Sequim, Wash. — Discover how growing on-farm seed is a viable diversification strategy that can build a farm’s financial and environmental sustainability. Nash’s Organic Produce began maintaining their signature carrot variety “Nash’s Best” ten years ago and since then has been producing seed for on-farm use, variety security, livestock feed, and as a contracted crop.
More than 100 types of produce are grown in the unique micro-climate of the Dungeness River Valley. Seed crops are integrated into 400 sustainably managed acres in the mineral-rich soil. Owner Nash Huber grows grains, legumes and other seeds as a source for his cover crop seed material which drives his soil-fertility program.
“I think having a diversity of crop and programs in a farm plan is of critical importance to any successful farm’s long term survival and ability to nourish its community,” said Huber. “Our region in the Pacific Northwest happens to grow very good seed as some of our primary crops. We are truly lucky to have a perfect opportunity to work on seed security for some of our key crops and to generate another dollar income stream to the farm,” he added.
Micaela Colley from Organic Seed Alliance will join Huber on the Farm Walk, demonstrating the benefits of on-farm seed production. A Seed Saving workshop will follow during which participants will discover how to harvest seeds this fall.
“Learning seed growing skills allows us to preserve our favorite varieties while adapting them to our local climates. It also provides the independence to manage this vital resource ensuring the availability of varieties we need and value for our farms and gardens,” said Colley.
Nash Huber recently received the 2008 Steward of the Land Award from American Farmland Trust. He and his wife Patty McManus were noted for their leadership and efforts in environmental stewardship and farmland protection.
The Farm Walk, a farmer-to-farmer learning experience, organized as part of an ongoing series by Washington State University and Tilth Producers, allows time for questions and answers at an advanced level, as well as an opportunity for farmers to share their practices and the logic behind them. Community members are welcome.
The Farm Walk is Monday, Sept. 8 from 9:30 a.m. to noon. The Seed Saving Workshop will be from 1 – 4 p.m. The address is 1865 East Anderson Road in Sequim. The cost for the Farm Walk is $10 for Tilth Producers members and $15 for non-members. The afternoon class is also $10 for Tilth members and $15 for non-members. Register on-site or pre-register by mailing a check to Tilth Producers, PO Box 85056, Seattle, WA 98145. Brown bag lunch recommended. Beverages provided.
Details about all Farm Walks are available at http://www.tilthproducers.org and http://www.smallfarms.wsu.edu. More information on Organic Seed Alliance is available at http://www.seedalliance.org. The Farm Walk is sponsored by Tilth Producers of Washington and the Washington State University Small Farms Team.