Agro-Perma-Lab SEEDS Training ONLINE

  • by

You can watch LIVE TRANSMISSION of SEEDS Trainers’ presentations on our YouTube channel AVAILABLE HERE at 6PM CET.

You can use this document to ask the trainer a question – Q&A Document.
For your information, the series uses consecutive ‘liaison’ translation with the help of volunteer-interpreters. Following four lectures are with English-speaking trainers. For the whole list of 10 modules in Polish, visit here.

26.01.2021, CET 18:00-19:15Seed market concentration and corporate power in the food system. Marita Wiggerthale
Oxfam Deutschland
2.02.2021, CET 18:00-19:15Agroecology, farm autonomy and building the food soveriegnty movement through seed networks. Andrea Ferrante
Schola Campesina
Wayne Frankham
Seed Sovereignty Britain
& Ireland
3.02.2021, CET 18:00-19:15Organising community seed production and seed networks in Europe: case studies. María  Carrascosa
Red de Semillas
Ben Gabel
Real Seed Catalogue
9.02.2021, CET 18:00-19:15Community Seed Banks & Seed Homes: grassroots strategies for managing seed collections and quality. Case studies. Wayne Frankham
Seed Sovereignty Britain
& Ireland
Monika Podsiadła
Ogrody Permakultury
10.02.2021, CET 18:00-19:15Seed education: how to teach, and how to learn about seeds on farms, in school and in community gardens? Catrina Fenton
Heritage Seed Library
Joanna Bojczewska,
Weronika Koralewska
18.02.2021, CET 14:00-15:15Open Consultation of Sudety Community Seed HomeRonnie Vernooy, Marta KluczyńskaWATCH HERE
9.03.2021, CET 14:00-15:15Seed management in home and community collections. Ronnie Vernooy, Arnab GuptaWATCH HERE

“Agro-Perma-Lab: SEEDS2021 Training is an online training series of 10 thematic modules for educators, social activists and community leaders in agroecology and permaculture from the Food Sovereignty Network in Poland and, by extension in English, in Europe. The training aims at developing a Polish curriculum and raising competences in the following areas:

1) strategies for creating Community Homes (Banks) and Seed Networks;
2) technical, economical and political aspects of managing seed production;
3) organizing and facilitating knowledge exchange and community education in seed-saving.

The training also addresses a variety of issues related to the preservation of seeds – from the practices of preservation and processing, to the organization of seed exchanges and live collections, to maintaining high-quality seed stock and the design of seed education. The main aim of “Agro-Perma-Lab: SEEDS” is to empower and skill-up Polish permaculture and agroecology educators and community activists within Food Sovereignty network to apply seed-saving strategies and seed-education in their local community food-growing initiatives and to contribute to the growth of the seed-savers’ network in Poland.

The project gathers 20 participants and over 20 expert-trainers from Poland and from other European countries. It is using the methodology of horizontal knowledge exchange and intergenerational dialog of diverse types of knowledge (dialogo de saberes). As a result of the project, the local community of Kaczawski region in Poland’s South-West will be supported to create the first pilot Community Seed Home* (Community Seed Bank) in Poland. The project also completes a series of educational resources on seeds, including podcast, guidebooks and audio-visual materials.

Agro-Perma-Lab training programmes are inspired by the training methodology of Schola Campesina – the international school of Agreocology based in Italy -and the international schools of agroecology of the La Via Campesina movement. We experiment with different pedagogies that foster ecological awareness, local self-organising and autonomy, leadership and collaboration in a horizontal ‘laboratory’ environment, usually on educational farms. This means that the key role in learning is played not only by the transfer of knowledge (the so-called know-how) by the experts but also the dialogue of various perspectives.

We encourage participants to express their own views drawing from personal experiences, appreciating and recognizing the value of various types of knowledge including feelings– cultural and spiritual ties with one’s own locality and community. As such, the open lecture series you are about to watch constitute presentations of experts in a WEBINAR format, and are then followed by close-group dialogue discussion among strict group of 20 trainees after.

The training is part of the three-stage project “Agro-Perma-Lab: SEEDS”, co-financed by the Community Seed Banks Academy (Arche Noah), and is supported by Schola Campesina in training design and by the National Seed Bank of Poland in providing expert technical knowledge on seed-saving.

