Spring is just around the corner! Many spend the dark, cold parts of winter thinking of all things growing, living, and green, and planning gardens. Whether you’re propagating seeds, signing up for a CSA, planning to purchase starter plants at the co-op in the coming months, or buying fruits and veggies from Community Foods producers, you are investing in local agriculture! Learn more about Seward Co-op’s local seed vendors, North Circle Seeds and Seed Savers Exchange.
North Circle Seeds
North Circle Seeds, located in Vergas, Minn., is committed to creating an ecologically diverse, equitable, and inclusive food system. They are a Community Foods producer because they are local, small-scale and use sustainable practices. North Circle has an intentional relationship with their seeds and their Midwestern growers’ circle, who produce regionally adapted seed using chemical-free, sustainable, and organic practices. They also prioritize inclusivity and equitability by connecting with communities and individuals who are reclaiming cultural foods and seeds in Minnesota and the greater Midwest. This includes increasing access to culturally-specific foods and seeds. To North Circle Seeds, seeds are life and symbolize relationships, trust and patience. According to Zachary Paige, proprietor of North Circle Farm, the true intention of North Circle Seeds is to spread that message. “Seed is not an iPhone, it is not a technology, it is a biology that we have a relationship with.”
Seed Savers Exchange
Seed Savers Exchange is a nonprofit organization in Decorah, Iowa that is committed to gathering, sharing, and conserving diverse and endangered heirloom seeds. Operating in the fields of education, collection and storing, and distribution, Seed Savers is dedicated to ensuring a future for farmers and gardeners that includes a wide variety of plants that might have been lost without the movement to catalog and preserve them. Started in 1975, Seed Savers preserves rare and heirloom varieties through long-term storage of seeds in carefully maintained vaults, and also by sharing seeds with gardeners. Founders Diane Ott Whealy and Kent Whealy started their collection with seeds from Diane’s great grandparents, who brought over ‘Grandpa Ott’s’ morning glory and ‘German Pink’ tomato from Bavaria in 1884. Today, Seed Savers has more than 20,000 types of plants in its collection. By purchasing seeds from Seed Savers Exchange, you can participate in the effort to save a wide range of diverse plants.