In our modern industrial food system, eaters don't know who grows their food or where it comes from. Unfortunately, this lack of transparency has become even worse in the seed industry. At Nature & Nurture Seeds, we aim to reconnect gardeners, farmers, and eaters with the people who grow their seeds and with the places where they're grown. As we strive to expand our own seed growing, we are also creating a network of seed growers that will allow us to offer as close to 100% locally grown seed as possible. You'll see below that we've listed the farmers who've grown most of our seed varieties. For a list of all locally grown seed click here. If you want to know who grew which seeds, look at the end of each variety description at Our Seeds. In addition, we've listed the organizations and companies from whom we have sourced other seeds. Please read below about the amazing farmers who are growing our seeds.
Nature & Nurture Seeds Ann Arbor, Michigan business since 2001
We seek to be a catalyst for the preservation and innovation of food seed biodiversity in the Great Lakes region and beyond, producing seeds of only the highest quality. This year we grew 50% of the seed varieties offered in our 2017 catalog. Our seeds are grown on our 122 acre farm in Scio Township, Michigan that will be organic certified in 2017. 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 business since 2009
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! From seed saving guides to anecdotes and tips gathered during their travels, the blog is worth checking out and is the perfect complement to Adaptive Seeds’ overall mission.
Eric Kampe and Meredith Kahn founded Ann Arbor Seed Company in 2012 to bring sustainable, small-scale, local agricultural principles to the business of saving and selling seeds. Based in Washtenaw, Michigan, they grow and
process open-pollinated seeds to give gardeners an alternative source for vegetable and ornamental crops.
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.
Ann Arbor, Michigan business since 1998
Greg Vaclavek of The Native Plant Nursery LLC is committed to the preservation of the native Michigan flora and is happy to be offering their native plant seed to gardeners. Greg's nursery grows 150+ species of Michigan native wildflower, grasses and sedges, plus a handful of trees and shrubs. All plants are grown from wild-collected local seed or Michigan-grown seed. The nursery follows organic and sustainable growing practices (no pesticides or chemical fertilizers are used).
Greg launched the Native Plant Nursery in 1998. A graduate from the University of Michigan's School of Natural resources with a bachelor's degree in Natural Resource Ecology
Management, he has worked as an ecosystem field research and also for the Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Natural Area Preservation. Resting at the heart of the nursery is Greg's commitment to letting nature be the ultimate role model for growing native plants and working with landscape ecosystems.
Philomath, Oregon business since 1994
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.
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.
Based in Williams, Oregon
A farmer owned and operated co-op spanning seven western states (Colorado, New Mexico, Nebraska, North Dakota, Washington, Oregon, & California), the FFSC is “not a traditional seed company” – this means that each variety they choose to introduce into their “for sale” lineup is diverse and ready for its introduction. Committed to producing organic, open-pollinated seeds, the FFSC doesn’t rush its breeding programs, but devotes the time and energy of some of the most experienced organic seed growers in America to producing high quality, “work-horse” organic varieties. The FFSC says it best: “We offer quality seeds from quality farmers.”
The Hirzel's grow certified organic grains and cover crop seeds, providing the Hairy Vetch cover crop seeds for our catalog.
Williams, Oregon since 2001
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.
Scottsbluff, Nebraska since 2010
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.
Vassalboro, Maine since 2001
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. 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!
This Washington based company is made up of Brian, Crystine, Rio, Eric, Rowan, and baby Meira. 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 a strong connection to the production of one’s food ultimately creates a strong community. The company “adamantly opposes GMOs,” and consequently treats seeds as things to be tended, shared, and planted with care. 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.
Other seeds have been sourced from the following organizations and companies:
Seed Savers Exchange
High Mowing Organic Seed