We grow over 50% of the seeds in our catalog on our 80 acre certified organic farm in Michigan (see About Us). Since we cannot grow all of the seeds on our farm due to climate, disease, and pollen isolation reasons, we collaborate with other seed folks to be able to offer a diverse catalog of high-quality seeds.
The modern industrial seed system is sorely lacking in transparency about who and where seeds are grown. At Nature & Nurture Seeds, we reconnect growers and eaters with the places and faces who grow our seeds. In the spirit of transparency, below is a list of the amazing growers and collaborators that we work with to bring you the best seeds!
Nature & Nurture Seeds
Ann Arbor, Michigan
We are nurturing a vibrant community that tends the Earth, enriches lives, and believes in healthy food for all. We honor the seeds passed down from our ancestors, seeds that nourish, connect, and inspire us. We reclaim the seeds from the hands of corporations, back into the hands of people of all colors and traditions, and celebrate in Earth’s amazing abundance. Our heirloom (open-pollinated) seed is carefully "rogued," a process where we remove any varietal off-types and plants lacking vigor. This means that our seeds are harvested from the best plants, containing genetics for vigor, disease resistance, varietal true-to-typeness and other beneficial traits. Grown and selected under organic conditions, our seeds are well adapted to growing in organic systems as well as Midwest and northern growing. See more info at About Us.
Sweet Home, Oregon
After traveling throughout nine European countries to meet and learn from "seed stewards", Andrew Still and Sarah Kleeger were inspired to establish Oregon-based Adaptive Seeds in 2009. They focus on bringing back biodiversity to agriculture and grow hundreds of different seeds. The Pacific Northwest company’s seeds are open-pollinated and certified organic since 2013, and boast a number of other traits appealing to the ecologically-conscious grower. "NONE of our seeds are proprietary hybrids (F1), patented, PVP, or genetically modified (GMO). All of our seed is grown without chemical fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides, and NONE of it is treated." On top of this, many of their varieties are especially suited for short season/northern climates like Michigan. Andrew and Sarah also publish a blog called the Seed Ambassadors Project, on which interested farmers, gardeners, and seed savers can find educational posts as diverse as the duo’s seeds!
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Michiganders and University of Michigan alumni, Eric and Meredith love good food and seek to play an active and unique role in Ann Arbor’s farming community by contributing to its health, wealth, diversity and longevity. While working as an engineer, Eric received excellent training in the world of local farming and seed saving as a volunteer with Abbondanza Organic Seeds & Produce, a local farm in Boulder, Colorado. He is looking forward to growing and selling seeds and contributing to the local food ethos of Southeast Michigan. Meredith is the daughter of dairy farmers and the granddaughter of general store owners. With a hand in a lot of what happens outside of the field and greenhouse, she is responsible for the business planning, marketing, and web presence of Ann Arbor Seeds. When not on the farm, she is a librarian at the University of Michigan.
Mount Horeb, Wisconsin
AP Whaley strives to offer only the best selections and highest quality seed of open-pollinated, non-GMO, heirloom and cutting edge hybrids to professional growers, the seed trade and home gardeners. On their 175-acre organic farm in southwestern Wisconsin, they concentrate their efforts towards breeding and selecting disease-free, high-performance varieties that are well suited for organic and conventional cropping systems. A. P. Whaley is a family owned and operated business, committed to sustainable agriculture.
Located in southwest Wisconsin, Circadian Organics is run by Matt, Keegan, Dylan and Skye, four friends who have a dream to farm together in this region (and who have made that dream a reality!). As young farmers, they are particularly aware of the need for agriculturalists from our generation, and are dedicated to growing delicious, organic produce using methods that support the local ecosystem and local community. They aim to be part of a more sustainable and equitable agriculture system, using holistic and integrated pest management and regenerative soil techniques.
