Seed Savers Exchange
Seed Savers Exchange is a nonprofit organization with the mission of preserving heritage varieties by growing and sharing seeds and plants.
Decorah Iowa United States
Blog, Online Newsletter, etc. :
Public Contact Information:
About the Farm:
Seed Savers Exchange's Heritage Farm occupies 890 acres in the rolling hills of Iowa's Driftless Region, 6 miles north of eclectic Decorah, IA. Skilled, well-educated, and professional staff utilize diversified small-scale gardening techniques in scattered 0.5-1 acre certified organic garden plots to regenerate over 500 varieties of 70 different vegetable crops each year. A full range of isolation technique (isolation by distance, caging with insects, and hand pollination) are utilized to maximize the array of varieties that are regenerated in a given year. Our non-profit mission results in a uniquely altruistic and scientific work environment where staff are eager to share their knowledge with interns.
Seed Crops Grown :BARLEY RYE WHEAT TRITICALE OATS, BEETS BROCCOLI BRUSSELS SPROUTS CABBAGE CARROT CELERIAC CELERY COLLARD ENDIVE KALE KOHLRABI LEEK ONION PARSNIP RUTABAGA SWISS CHARD TURNIP, AMARANTH ARTICHOKE ARUGULA ASPARAGUS BASIL BEANS BLACK GRAM CAULIFLOWER CHINESE CABBBAGE CHICKPEA CHICORY CORN CORNSALAD COWPEA DILL ENDIVE FAVA FENNEL LETTUCE LIMA MUNG BEAN MUSTARD OKRA ORACH PARSLEY PEA PEANUT QUINOA RADISH RUNNER BEANS SALSIFY SCORZONERA SORGHUM SOYBEAN SPINACH SUNFLOWER TEPARY TOBACCO, CUCUMBER EGGPLANT GOURD GROUND CHERRY MELON PEPPER SQUASH TOMATILLO TOMATO WATERMELON, HOLLYHOCK POPPY MARIGOLD SUNFLOWER ZINNIA
Other Crops :Vegetables, Herbs, Flowers, Tree crops, Grain, Cattle, potatoes and garlic
Other Farm Activities :Agri-tourism, Composting, Farm carpentry, Greenhouse management
About the Internship
General Expectations and work flow :
Seed Savers Exchange staff work 40 hours per week, typically Monday through Friday and rarely on weekends. Tasks vary by season with most field operations occurring between March and October. Spring tasks include seeding flats, replanting 2nd year biennials, prepping fields (tilling, amending, fencing), and transplanting seedlings. Summer tasks include transplanting seedlings, maintaining crops (weeding, watering, fertilizing, controlling pests), building isolation cages, releasing pollinators, harvesting crops, and hand pollinating corn. Fall activities include digging and root cellaring biennials, harvesting crops, processing fruits, cleaning seeds, and cleaning fields. Winter activities include conditioning seeds, testing seed quality, seed inventory management, data entry, and planning.
On-farm training :
Internships are custom designed to meet the learning desires of interns. Interns receive detailed explanations about processes (how and why), are supervised until they master a process, and then have an opportunity to perform a process on their own. The farm's culture is professional, educational, and fun with a strong consciousness for the organization's public image and the need for information sharing. Work and problem solving are typically completed in teams.
Compensation, Accommodations and amenities provided :
Internships are unpaid. Interns are provided housing on-farm with modern amenities (washer/dryer, dishwasher, full kitchen, wi-fi). Interns must have reliable transportation as Heritage Farm is located 6 miles from shopping in Decorah, IA.