100% Michigan Homestead Grown, 100% Open-Pollinated - Each & Every Seed

Rational behind $6 for 50 seeds


My (Scott's) current focus is growing top quality seed and regional adaptation of varieties. This grew from our homestead gardening that already incorporated seed saving to preserve varietal diversity and a focus on staple crops to maximize our family's food security that led Eleanor to incorporate a seed business.

With precious and rare seeds, broadcast planting is too risky.  Each seed is individually dropped into a furrow:

The precious seeds are then covered with soil mixed with a bit of compost to help the young plants emerge from our high clay content soil:

This process is repeated in a careful pattern, alternating between wheat, barley, emmer, ... so there is no unauthorized crossing between patches. In 2017, I grew more than 30 kinds of wheat and 30 kinds of barley:

It took a few years to find a wooden label/stake that consistently survived the whole season, remaining legible without becoming misplaced:

 

Weeding:

 

Bird Netting:

 

I harvested with a hand knife, stem by stem.  This allowed me to harvest at the peak of ripeness and stay ahead of foraging wild critters.  I passed through the plots about every 2 to 3 days, paying attention to the weather.  I cut, taped and marked bundles. After an initial drying indoors with plenty of ventilation, here are some of the bundles awaiting hand threshing:

 After threshing and winnowing, comes weighing (for my record keeping), and packaging:

With a tilted soup bowl full of seeds, I find my letter opener the ideal tool to push each 'plump' seed over the end into the dipping sauce bowl:

Seed sorting tools

The end result yields an envelope of the healthiest seeds labelled: "P/S" for Plant in my Garden and offer for Sale. I also set aside seeds for Trade at seed swaps.

 Besides the equipment used, a lot of hand labor has gone into those 50 seeds!