* In Poland, the seed-savers of Food Sovereignty network have chosen to use the term “SEED HOMES” as opposed to SEED BANKS, to indicate the equal right to and stewardship of all people of our common natural resources – SEEDS.


Marita Wiggerthale, Oxfam Deutschland– Germany 
Marita Wiggerthale is Policy Advisor for Food Security and Global Agricultural Trade Issues at Oxfam Germany. In her work she focuses on the right to food, agriculture, agro-ecology and land, and deals with food price volatility and international agricultural trade. She holds a Masters degree in Policy, Economics and Pedagogy. Before moving to Oxfam Germany, she acted as Secretary General to the International Catholic Rural Youth Movement in Brussels and was involved in advocacy work on trade policies for Germanwatch

Andrea FerranteSchola Campesina– Italy 
Agroecologist , over 20 years experience in international food and agriculture policy and rural development. Andrea has extensive experience in working with and supporting small-scale food producing organizations globally (La Via Campesina), including in policy processes at national, regional and international level. With 20 years experience in running a organic family farm and actually member of a Bio social coop running a farm in Viterbo province (Italy) he is also the coordinator of the Schola Campesina Aps, International agroecology school based in the Biodistretto della Via Amerina e delle Forre (Civita Castellana, Viterbo, Italy)

Wayne Frankham, Seed Sovereignty Britain & Ireland – Ireland
Following annual seedswaps and instigating the CSBwww.seedkeep.comin his role as community gardener with Knockvicar Organic Garden in County Roscommon, Wayne has also been working as Ireland’s Seed Sovereignty Coordinator with Irish Seed Savers and The Gaia Foundation in the UK & Ireland Seed Sovereignty Programme. A vegetable seed-saving trainer and grower, he organised last years The Living Seed event at Cloughjordan Eco-Village, bringing producers and seed advocates together from Ireland & the UK, and sees broadly defined food communities (ie., domestic-commercial, hort-culinary, growers-academics), engaged with sustainable OP seed activities, as essential for national, international, and local resilience.

María  Carrascosa, Red de Semillas– Spain
María  Carrascosa, Red de Semillas.  Maria  is  an Agronomic  Engineer  with Masters Degree in Organic Agriculture. For almost 20 years  years, she has focused her professional activity  on  the  development  of  initiatives  and actions  in  the  framework  of  food  sovereignty, agroecology,  agricultural  biodiversity,  family farming and short supply channels, in Spain but also in other countries as Brazil. In this sense, it must  be  highlighted  her  work  as  manager  in  a cooperative  of  organic  farmers  in  the  south  of Spain for 6 years and, since 2005, as coordinator of the Red de Semillas “Resembrando e Intercambiando”(Spanish seed network). From  2010 to 2020,  she has been  the  director  of  the  Seed  network  of  Andalucía  where  she has coordinated  different  projects  working  on  the  promotion  and research  on  the collective management of cultivated biodiversity. From 2020 she is working in Entretantos Foundation developing projects on public policies on sustainable food and healthy diets and also on agroecological transition.

Ben Gabel, Real Seeds Catalogue – UK
Ben is one of a number of committed seed savers who are working alongside The Gaia Foundation’s Seed Sovereignty Programme UK & Ireland to share their skills, passion and insight. The Real Seed Company, for which he works, have been selling agroecological seed varieties to farmers and growers across the UK and beyond for seventeen years. They run the Real Seed Catalogue so you can make purchases easily online.

