The seed growers podcast episode 5 – Rowen White of Sierra Seeds

Rowen White is a Seed Keeper and farmer from the Mohawk community of Akwesasne and a passionate activist for indigenous seed and food sovereignty. 

Rowen grows seeds outside of Nevada City in California.

In this episode Rowen talks about stock seed improvement to offset the impact of genetic drift to select culturally and bio-regionally relevant seed that will stand the test of time.

About building a relational database with Notion to manage all the information related to Rowen’s seed work.

About seed rematriation. A movement to bring seed back into their mother communities so native people can care for these seeds  and reconnect with ancestral seed in meaningful ways.

And how seed rematriation opens the door for us to reckon with complex and uncomfortable things like settler colonialism and its ongoing impact. It opens up doorways to build intercultural relationships between non native and indigenous peoples, and create possibilities for healing and reconciliation

For this episode’s technical section, Rowen does a deep dive into 2 seed crops: Corn and Squash.

For both crops, Rowen discusses managing isolation in space and time to avoid cross pollination. How to create more genetic diversity in these plant populations. And how to harvest, extract and dry these crops.

Rowen also explains exactly how much squash you can get your kids to eat.


More about Rowen White:

Rowen’s Book: Breeding Organic Vegetables

More about the Indigenous Seed Keeper’s Network:


You can listen on


Thank you to Rowen for being on the podcast and for all the knowledge she shares everywhere she goes.

Thank you to Farmer Jesse and Jackson Rolett of No-Till Growers, and the podcast’s sponsors The Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security and The Organic Seed Alliance – Their support is what has made this podcast happen.

And thank you for listening!!!

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