munch on. It's my thang. I love to feed people and I go all out for Mountain Seed School. You will not be sneaking off to your campsite to eat something real or good. I will feed you.
Camping in the Rockies in September. Oh the skies, the dark, beautiful star-lit skies. Westcliffe/Silvercliff, Colorado is 9th in the world for Dark Skies, the first Dark Skies Community in Colorado and the highest in elevation Dark Skies Community of all. What does it mean? It means geographically our nights are dark, but it's also because we have shrouded our lights to direct the light onto the ground and not into the sky so we don't 'pollute' our beautiful Wet MountIn Valley with light at night. Star-gazing is big around here. We think everyone can see the Milky Way every night. Except when the moon is too bright. The week of seed school is a New Moon - bring your headlamp and prepare to see more stars than you ever have before.
43 acres of prime mountain real estate. That's our place. You can camp in the woods, in the open, on a bed of pine needles or in a 1,000 year old tree with an open-air sleeping platform. Piñon, Juniper and Pondies make up the multi-generational forest. You can bring your own camp and we also provide two wall tents and some extra cots for people who don't have their own gear. It is September in the Rockies, nights will be in the 40's. Daytime will be hot and sunny with occasional wild storms moving through.
Campers, Pop-ups, RV's, Vans and vehicles are all welcome to camp in here. Power is available. Facilities are provided.
The classroom is in the blacksmith shop and activities are held all over our property, in the Mothership Greenhouse, The Seed Room and the gardens. We travel to other seed folks, tour our seed library and hunt seeds everywhere we go.
Other guest teachers will drop by, Seeds Trust will be there, we will sing at the campfire every night and listen to stories and adventures while we eat. Cord will host a blacksmithing night and students can take a shot at forging if they like.
I really want you to come. Sign up, the course fee is incredibly reasonable and remember, it's Carol Deppe, it's Steve Peters, it's Panayoti Kelaidis! You're gonna like it. Oh yeah, and us too - come hang out with Penn and Cord for a week too...
See you there!