Growing Seed in the Heartland
By Beth Corymb, Meadowlark Hearth Biodynamic Seed Initiative, Scottsbluff, NE
It is another beautiful day on the high plains of Nebraska. The air is clear and the surrounding hills white. Their sandstone shines out to us as we harvest our vegetables and vegetable seed crops. Out here on the Nebraska plateau we are picking seed from our biennial crops of carrot, beet, and onion seed, then letting them dry until they crackle under our threshing feet.
The horned cows of our micro raw milk dairy come running when I call them. They know that yodel means rotten cantaloupe, their favorite snack. We humans get the best melons, and we save the seed from those we eat. The children dance with delight to see the cows smack their lips noisily as they slurp the melons.
The members of our year-round vegetable CSA arrive carrying many bags, since we offer them 12-20 types of vegetables and melons every year. Harvesting these crops for the CSA helps us to keep on top of how a variety performs, since we are always looking for those “workhorse” vegetable varieties which do well in various climates and seasons. Over 120 vegetable varieties are listed on our website. We offer varieties we have found to do well in our northern climate. Along with our garlic seed, these hardy vegetable seed varieties listed at the Meadowlark Hearth website are also chosen for their flavor. Come visit us, and we can tell you more!
We hope to meet you at the Biodynamic Conference this year in Santa Fe, New Mexico, November 16-20. There will be many great workshops with presenters from all over the world, and we will be sharing our work of growing seed by “Farming the Living Earth.” Join us!
Join Beth and Nathan Corymb at their workshop, Growing and Selling Biodynamic Seed, on Saturday, Nov. 19.
Beth and Nathan Corymb trained in biodynamic agriculture at Camphill Village Kimberton Hills. Nathan trained in biodynamic seed growing at Sativa Seed in Switzerland and Bingenheim Seed in Germany. They founded the Turtle Tree Biodynamic Seed Initiative and developed it as a sheltered workshop for people with special needs, where it continues at Camphill Village USA in Copake, New York. In 2010 they moved to Nebraska and began Meadowlark Hearth Farm, where they developed wholesale Biodynamic seed production along with a CSA, dairy, beef, pork, poultry, and market vegetable production. At Meadowlark Hearth, they integrate the farming and seed work into education and therapeutic work under the auspices of the Living Environment Foundation, a non-profit with a two-fold focus on biodiversity and serving vulnerable populations. As well as having their own online seed sales, each year they grow contract certified organic and Biodynamic seed for a number of U.S. seed companies.