Monika Podsiadła, Ogrody PermakulturyCooperamitive Festival – Poland
Permaculture animator. A gardener and herbalist by passion. She has visited many alternative places in Europe, participated in many courses, meetings and conferences under the auspices of the Global Ecovillage Network. For almost 20 years, she has been creating a habitat of permaculture, educating and working with volunteers from Poland and abroad. Among others, she co-authored the book: “Gardens of Permaculture. To Touch the Earth ” based on many years of gardening experience. She is the initiator and coordinator of the Coopermative Festival. ⇈

Joanna Bojczewska, Agro-Perma-Lab/EkopoletkoPoland – coordinator of the Agro-Perma-Lab SEED project and facilitator of the SEEDS training program, Joanna is an Agroecology educator with first-hand experience in organic and permaculture gardening in Poland and England. A graduate of the People’s Ecological University (EUL), co-founder and animator of the Food Sovereignty Movement Nyeleni Polska and the animator of intergenerational farmers’ gatherings. A social anthropologist by education, she graduated the London School of Economics and Political Science in 2012, and since has been growing her passion and skills in transformative learning, non-formal education design and training facilitation in Poland and abroad. She is the co-founder of Agro-Perma-Lab Foundation. Contact:

Weronika Koralewska, Agro-Perma-LabPoland – coordinator of the Agro-Perma-Lab project: SEEDS, board member of the Agro-Perma-Lab Foundation. Weronika is a facilitator and trainer in the field of informal education, with experience in the implementation of educational programs in the field of ecological education, deep ecology and art. Her academic background is in political science. Member of the Food Sovereignty Movement Nyeleni Polska.

Catrina Fenton, Heritage Seed Library – UK
Catrina is Head of the Heritage Seed Library, the UK’s living collection of 800 heritage, heirloom and ex-commercial vegetable seeds. The library, part of the charity Garden Organic, both conserves and distributes seed to members to grow and enjoy. Before her appointment this year, Catrina was Seed Officer, maintaining the collection and supporting communities to share, grow and save seed through training, events and partnership projects. She has worked for Garden Organic for the last seven years and her previous roles have involved food growing programmes in schools and other communities. In her spare time Catrina is an enthusiastic veg grower (with mixed success) and enjoys creating seed cleaning devices. She is passionate about the role that the Heritage Seed Library has to play in both conserving seeds and promoting the seed saving skills needed to tackle the decline of genetic diversity and challenges to food security.

Ronnie Vernooy, Bioversity Internationale – Netherlands
Ronnie Vernooy, a Dutch national, joined Bioversity International in October 2011. He has worked on questions related to the conservation and sustainable use of agricultural biodiversity for more than 25 years in countries such as China, Colombia, Cuba, Honduras, Mongolia, Nepal, Nicaragua and Vietnam. His work focuses on the policy and legal aspects of the safeguarding and sustainable use of plant genetic resources, both ex situ and in situ, from local to international levels. One topic of particular interest is community seedbanks (as a form of collective action) and their roles in providing voice and choice to farmers to keep local crop diversity and associated knowledge in own hands and alive. Since August 2017, he is being hosted as a Bioversity International researcher and collaborator by the Centre for Development Innovation of Wageningen University and Research, in the Netherlands.

Arnab Gupta, Wageningen Uniwersity & Research– Arnab is having a PhD in Agricultural Sciences (specializing on Seed Technology and Seed Enhancements) with 14 years’ experience in the seed sector which included private sector, CGIAR institutes and Research for Development organizations. Recently served in Myanmar in the Rice Seed Sector Development with a mission to create modernized seed labs and digital application design for seed logistics and demand-supply intelligence. He has handled complex databases for analysis and recommendations pertaining to agriculture, seeds , cropping systems and community biodiversity management. He has deployed several innovative technologies for the resource poor farmers to conserve seeds (desiccated seed storage) as well as multinational seed companies to add value (coating, priming, pelleting) to their seeds. He has considerable experience for working within Planning systems, results and research based management and reporting to 9 different countries research group (Certified inISO/IEC:1705:2005 EC). He has several innovative IT skills with fluency in Statistical, GIS, Biotechnological and graphic designing softwares. Having strong oral and written communication skills in English, communicating technically with a diverse group of stakeholders from many countries, he has contributed towards training and capacity building endeavours for many projects. He has worked in a multidisciplinary function ranging from Research, Quality control, equipment handling, IT management, Field trials, Farmers/clients training, networking, for the fulfilment of the technical goals. His international exposure has been demonstrated as he was trained and worked in the Netherlands, US, Brazil, South Africa, Myanmar and have experienced diverse crop culture, environments and worked jointly to sort out gaps/needs of the farming systems, with special focus on seed systems.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *