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Meet Matthew Goldfarb and Petra Page-Mann, from Fruition Seeds.
Matthew Goldfarb and Petra Page-Mann

Matthew Goldfarb and Petra Page-Mann, co-founders of Fruition Seeds.



Through the marvelous thing that is this internet, though email, mutual blogs, and a mutual friend's Kickstarter encouragement, I have very recently been put in touch with this wonderful couple, Matthew Goldfarb and Petra Page-Mann, co-founders of Fruition Seeds.  Located in the Finger Lakes region of New York State, they are a certified organic, open-pollinated vegetable, herb,  flower, grain and cover crop seed company doing something pretty remarkable in a very scary time for our global seed supply.  
 
As I've said in recent facebook and twitter posts, I can think of no more worthy Kickstarter campaign (with better pledge rewards) that I have come across.  And, I am incredibly excited to know about this seed resource and cannot wait to try their beautiful varieties next spring in our gardens. 
 
Below is a great guest post from Petra and Matthew.  Though having not yet met them in person, I am so thrilled to have crossed paths with these new friends, couldn't have more respect for what they are doing, and am so happy we all get to be the fortunate beneficiaries of all of their tireless work.
 
(And there are just FIVE DAYS LEFT in their Kickstarter drive.  Get over there and get yourself some seeds!)
 Arugula seed, freshly screened.

Arugula seed, freshly screened.


How does seed saving fit into your understanding of ‘sustainability’?


Matthew:  The ideas surrounding and daily practice of ‘sustainability’ have long been a part of our lives in the thirty collective years that Petra and I have been farming.  Energy, food, transportation, waste, social life:  we have not gone a day without considering and acting on what is best for us, our community and our world.


Yet we were always uncomfortable with ‘sustainability’ because it assumes the world is static, neglecting an appreciation for shift and adaptation.

Petra:  Seeds offer the perfect metaphor for what it is that we are truly after: resiliency.  Even as climates change, diseases evolve and cultural trends shift, seeds adapt and encode this resilience in the next generation.   At Fruition Seeds we select plants for these resilient qualities for our region through only growing open-pollinated varieties that can be saved and shared for generations to come.

Why did you start Fruition Seeds?

Matthew:  Buckminster Fuller observed, “you never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” (more…)


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The Garden as Scrapbook

 Pitchfork Diaries


When I refer to our microfarm, I am talking about just over five thousand square feet of heirloom gardening spaces, that my husband and I have carved out, cared for, slowly added to and greatly benefitted from for the last almost decade.  Our home sits on a very rural, mostly wooded, forty-five acres, so anytime we felt like we could handle a little more weeding, or heard from enough friends what a thrill it was to dig up potatoes in the fall—in went another sizeable garden space.  Until we are now left with our own personal work camp in the Catskills.

Collectively, this year is the largest to date.  Two summers ago I was well into my pregnancy, and not so agile in the bending-digging-weeding routine.  Last summer we had a seven month old son who cut our two-person-powered time to bend-dig-weed exactly in half, needing to be nursed or held or kept out of the fierce sun by one of us almost at all times.  Each season we vow to go easy on ourselves.  Each season we do just a little more than what would be considered sane.

Compared to previous years, we felt like we had it wholly together this time, and are planted to capacity—despite the fact that the plan had been to leave our oldest and largest space empty for a season to sensibly replenish.  But I once again fell victim to the gorgeous seed catalogues, web sites, and that plant pusher, Trina, at the incomparable Silver Heights Farm, and can not cut myself off once my palms get sweaty and pulse quickens.

Because in the end it is about food!  Food I remember from some meal, food I can’t easily buy around these rural parts, food I can’t get until this time of year, food I have been dying to try to cook with, and more than anything, food I am picturing laying out on a giant rustic white platter and presenting to a dozen or so dear friends seated around the table made of antique barn wood on our porch.  How can I possibly expect to limit myself?

(more…)


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Chew on this.
"I don't think you can be a good cook unless you can appreciate where the ingredients come from, and the only way you can really appreciate that is to get your hands into growing at least some of the food you’re cooking."

- Rick Bayless, Chef, Frontera Grill and Topolobampo restaurants, Cookbook Author, and Host of  "Mexico - One Plate at a Time" on PBS


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happysorrelmonday.

vibrant sorrel thriving in our garden.



The sheep love sorrel too.  (Good fences make good neighbors.)



Chin scratch heaven:  Sorrel?  Who needs sorrel?



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happyasparagusmonday.


 



 



 



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Catie Baumer Schwalb is a chef, food writer and photographer, who splits her life between the city and the country. Not too long ago Catie was a New York City based actress and playwright for more than a decade. She has her Master of Fine Arts from the National Theater Conservatory, and her Grand Diplôme in classic culinary arts from the French Culinary Institute in New York City. ... Read More

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