Pages tagged "Victory Gardens"
This pandemic has brought into even sharper focus the need for resilient local food and seed systems--and a run on seeds across the county. Cultivate Oregon is partnering with Rogue Seed Keepers to immediately get seeds (and some starts) into the hands of those that need them, especially connecting heirloom seed varieties like the Three Sisters (corns, beans, squash) with indigenous communities in Oregon, and potentially beyond.
However, we are also working to simply connect those in need with the seeds that we have available, which include many other seed varieties.
Cultivate Oregon and Rogue Seed Keepers have officially become a “seed hub” for the Cooperative Gardens Commission and we received our first shipment of seeds to share! We have additional seeds and starts from our connections with Oregon’s seed growing community. Thank you #coopgardens!
However, because of the timing of getting seeds dispersed into communities for *this* growing season, we are looking for emergency funding for Phase I of this work, which includes the purchase of additional small envelopes for seeds that are currently in bulk, larger envelopes for mailing, postage costs, and potentially small stipends for people packaging and transporting the seeds. Even small donations will help! Please donate right now if you can.
If you're in Oregon and in need of seeds to grow food, or if you would like to volunteer for this project, please contact us here.
Phase II will be working on a seed germination project to determine the viability of large stores of seeds that also will be shared with communities in need. Please stay tuned for more information.
This eye-opening and informative story from the New York Times, Panic Buying Comes for the Seeds, is a must-read! Hear from our local Victory Seed Company on what they're experiencing during these challenging times and why it's so important to protect our seeds.
Panic Buying Comes for the Seeds
I knew firsthand how calming gardening can be, especially when you’re not dependent on the food for your immediate survival. Time slows down a little, thoughts meander, and a feeling of flow can arrive, even when the land you’re cultivating is a tiny patch in earshot of a bus stop.
But as I searched for seeds to grow beautifully swirled red and white Chioggia beets, fiery peppers and enough basil to start my own pesto company, website after website warned that my vegetative dreams may be delayed.
"It feels like we are selling toilet paper," Mike Dunton, the founder of The Victory Seed Company, a small seed company focused on horticultural biodiversity told me via email. (He was too busy filling orders to come to the phone.)
I’d been searching his company’s website for glass gem corn, a popping corn that originated with Carl Barnes, who was a part-Cherokee farmer in Oklahoma. In recent years, the corn has become internet famous because of its kaleidoscopic jewel-like appearance. My pandemic prep included buying four pounds of standard yellow popping corn; glass gem corn felt like a way of stepping up my game.
But the website cautioned that all buyers were agreeing to abide by “pandemic ordering terms,” and warned that the current shipping backlog was 18 to 24 days.
Clearly, I was not the only person who felt that the best path through the pandemic was to panic-buy a bunch of seeds."
Noah Schlager, the conservation program manager of a nonprofit seed seller called Native Seeds/SEARCH, said: “I was talking with a colleague who was saying that a lot of elders lived through the Great Depression, and they remember times like this."
“They’ve been saying, ‘This is the time to be saving these seeds and making sure that we can feed ourselves,’” he added.
The mission of Native Seed Search, a nonprofit, is to promote and conserve the crop biodiversity of the arid American southwest. (Native Seed Search is responsible for bringing attention to glass gem corn.) The company sells seeds to the public, “but our priority is seeds for Indigenous communities,” Mr. Schlager said, pointing out that the Navajo Nation is already suffering because of the new coronavirus.
“They’re oftentimes the last place where real aid, or FEMA support, or anything really gets handed out to people,” he said."