Matthew and I were once content, small-scale organic growers unaware that often the seeds we planted supported values that did not align with our own.
Believing that seeds are the foundation of our food, our clothing, and indeed of everything, we were astonished to discover that there is a global, systemic crisis in how our seeds are selected, bred, owned and distributed.
We have founded Fruition Seeds in response to our deepest desires both personal and political, practical and poetic. Providing organic, regionally adapted seed grown in and for the Northeast, we are growing over two acres of seed crops this season as well as establishing a regional network of phenomenal seed growers to expand this vision.
THE SEED CRISIS
Marjorie Kelly writes, “Most of the great political struggles of the past 5,000 years can be reduced to a simple question: who will own land, water, and the other essentials of living – and to what end?” Our genetic diversity is indeed one of these essentials. Recent innovations such as genetic modification, F1 hybridization, expanding patent laws and centralized seed production serving international markets have contributed to the loss of 75% of our agricultural genetic diversity in the last hundred years (from a study by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization).
We share a blind faith that seed is produced by the companies selling them; this is most often not the case. In fact, three chemical companies control over half the global seed supply: seed has become just another commodity. As such, most seed is grown where the climate favors commercial production, such as the Pacific Northwest, California, and Israel. Much of this seed is adapted to modern agricultural techniques (mechanization, fertilizer, pesticides), allowing for high yields resulting from high inputs. Further, resistance to pests and disease relies heavily on chemical applications, resulting in varieties adapted to these sprays. This seed, developed with conventional practices, is widely adapted to similar conditions around the world.
Such conventionally produced ‘widely adapted’ seed may grow in your soil, but may not as well as one ‘regionally adapted,’ developed with organic practices. Companies with national and international markets excel in the former, but not the latter. Through personal conversation with countless individuals in gardens, the seed industry and in academia I’ve become convinced that a committed, high-quality seed company is critical to providing awareness, access and the inspiration to catalyze an organic, regionally-adapted seed movement.
A few seed companies sell seed grown in the Northeast, though it is only a small percent of their catalogue. This means you may be buying good seed but not seed selected to excel in your specific climate and soils. We are committed to providing organic, delicious and dependable seed that is adapted to the Northeast, that we might enhance biodiversity and pass on living seeds to our future.
OUR STORY (THE NUTSHELL)
My highest priority is to cultivate, share and inspire abundance in all forms; for years it has been my dream to spend my days growing organic, regionally adapted seed in and for the place that I call home.
I first became enamored with seed as a child in my father’s garden, witnessing the miracle of seed, sun and soil that sustained us all through the seasons. For the last decade, my love of travel has led me far and wide to soak in the wisdom of small scale, ecological agriculture, saving seeds as I went. Working for seed companies large and small across the continent, I’ve believe deeply in both the vitality of seed as well as the significant potential of our regional seed supply here in the Northeast.
I am grateful to be back in my beautiful hometown with my beloved partner Matthew Goldfarb, growing organic seed in Naples, New York. Matthew has been farming and gardening since 1994. Prior to understanding the full impact of the seed crisis on national and global levels, he was asking questions on his own farm. As his skills grew, so too did his awareness of the lack of regional seed, the limited (at best) transparency of who grows seed where as well as the rapid concentration of seed controlled by a few — and how his decisions impact the course of genetic history. With degree in Rural Sociology and an MBA from Babson, many years of agricultural leadership and an unflagging commitment to phenomenal, home-made coconut ice cream, Matthew is undoubtedly the man for the job!
Will Bonsall, Director of the Scatterseed Project in Maine, said it so well: “We like to hire everything out, like fixing the deck or mowing the lawn. But some things are too compelling and too important to leave to the professionals, like tucking in our children at night. Everything related to food, and especially the seed, must be seen in this light.”
It is the privilege and pleasure of Fruition Seeds grow such seed and build a network of phenomenal organic seed growers in our region. With our thirty years’ combined agricultural experience, knowledge of local production, local markets and operating on a small scale, we are committed to establishing a high-quality supply of organic seed for the Northeast. Each day we wake with gratitude and awe that this is our work, our play, our joy, our sustenance and our (in no way small) contribution to the world.