Are you a market gardener with 1-3 acres of diverse crops? Are you looking for Ark of Taste varieties, historic flavorful heirlooms or open pollinated seeds adapted to the Great Lakes region? Perhaps you are a permaculture course grad in search of perennial veggies or, like me, you grow a diverse homestead garden in addition to a cash crop.
If any of these scenarios apply, you may want to check out Nature and Nurture Seeds.
This farm-based Michigan seed company is one of 45 listings under the “Production Resources” category at the new TLD Farm To Resource Directory.
During an interview with owner Mike Levine I learned about a few of the company’s unique aspects. Over 60% of their 2017 seed offerings were grown at their 122-acre farm or through a local network of seed growers. All of their varieties are tested and evaluated in a trial process. Different varieties of a crop from multiple sources are grown and selected for the most vigor and flavor.
“We like to specialize in the unusual,” Mike understated.
His tone became more spirited as he related the tale of their purple tomato trials and last year’s taste test winner, the smokey Paul Robeson tomato. Mike is excited about this year’s long-keeper tomato trials. Some varieties turn red slowly or only on the inside. True to its name, some reportedly kept well and tasted good into December. Mike’s enthusiasm was contagious. Who knew that the trials of okra and Potawatomi lima bean seeds adapted to Michigan soils could be so riveting or that almost all of the Detroit Dark Red Beet seed is grown in the Pacific Northwest? “That’s not a Detroit Dark Red,” Mike maintains. “Maybe after a few generations of adaptation it should be renamed a Portland Dark Red,” he added noting that theirs is the only seed company growing the variety in Michigan.
Mike and business partner Erica Kempter are always working to expand their network of gardeners and farmers to test varieties under various soil types and micro-climates. Besides the unusual seed selections at their website, you will find fascinating bios, education and articles.
If this has piqued your interest in local seed saving, be sure to get on any or all of these mailing lists: Crosshatch, North Central Michigan College, Grow Benzie, and Project Grow.
And with the season about to begin, don’t wait to explore the other 44 “Production Resources” at the TLD Farm To Resource Directory. It felt gratifying to be able to source the products and services I needed within the TLD family of listings and the regions it serves.
To find out how your business or organization can get a free listing, contact Sharron May @ 231-352-3966 or [email protected] .
2016 Nature and Nurture Seeds Crew (Photo by Beth Weiler)