Based in Virginia, Common Wealth is a seed growers cooperative established to grow and sell “regionally-adapted, regionally trialed, open-pollinated, organic seeds.” Because the co-op only sells what they grow – and only sells what grows well – farmers and gardeners can be assured of full transparency of the seed source. Common Wealth consists of a number of growers throughout the state, each of their farms bringing something unique to the co-op. Because of this mix of expertise, Commonwealth is able to specialize in crops like Downy Mildew resistant cucurbits and help those interested in organically growing more challenging seed crops.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
With full-time farmers Marly Spiecer-Schneider, Petar Simic, and Aquillon Hettrick, experienced apprentices, student interns, and help from many members, the Community Farm of Ann Arbor grows produce for 180 member families. The farm is based on Biodynamic agriculture and a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model of organization. Now in its 26th year, the Community Farm of Ann Arbor has remained solidly committed to its original goals: to develop a sustainable method of agriculture that yields nourishing food while maintaining and enhancing the health of the soil; to provide a livelihood for the producers, and to create a partnership with the producers and the consumers in which the risks and rewards of farming are shared.
Clint Freund took the dive into seedsaving at Meadowlark Hearth Seeds in Nebraska before moving back to his home state of Wisconsin. In 2017, Clint co-founded the "Cultivating the Commons" seed growing project with Kass McKinnon. Clint also co-owns Regenerative Roots with longtime friends Dennis Fiser and Anne Drehfal selling their small-scale Organic produce. Collectively, the farm operations are referred to as Wild Abundance Community Farm. The goal of that project is to "bring together the interests, visions, resources, and skills of people living on and farming the land for their livelihood, and urban dwellers seeking a deep connection to land and community."
Each year, Fedco observes hundreds of varieties, selecting only the best for inclusion in their catalogs. Through their product lines and cultural hints, they encourage sustainable growing methods. They offer a large selection of certified-organic cultivars and regional heirloom varieties. Because they do not have an individual owner or beneficiary, profit is not their primary goal; this gives workers a real voice in running the company and a real stake in its success.
Fruition Seeds is the vision of Petra Page-Mann and Matthew Goldfarb, who started Fruition in 2012. Petra first became enamored with seed as a child in her father's garden, saving bean and flower seeds to sow again, season after season. She spent a decade working for organic farmers & seed growers across the United States, developing the skills, commitment and vision to inspire regional resilience here in the Northeast. Matthew has been farming since 1994. He offers a diverse set of skills and experience from his time as an organic produce grower, agricultural educator, and extension associate at Cornell University. At Fruition, they strive to make organic gardening easier and more abundant for gardeners in short seasons. Their organic, regionally adapted vegetable, flower & herb seeds are selected for flavor as well as early maturity, cold hardiness and disease resistance and other essential traits to help plants thrive in short seasons. They celebrate the flavors of heirlooms as they improve their productivity, as well as seek out new varieties, while developing their own to become the beloved heirlooms of future generations.
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Gary Mazzeo farms at Tilian Farm Development Center outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has grown a wide variety of vegetables for the Brinery and local restaurants.
High Mowing Organic Seeds began in 1996 with just 28 varieties, many of which originated in founder Tom Stearns’ backyard. Since then, HMOS have expanded the selection and availability of organic seeds, reached out to other farmers, locally and across the country, to produce seed for the business, and established partnerships with wholesale seed companies that have made commitments to develop and produce organic seed. High Mowing Organic Seeds continues to grow many of the varieties they sell on their 40 acre farm in Wolcott, Vermont. Those at High Mowing have continually worked to produce, develop and sell only the best quality organic seeds for varieties selected for their exceptional performance in organic conditions. They believe in a deeper understanding of how re-built food systems can support health on all levels – healthy environments, healthy economies, healthy communities, and healthy bodies.
The Hirzel's grow certified organic and non-GMO grains and cover crop seeds, providing the Hairy Vetch cover crop seeds for our catalog. Today, management is carried out by 4th generation family farmer Lou Kozma Jr. Along with his team, Hirzel Farms continues to strive towards feeding people in a way that also maintains healthy biodiversity.
Accord, New York
Ken Greene and his partner Doug decided to turn the Valley Educational Seed Saving Exchange and Library (founded by Ken in 2004) into the mission-driven, homestead based small business that Hudson Valley Seed Company is today. The heart of this company is their small farm in Accord, New York, located in the scenic Rondout Valley between the Catskill Mountains and the Shawangunk Ridge. Here, they cultivate about three acres of production and trial gardens. They produce hundreds of pounds of seed each year to learn about new varieties, and undertake breeding projects in the traditional methods of plant breeders. They have only ever used organic practices on their farm, and it became Certified Organic in May, 2013. They offer heirloom and open-pollinated seeds for vegetable, flower, and herb varieties. They have also signed the Safe Seed Pledge, and they adhere to Vandana Shiva’s Declaration of Seed Freedom.
