pea seed saving
To improve our food system, it’s not just about growing good food locally. To grow delicious vegetables, we first need to plant seeds. In the same way that vegetables don’t “come from the store,” neither do seeds. Seeds are also grown on farms. Our customers seek us out according to why, how, and what we grow; we also seek out seed that is grown in certain ways and with certain values. We’ve bought some really cool seeds bred by plant breeding elder Carol Deppe who says “When you breed a variety, you breed your own values right into the variety. […]

Farm-Raised Seeds: The 2016 Adventure

Steph Warr
Who: Me- Shannon of Broadfork Farm and Del from Side by Each Farm in Amherst, NS What: a road trip and farm field trip Where: Twisted Brook Farm, a Certified Naturally Grown farm in Lawrencetown, NS (close to Middleton) When: Monday, April 25th (just over a month ago now…) Why: Steph, the farmer at Twisted Brook Farm is a highly skilled seed grower and has become my official Seed Mentor (and Del’s too) through ACORN (the Atlantic Canadian Organic Regional Network) and the Bauta Family Initiative on Canadian Seed Security. Through the Seed Mentorship program, we get to connect with […]

Visit to Twisted Brook Farm

oxalis tuberosa 2
I (Shannon) just returned from the Organic Seed Growers Conference in Oregon. I attended because I want to learn to improve our skill at growing seed crops (vegetable, herb, and flower) we grow on our farm AND to meet (in-person) other seed growers from across Canada who had been part of a peer-to-peer seed exchange group during the 2016 season. (to learn who is in this group: I found it physically exhausting to travel across the continent and 4 time zones. But after some sleep, the incredible weather in Corvallis, Oregon was rejuvenating. I was amazed to see green […]

Farmer Education: Organic Seed Growers Conference

Lettuce Mix 2
I know I sound like a geek….but it thrills me that our current salad mix contains a lettuce whose seed we saved on our farm. It’s one of 6 varieties of lettuce in the mix at the moment (we change up the lettuce varieties pretty often during the season). It’s called Italian Red Parella and it’s super cute and beautiful. It’s a sun-kissed, freckly beauty with a nice round shape. We grew it for Annapolis Seeds 2 years ago and kept quite a bit of seed for ourselves so we could see how it fits in best with our crop […]

Lovin’ this Lettuce!

Seed Cleaner workshop 4
Saving seed is one thing…but then cleaning it is a whole other thing. Why clean it? Well, when we first harvest the seed, we just want to get it out of the elements and keep it dry. Along with the seeds, we end up bringing in all kinds of other bits of the plant. In order to incorporate seed saving into the operations of our small farm, we need to try to make the process of both harvesting seed and re-planting the seeds we’ve saved, as efficient as possible. You know when you buy seed and you open up that […]

Work Bee: Building a Seed Cleaner

This year, we’re saving seeds not only for our own farm, but to sell to a local seed company (Annapolis Seeds). Why are we into seed-saving? Well, we love the idea of a seed being at home here on the farm with us. Just as we are a product of our environment, plants are too. And they are very adaptable. So, of course, we want seeds that have adapted to our sweet little farm. Who get our climate. And our soil type. And our soil life. We also want seeds that have adapted to living with us. Shannon and Bryan. […]

Saving those Seeds