The Whole of Seed Returns

The Whole of Seed – offered by Cuatro Puertas, Albuquerque, NM

Seed saving has reached stardom status.  Everyone wants to learn how to save their seeds, yet seed is only one link in an entire system.  To successfully pass seeds on to future generations, we need to understand how the system functions and where we fit in it before the seed is even planted.

Join us for a few classes or a two-year adventure in learning about seeds.  Experience them through a hands-on approach, with you in the driver’s seat.  For those wanting to become community seed breeders, a third year of instruction is required.  Successful completion will provide our local communities with seed breeders who can be contracted for seed production.

The course starts with an agro-ecological overview in which you will learn to design your farm or garden into a sustainable, productive system that is sensitive to your location and resources.  From there, we will move into the development of seed from botany, plant physiology, pollination, plant selection and seed harvesting.  Each student will work with at least one variety over the three-year period for their seed breeding project.

The course is self-paced, meaning that you do not have to complete the program in two or three years.  Go at your own speed and comfort level, and feel free to retake classes you already paid for.  The core classes will repeat in early spring and fall.

The course will be taught by local and national experts in various fields including permaculture, beekeeping, seed breeding, culinary arts, orchard production and livestock.  Course basics include the following systems:

  • Foundation: Soil, plant basics, pollinators, fruit trees and shrubs, resource conservation
  • Plants and Seeds: Plant diversity; development of varieties acclimated to our local environments
  • Economics of Farming and Seeds: History, social justice, economic viability, politics of seeds and legal implications

In-depth classes will include advance level courses such as organic seed production, and other interesting courses such as the Biodynamic class taught on November 12th.  For these classes, there is no guarantee they will repeat annually, as we want to expose students to as many aspects of agriculture and related subjects as we can.

Dates: Below are the dates for Fall Year One (2016).  Year Two (2017) to be determined

Fall Year One (2016):

November 5                 Whole of Seed and You/Natural Observation
November 6                 Soil Stewardship

November 12              In-Depth Class:  Biodynamic Farming (Register by
Nov 9th)

November 19               Water Stewardship
November 20               Plant Stewardship/Our Fellow Beings

December 3                 Seed Production
December 4                 Abundant Exchange

All but the Biodynamic class will repeat in early 2017.


  • $1000; payments can be made over a three-year period
  • $800, if paid in one year
  • Scholarships: A limited number of partial scholarships available for NM residents
  • Single class $40, unless otherwise specified

Location: Classes will be held in Albuquerque, NM, and nearby locations

Registration:  Deadline for registering is the day before the class starts, unless stated otherwise

  •  For additional information, please send an email with your name, address, phone number and email address to:
  • If you want to apply for a scholarship, please state this in your email.

The Whole of Seed Curriculum Track Options

curriculum-track-options-2The crop trials and grow-outs are one-on-one technical assistance at your location with our instructors during the three-year course cycle.  For individuals not wanting a certificate for seed breeding, crop trials are not necessary.  We will provide in-depth consultation.  The technical assistance is free for students signing up through December 2017.

Class on Biodynamic Farming

Join us for a Class on Regenerative Agriculture
as Illustrated by Biodynamic Farming Techniques

CLASS SIGN UP FORM - Regenerative Agriculture

Date:  Saturday /  November 12, 2016 / 9 am to 4 pm
Place: 909 Copper Ave NW, Albuquerque, NM 87102
Instructors: Erin Sojourner Agostinelli / Jim Fullmer

Biodynamic farming is one of numerous sound approaches to regenerative agriculture.  A central aspect of biodynamics is that the farm as a whole is seen as an organism, and therefore should be a largely self-sustaining system.

The  Demeter Biodynamic Farm Standard has its origins dating back to 1927, as one of the first organic agriculture movements.  It follows Rudolf Steiner’s Agriculture lectures that were given in June 1924.  The Farm Standard has been continuously maintained for over ninety years through a democratically administered coalition of Demeter organizations worldwide.  It is a comprehensive agronomic standard that views the farm as a living organism: self-contained, self-regulating, in tune with the cycles of nature, following an astronomical planting calendar, and use of herbal and mineral preparations for compost.

The intention of this workshop, which is being held before the 2016 Biodynamic® Conference,  is to provide a comprehensive and practical overview of the Farm Standard organized around seven interrelated principles.

1) Biodiversity
2) On-Farm Fertility
3) On-Farm Weed and Pest Control
4) Biodynamic Preparations and Wider Influences
5) Water and Waterway Conservation
6) Integration of Livestock
7) Gentle Post Harvest Handling

For registration go to:  Class on Regenerative Farming
For more information please contact us at:

Erin Sojourner Agostinelli joined Demeter in 2013 to help “Heal the Planet through Agriculture.” Her childhood memories on her grandparent’s “philosophically organic” farm infused her with a deep passion for horticulture.  Erin has farmed and collaborated nationally with leading organic food companies, non-profits, educational systems, thought leaders, chefs, and authors. Erin is the Farmer Education Coordinator and Raw Materials Matchmaker for Demeter USA.

Jim Fullmer  has been Executive Director of Demeter since 2004. Graduating with a B.S. in Horticulture from Oregon State University, Jim has been a hands-on Biodynamic® farmer for 25 years and currently resides with his family on their Demeter Certified Biodynamic farm, the Hoskins Berry Farm in Kings Valley, Oregon. Jim’s experience includes consulting for Biodynamic and organic farming, and processing operations, along with years as an independent organic inspector.





2016 North American Biodynamic Conference


Tierra Viva: Farming the Living Earth

November 16-20
Santa Fe Community Convention Center
201 W Marcy St.
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87501

Join hundreds of farmers and entrepreneurs from across the Americas for the largest biodynamic event on the continent. Enjoy ten inspiring keynote speakers, over 50 workshops on topics from soil fertility to the Biodynamic® marketplace, farm visits, exhibits, artistic performances, and delicious meals, all in beautiful Santa Fe.

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