Jonathan Spero is the main mind behind Lupine Knoll’s awesome breeding program, which specializes in sweet corn varieties. Based in Oregon, Spero developed the Solstice broccoli – a really great brassica choice for home gardeners because of its extended harvest season. The projects at Lupine Knoll continue to demonstrate much needed innovation in organic seeds.
Beth and Nathan Corymb always knew they wanted to farm biodynamically – Beth grew up on Nebraska land that her grandparents homesteaded and always knew she wanted to return, and Nathan spent time interning at Sativa biodynamic seed in Switzerland and Bingenheim biodynamic seed in Germany in the 1990’s. Motivated to grow seed because of the scarcity of their favorite varieties, the Corymbs began farming Beth’s grandparent’s land - as Meadowlark Hearth Seeds - in 2010. In addition to seed and vegetable production, the Corymbs also raise heirloom dairy cows and Berkshire pigs. The Corymbs truly love Nature and have worked to reflect this in their farming practices.
Michigan Wildflower Farm is a producer of native Michigan wildflower and grass seed. Our producing plants are from foundation seed collected in Michigan, most within one hundred fifty air miles from our farm in Ionia County. The species collected were present before European settlement and insofar as it is possible to document, from sites which have not had plant materials introduced from other areas. Every attempt is made to maintain the broad range of genotypes present in the wild plant material.
The North Farm, originally founded in 1899 just north of Chatham, Michigan is part of the MSU Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center. It is an incubator farm specializing in diversified organic vegetable production, research, education, and outreach for northern latitude climates. They offer farm tours and activities, on-site workshops, and opportunities for beginning farmers to live and work with them to learn about sustainable farming in the challenging northern climate of the U.P. Their focus is building healthy soils, food, people, and communities. Using organic and sustainable practices coupled with season extension technologies, they grow a wide variety of vegetables. The farm functions as both a production and teaching facility, and aims to provide healthy, fresh, nutrient-dense produce to the local markets.
Munk Bergin operates a farm in Eastern Oregon where he breeds plants and produces rare seeds. He is well known for his Soltera Morado sweet corn, which he diligently bred and continues to grow (read about the breeding process). Munk has spent decades breeding corn, among other crops, after he graduated from the University of Idaho with a degree in entomology. Munk takes care to ensure that his crops remain uncontaminated by GMO crops, and he uses organic methods.
Fullerton, North Dakota
Prairie Road Organic Farm has been certified organic since 1977. A primary focus of their farm is “to feed themselves and to eat well”. They have bred and selected vegetable varieties that perform well agronomically in their own organic gardens, are well adapted to the northern growing region, and bring joy to their table! Their varieties need to perform well, but as Dan’s brother, David, so aptly states, “They also need to be beautiful and delicious.” All of their seed is grown on their farm near Fullerton, ND, which has been certified organic since 1977. They began producing certified organic vegetable seed for organic seed companies in 1997.
San Francisco, California
After first meeting while working in a Chadwickian garden in Santa Cruz, CA in 1974, Steve and Moria Peters set out on a lifetime journey centered on organic agriculture and seed saving. After helping to establish a community land trust in upstate New York, Steve earned an Ag degree from Cornell. Later, both worked at the Rodale Institute in PA. Moria was an estate gardener in Santa Fe, while Steve worked for Seeds of Change. He also served a stint with Native Seeds/SEARCH. Their combined experience in working with plants totals around ninety plus years. Upon finally returning to California, they founded Seed rEvolution Now! Seed rEvolution Now is one of many small, bioregional seed companies that have been springing up as a reaction against the trend toward the monopolization of seed and, indeed, our entire food system. They work in and around the San Francisco Bay Region, collaborating with organic produce growers and gardeners. They raise some crops themselves, both for seed and in comparison trials. They also carry seed grown by long-time organic seed specialists. They strive to empower growers to grow and save seeds that nourish the people who grow the food as well as their communities.
