Monopolies dominate the global supply of food and seeds. A majority of seeds are imported. Imported produce and seeds are not adapted for the Midwest. Beginning farmers struggle with access to land, mentorship, and educational systems. This detrimental divide further increases if they are special needs farmers. We All Grow will show how viable locally and sustainably sourced vegetable seed production can be, while supporting an underserved beginner farmer segment.
Growing non-GMO heirloom vegetables and seeds plays a critical role in maintaining our local economy. The selling of vegetables and seeds provides an income and more stable supply chain. By farming, raising, and packaging open pollinated heirloom local seeds the varieties of heirloom will not go extinct. No one owns the rights to heirloom seeds. The seeds grown in the Midwest are more adapted to local growing conditions including resistance to regional pests, soil structure, and other environmental situations.
"Growing seeds on small acreage is profitable and we have seen a spike in sales as Covid hit. I sell the produce to chefs and take out the seeds to sell, so it's a double value," Zac Paige North Circle Seed, a mentor and owner of a seed company startup.
Project objectives from proposal:
- Ecologically Sound
- Identify and collect vegetable seeds that grow well in the Midwest.
- Establish a pollinator habitat.
- Start bee production and honey gathering.
- Economically Viable
- Identify and grow chef preferred vegetables.
- Identify bestselling seeds.
- Identify seed/s with the best profit margin.
- Socially Responsible
- Identify and document adaptive tools utilized.
- Identify best practices for training and working with special needs farmers.
- Organize a public field day.
- Report and share best practices for farming with special needs, Midwest seed viability, and popularity of vegetables with area chefs.