Lessons Learned On a Seed Farm

| 5/28/2014 9:41:00 AM

Tags: food independence, seed saving, New York, Matt Kelly,

seed1I am not a farmer. Not by trade or aspiration. I am, however, interested in food independence. Which means growing and raising as much of my own food as possible, and supporting those locally who do the same. Of course, this also means understanding how the whole “food thing” works: the growing, the harvesting, the storage. It means understanding weather and seasons, soil and seed. It means gaining knowledge and skills I don’t yet have. And the best place to gain this understanding and experience is on a small, local farm. Working with good folks who are wise about both farming and the rhythms of the land. Consider yourself lucky if you get to work on a small, local farm with people like this. I do.

Working On a Seed Farm

This spring I started working on a seed farm - a farm that grows crop for seed - just over the ridge from where I live: Fruition Seeds in Naples, N.Y. Co-owned and co-farmed by Matthew Goldfarb and Petra Page-Mann, Fruition Seeds is a unique place to be. Matthew and Petra have a strong, earnest commitment to keeping the highest quality seed in the hands of the people. To this end, all of the farm’s seed is:

Organically grown. None of the heavy chemical and mechanical inputs used by industrial agriculture.

Regionally adapted. Organisms that will thrive in a given environment are those that have been grown, bred, and adapted to similar conditions.

Open pollinated. No hybrids or GMO here. Any seed collected from the vegetables you grow are yours to save and will grow true-to-type in future generations.

It would be an understatement to say I learn something new every day I’m on the farm. Just as often, it’s relearning a dozen things I thought I knew already. Here’s a few of the more interesting things I’ve picked up after just a month in the greenhouse and fields:

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