Seed Work

Growing — and training others to grow — Biodynamic (R) seed has been Nathan and Beth’s life work.

Their inspiration to grow seed, and their training, began with a life time membership in the Seed Savers Exchange, followed by Nathan’s internships at Sativa biodynamic seed (Switzerland) and Bingenheim biodynamic seed (Germany) in the early 1990’s.

In 1994, Nathan and Beth founded the Turtle Tree Biodynamic Seed Initiative (in Minnesota) to distribute Biodynamic seed in the US, then spent three years on the front range in Colorado.

In 1998 they brought Turtle Tree to Camphill Village in Copake, NY, and combined it with social therapeutic work for special needs adults gifting it to Camphill Village USA. A reduction in the availability of favorite varieties strengthened their motivations to grow seed.

These aspirations have been realized, as the Corymbs began farming the site in 2010 and the land is now certified Organic and Demeter Certified Biodynamic for seed growing. From Nebraska, Corymbs continue to work with a network of Biodynamic seed growers.

They are committed to reintegrate seed growing into everyday agriculture on diverse, sustainable, human-scale farms, and developing a welcoming and nourishing farm environment that included people from many walks of life, ages and abilities.

A central aspect of LEF’s collaboration with Meadowlark Hearth Farm is the training of current and potential seed growers through classes, workshops, seminars, and part- or full-year internships.

LEF, through Beth and Nathan are coordinating a day-long seminar and discussion at the North American Biodynamic Conference in November in Portland, Oregon, where those interested in and committed to this work from all parts of the continent will come together to plan this important work in the years ahead.

A current, urgent need for LEF/Meadowlark Hearth seed work is a Seed Cleaning Machine. 

Lettuce seed is small and fine, making it difficult to clean efficiently and well for use and sale. The current methods work fine for a small-scale operation, but they are too labor intensive be able to provide growers with adequate amounts of quality seed.

LEF would like to purchase a “Winnow Wizard,” (@$2,000)which is especially designed to clean smaller, challenging seeds such as lettuce. If you would like to support this purchase, please contact LEF on our “Contacting LEF” page.