Meet Our Growers
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 and Nurture Seeds, we want to reconnect gardeners, farmers, and eaters with the people who grow their seeds and with the places 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 local farmers who've grown 50% of the seed varieties in 2016. For a list of all locally grown seed click here. If you want to know who grew which seeds, read the variety descriptions at Our Seeds. In addition, we've listed the organizations and companies from whom we have sourced non-local seed. Please read about these amazing local farmers who are supplying our seeds this year.
Ann Arbor, MI 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 2016 catalog. Our seeds were sustainably grown on our 75 acre farm in Scio Township, Michigan as well as at 3 other isolation gardens in Washtenaw County. 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. See more info at About Us.
Ann Arbor, MI business since 1989
For over two decades 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.
Full-time farmers Paul Bantle and Anne Elder, apprentices, and many members of the Community Farm of Ann Arbor grow Biodynamic produce with a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) model of organization. Over the years, Paul and Anne have:
- Operated one of the first CSA's in Michigan and one of the longest running in the country.
- Practiced on-farm heirloom seed saving and used those seeds to produce a portion of the next year's crop (this is quite rare - most farmers buy all seed).
- Installed solar panels and converted a tractor to solar power to help wean the Farm from unsustainable dependence on fossil fuels.
- Developed wonderful relationships with other Michigan farmers, some of whom supply them with healthy grain.
- Created a place for families to meet the plants and animals who nourish them.
- Ensured that the Legacy Land Trust will preserve the land and farm at 1525 South Fletcher Road well into the distant future.
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.
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, MI, 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, CO. 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.
Non-Locally Grown Seed Has Been Sourced From the Following Organizations and Companies:
Seed Savers Exchange
High Mowing Organic Seed
Wild Garden Seed
Sustainable Seed Company
Johnny's Selected Seeds ('Butterbean' edible podded soybean)