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Certified Naturally Grown

Bill McDorman

Bill McDorman is a native of Ketchum/Sun Valley, Idaho.  He holds a B.A. in philosophy from the University of Montana.  He has been a professional hiking guide since 1976, and has been teaching classes in wild, edible and medicinal plants and seed saving for more than 25 years. He has consulted on more than a thousand native landscape projects and frequently speaks at native plant and seed conferences throughout the West.

Bill is president of Seeds Trust which he founded in 1984. It is dedicated to genetic conservation, sells non-hybrid varieties and teaches seed saving.  The company is known for its Siberian tomato varieties and its drought-tolerant, native landscape focus. High Altitude Seeds, one of Seeds Trust's mail order departments, remains the world's only mail-order seed company specializing in non-hybrid vegetable and wildflower seeds adapted to high elevations. Seeds Trust Southwest, its latest venture, features varieties adapted to high and low deserts. The Seeds Trust color catalog and web site list seeds for more than 100 wildflowers and 200 vegetable varieties as well as native grasses and medicinal herbs.

Bill is a member of the Arizona Native Plant Society and the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides. He currently serves on the Arizona Humanities Council.  He served on the boards of directors of the Northwest Coalition for Alternatives to Pesticides, the Idaho Sustainable Agriculture Committee and was Vice-chairman of the Idaho Humanities Council. He helped found the Sawtooth Botanical Gardens in Sun Valley, Idaho, and published his first book in 1994 titled, “Basic Seed Saving”, which contains seed saving information for 29 wildflowers and 18 vegetables.

Bill also founded the International Seed Saving Institute (ISSI) which ships seeds and seed saving information to projects in 15 countries.

Recently he and his wife Belle launched Project Self Reliance (PSR). Project Self Reliance is an educational, non-profit organization providing sustainably oriented social services and programs for youth-at-risk and the community-at-large. Its initial campaign is to establish a transitional living and housing program for runaway, homeless and foster kids “aging out” of the system.

In 1995, Bill and Seeds Trust moved to the Verde Valley in Northern Arizona. The company produces more than 60 varieties of seed in what Bill says is the most perfect climate in North America with a 200+ day growing season.


Invite Bill to speak at your next conference, festival or corporate event. Bill is an engaging and passionate educator. He inspires his audiences to connect deeply with the world in which they live.  Some of his recent popular lectures are listed below.

Plants Seeds, Harvest Change

Every garden and every landscape begins somewhere with a seed. Bill passionately explores our rich seed heritage beginning with the last ice age and continuing through WW II. He explains modern threats to our seed inheritance from the green revolution and the terminator gene. You will leave with a renewed appreciation for seeds, the magical living embryos that make modern life possible. You will understand better how to buy seeds and how the modern seed industry operates. You will gain the practical knowledge to begin saving your own seeds.

Basic Seed Saving

An introduction and systematic exploration of seed saving for the home garden and landscape. Bill will introduce basic seed saving terms and concepts and explore specific instructions for the major vegetable and flower families.

The New Reasonable Landscape

Bill has been involved in hundreds of native landscape projects over the last 20 years in the arid, mountain West. Using slides, stories and statistics, Bill will explain how to create what he calls the “new reasonable landscape”, a beautiful landscape that minimizes the use of water, maintenance and chemicals.



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