I think it might be interesting to see how we can work with more community members and local partners to build our seed shed. It's something I keep wanting to do, but I have so much on my plate that I haven't built these relationships as much as I would have liked to have done....yet. :)
Some thoughts that come to mind about how to do that:
1. Continue to do the One Seed, One Community Program and reach out to past participants if they want to do a grow out for a particular variety. I usually get a few people willing to grow things out with very little effort on my part. I also do this with my middle school students and always get a bunch of takers. Not a lot of returns, but there is at least a growing interest there and I usually get a few people returning something, which is awesome to get the students excited (and educated) about seed saving. My thinking is that these a number of these OSOC folks have the skills to do the "super easy" plants such as lettuce, beans, peas, and tomatoes. Hopefully some of them will then want to stretch and do some curcurbits.
2. Reach out to local partners who can grow a row. For example, we have some awesome urban ag folks that are very focused on providing food for the community and having them grow a row of some variety is something they are often willing to do.
3. Figure a way to get more schools saving seeds. Maybe connect with Master Gardeners that are already in the schools. Occidental Arts and Ecology Center has a nice K-5 seed saving education program. I'm working on some things for middle school, but it's still in a very draft form. We're actually working more with plant breeding so maybe not what you are looking for at the moment.
Peas on Earth,