Since 1975, Seed Savers Exchange, a nonprofit, has protected the biodiversity of the food system by preserving rare, heirloom, and open-pollinated varieties of seeds in their seed bank at Heritage Farm. The Exchange encourages gardeners and farmers worldwide to grow, harvest, and share heirloom seeds as well as recount the inspirational stories behind them. It was her own children’s future that inspired Diane Ott Whealy to co-found Seed Savers Exchange with heirloom seeds for treasured tomato and flower varieties lovingly brought to Iowa by her Bavarian great-grandparents in the 1870s. Word about the organization spread quickly, and before long a small group of concerned gardeners began saving and swapping their own rare, heirloom varieties and donating seeds to our collection, which would soon become the center of a growing movement. Today, Seed Savers Exchange focuses on stewarding and sharing the large collection of open-pollinated varieties the organization has since amassed, thanks in large part to that original group of dedicated gardeners.
Seven Seeds Farm is Don Tipping's family farm in Williams, Oregon. The folks at Seven Seeds Farm have been growing certified organic seed for many national scale mail order seed companies for the past 19 years, including Siskiyou Seeds. Education is also an important aspect of Seven Seeds’ philosophy, and the farm hosts a number of classes and workshops in a variety of sustainable agriculture related topics. Don helped to found the Siskiyou Sustainable Cooperative which manages a 150 share CSA, commercial seed growing, an equipment co-op and internship curriculum among 12 cooperating farms. Don is currently serving as the president of the Family Farmers Seed Cooperative.
Roberta Bailey & Rob Lemire have a passion for garlic and hot peppers. They plant their garlic and other specialty crops in the rich soil of the Kennebec River region of Maine. They rotate 6 plots with seed, garlic, grain, and cover crops. Bailey, who planted her first garlic seeds nearly thirty years ago, is truly a garlic pioneer in her home state of Maine - a region where garlic wasn't really being grown much until she devoted herself to cultivating and sharing the awesome plants. Although Bailey doesn't take full credit for Maine's garlic boom, Mainers are now growing about 70 different varieties of garlic!
John Sherck runs this seed company from his farm in Bristol, Indiana. John's goal is to provide a regionalized source of open-pollinated seed, for staple crops like rice, wheat, barley, dry beans, and many others. John aims to take the finest staple crop varieties he can find and trial them out on his farm to see how they perform in Northern Indiana. While his farm is not certified organic, John has been growing, utilizing organic and sustainable inputs and methods for over 25 years. For those interested, John's open-door policy at the farm welcomes anyone to stop in and see how they grow.
This Washington based company is made up of Brian, Crystine, Rio, Eric, Rowan, and baby Meira. They are a small, family run organic seed farm and the culmination of years of fresh market farming, variety trialing, seed production and breeding work, and most importantly, a decades-long love affair with food and its power to bring people together. Founded on a common passion for healthy and sustainable food, the farm now produces many varieties of seeds and has a number of trialing and breeding projects going. At Uprising Seeds the core belief is that the health of our relationship with the land, the seeds, and ultimately the food that sustains us has the power to shape our present and define our future. As Washington’s first 100% organic certified seed company, the growers at Uprising Seeds are true pioneers in the organic, open-pollinated, heirloom seed endeavor.
Frank and Karen Morton's Wild Garden Seeds are leading growers and breeders of organic, open-pollinated seeds. Frank has developed dozens of original vegetable, herb, and flower varieties, taking advantage of the climate and soil of Oregon's Willamette Valley: "a world class place to grow specialty seeds." On-farm breeding projects produce the highest quality seeds, bred for traits like seedling vigor under organic conditions. Having grown salad greens for restaurants for nearly two decades, Frank is a master of such projects. An accidental cross during his salad green production propelled him into the world of crop breeding, and he’s since become an expert and a mentor for other farmer/breeders including Erica and Mike (Nature & Nurture Seeds). Between this expertise and a desire to improve regional ecology, the Morton’s Wild Garden Seeds is an excellent resource for those seeking ecologically-sound growing practices and varieties.