Meet our network of growers...updating for 2014...
If the modern industrial food system has done much to remove the faces behind the foods we eat, the seed industry represents the extreme of that trend. Information regarding who grew the seeds, where they were grown, and under what conditions they were grown is almost never available to the public. Yet, as many of the traits involving how plants respond to their environment are hereditable, this information is very relevant to how the given seeds will respond in your environment. So, at the bottom of each listing, you'll find a two letter reference corresponding to a grower listed below who grew it for us. We consider it a privilege to work with such a great and experienced group of growers. All are Certified Organic through the USDA.
UO: Uprising Organics, Sedro Woolley, WA
This is our Home Farm where we grow many of the seeds we sell. We've leased for 8 years now 3 acres of river bottom clay-loam soil from our friends the Martins in the South Fork Valley of the Nooksack River in eastern Whatcom County. We started off as fresh market growers for wholesale and the Anacortes Farmers Market as well as beginning a small low income, food stamp based CSA. Since 2010 we have transitioned into focusing entirely on seed production, variety trialing, and breeding. Due to islolation needs we also maintain up to 3 other seed plots throughout the county. Growing conditions are northern, low elevation, west of the Cascades cool dry summers (highs rarely in the 90's) and cool wet winters (lows in the teens most years). Frost free 5/15-9/15
GT: Gathering Together Farm, Philomath, OR
Frank and Karen Morten have been real pioneers in the grassroots organic seed industry. Overseeing an extensive breeding program, they are responsible for a number of new original variety releases, some of which can be found in this catalogue. They have done an impressive amount of work, mostly with salad greens, of classical breeding for disease resistance. They grow about 8 acres of seed within the context of the much larger fresh market Gathering Together operation. Growing conditions are classic Willamette Valley hot dry summers and cool wet winters.
DT: Seven Seeds Farm, Williams, OR
Don Tipping has created a model of a permaculture system approach to growing within the context of a market farm down in southern Oregon's Applegate Valley. A long history of seed production co-mingles in mutually beneficial relationships with animals, market crops, orchard fruit, and cover crops. Educators as well they teach permaculture, Biodynamic ag and are founding members of a local CSA and seed producers coop. They also run Siskiyou Seeds.
AH: Ancestree Herbals, Twisp, WA
Ancestree Herbals cultivates medicinal herbs on the dry eastern slope of the North Cascades. Their high elevation environment, minimal use of mechanized equipment, and natural approach to working with their plants allows them to produce a pure and high quality product.
HH: Horizon Herbs, Williams, OR
Horizon Herbs in sunny Southern Oregon is likely the most comprehensive source of medicinal herb seeds around. They grow quite a bit of their own seed and work with local growers as well. We recomend checking out their catalogue sometime. They are the source of several of our herb seeds.
WG: Wolf Gulch Farm, Applegate, OR
Tom and Maud Powell run a small acreage mountain farm and homestead in Southern Oregon's Applegate Valley. Their farm is beautifully integrated into the dry landscape with hillside swales and catchment ponds to maximize their water availability. They have been active in organic seed production for several years growing a wide variety of crops, are members and organizers of the Siskiyou Sustainable Coop CSA, and run an organic nursery business.
CB: Canyon Bounty Farm, Nampa, ID
Cutting her teeth on a CSA farm outside of Portland, OR for 6 years, Beth Rasgorsheck now farms back on her family farm just west of Boise in Nampa, ID where she grew up. Growing on small acreage in a sea of larger more industrial scale farms, she produces about 7 acres of seed crops, nursery starts, and wheat. She does nearly all her seed cleaning on farm.
EO: Ernie's Organics, Shoshone ID
Fred and Judy Brossy have been farming outside of Shoshone, ID for over 20 years, organically since 1996. Cultivating about 300 irrigated acres of primarily wheat, beans, potatoes, and hay, they rotate their production with grazing and soil building cover crops. They have worked with several seed crops and specialize in bean seed production.
MM: M&M Heath Farms, ID
Mike and Marie Heath farm about 450 acres in Buhl, ID transitioning some of their land to organic production as early as the 80's. Believers in a diversified farm economy and marketing both locally and for wholesale, they grow vegetables, seed, run a small dairy herd, chickens, and have produced for CSA. Their farm location is ideally suited to growing quality bean seed.
OH: Oakhill Organics, McMinnville, OR
Casey and Katie Kulla are heading into their 7th season growing primarily for their 45 week (!) CSA. Working on their 17.5 acres of Willamette Valley bottomland they are just beginning to establish themselves as commercial seed growers, working with a few selected varieties. .
SB: Silver Bough Farm, Applegate, OR
Another Applegate grower, Barbara Hughey is just getting started on Silver Boughs small acreage in the Valley. Their production field sits beside 2 acres of a wild medicinal garden which runs along 700' of Thompson Creek that they manage for fish habitat and plant biodiversity. Thier farm is a United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary site. Principally a seed grower, Barbara's farm enjoys an ideal warm dry climate for many crops that are difficult to ripen in the PNW.
IE: Irish Eyes, Ellensburg, WA
Wholesale seed producers, dealers, and retailers growing in eastern WA, their seed production specializes in the warmer weather crops of the PNW (peppers, squashes, melons...)
Bill Reynolds is an exciting new addition to our team of growers. A long time market grower in N. CA, Bill grows a variety of vegetable and seed crops on about 25 acres. He is also responsible for a number of breeding and crop improvement projects, including his great Dark Star Zucchini, a new addition to our 2011 catalog.
FF: Fellowship Farms, ID
Dana Rasmussen is filling an important gap in the world of organic seed, producing several varieties of pea seed on his family's Idaho farm. We have relied on him since 2009 for a number of our pea varieties, a demanding crop to produce organically on a large scale.
Because Hanako and Marko were getting bored running their diversified fresh market farm, nursery start business, and saurkraut/kimchi business (!) they decided they'd like to be commercal seed growers too. They've been collaborating with the Organic Seed Alliance for several years on breeding/crop improvement projects, and are a valuable and welcome new addition to our network. If you're ever in PT, they make the best Kraut around.
If we were to put together a farm all-star team for the Pacific Northwest we'd have Nash Huber as captain. His work in Sequim, on the Olympic Peninsula, has been an inspiration for lots of young growers, whom he considers his most important crop at this point in his career. He is an establishment in Nothwest WA, cultivating over 200 acres with intertwined systems of row crops, seeds, grains, cover crops and animals. His Delta Farm has become a model for farmland preservation efforts.
GC: Garberville Community Farm, Garberville, CA
John and Lisa Finley farm at the Southern Humboldt Community Park, a project bringing together recreation with sustainable farming practices and wildlife and grassland restoration. They dry farm summer crops for market, CSA, and seed with an interest in tomatoes, peppers, and melons.
WO: White Oak Farm and Education Center, Williams, OR
CV: Cloudview Farm, Royal City, WA