This summer, a new seed company, North Circle Seeds, is breaking ground with its circle of seed growers and farmer partners, to provide regionally-adapted seed grown using chemical-free, organic practices. Zachary Paige, the company’s founder, designed the business around a need for greater seed diversity at a time when over 65 percent of the world’s agricultural plant genetic resources are owned by just three global companies (State of Organic Seed Report 2016).
In the Upper Midwest, the number of businesses selling seed adapted to our northern climate is limited, none of which is located in Northern Minnesota.
“We are honoring seed and seed growers in Minnesota by offering the most reliable and flavorful varieties that have been carefully bred and selected to thrive in our Northern Climate,” Paige said.
North Circle Seeds is committed to creating an ecologically diverse, equitable, and inclusive food system. Not only are they working with growers to develop seed that may be culturally significant in their home country, such as eggplant varieties from Africa and blue corn from Mexico, but they are sharing this knowledge with others through public seed saving events and a podcast focusing on the origin stories of their seeds.
This summer, growers and seed purchasers will have the chance to contribute to the company’s efforts by participating in their customer survey. Results from the survey will help support growers by identifying which plant varieties have the highest demand for regionally adapted seed, content for seed saving workshops, and interest among farmers to participate in the seed collective. All participants, in exchange for their time, will receive a code to use at checkout online for three free seed packets, as well as be entered to win a free t-shirt.