PARTICIPANT GROWER PROGRAM
can help us grow. We are seeking responsible and experienced growers who
are interested in maintaining some varieties for us, by growing them out,
saving seed, returning a portion to us for our inventory and possible
inclusion in the seed catalog. You may use seed you are already maintaining
or seed we have specifically arranged for you to grow from our stock.
In either case please make sure we have a clear arrangement at the beginning
of the season. Please do not send quantities of unsolicited seed. If interested
please contact us and we'll send you a participant grower form. Or if
you know of a gardener, farmer or garden program that might be interested
in working with us to preserve varieties please let them know about us.
Tomato Field Project
Eastern Native Seed Conservancy, as part of its Heirloom Tomato Field
Project, has been exploring value added tomato production in Massachusetts
and the adjoining region, from regionally grown tomatoes We are seeking
resources that could be of help to us in furthering this project. Specifically
we are seeking individuals who may have experience in value added production
including drying, related business experience, marketing, packaging, equipment
information etc.etc. We are fairly aware of state resources in Massachusetts
but perhaps there are some other agencies from other states, non-profits
etc. which could be of help
Rare seeds are everywhere.
help before its too late! Well maybe not everywhere. But in every town
and city there still are some folks maintaining an old variety, often
beans or tomatoes, that are on the verge of extinction. Typically these
seeds are being grown by our elders and more often than not these seeds
disappear with them. We have seen it plenty of times! If you read the
stories about some of the seed varieties we have saved you will see that
in almost every case the people who maintained these varieties can no
longer do so. You can make a contribution to our conservation efforts
by finding out if anyone is maintaining an old variety where you live
and obtaining a sample of that seed. Or maybe there's a variety in your
own family. We will help preserve these living treasures so future generations
may enjoy them. Seven with one blow.
Maybe some of you know the fairy tale of the tailor who inscribed on his
belt killed seven with one blow. Well we have a fairy tale of how we and
some ordinary folks saved seven with one blow. Just this past May we learned
of a gardener in Lee Massachusetts, Joe Valenti and his wife Fan who had
been conserving some bean seeds for the last 58 years, brought by his
grandfather from Italy.
When we got to Joe's place his wife ushered us into their house as if
she had known us our whole lives. Laid out on their kitchen table were
little piles of seven different beans. White beans, brown beans, striped
beans-- some of them rare or even unique. We talked for a while. Talked
about how his grandfather had come over on the boat. With beans in his
pocket. Talked about how every year Joe kept those beans going. Talked
about how things had changed in Joe's 88 years. Before we left he gave
us a few more beans of each type. He told us not to worry about how they
grew cause he'd give us more next year.
Well in summer Joe got sick. Too sick to take care of his beans. Then
he got better. But no bean harvest that year. Fan said it was the first
time in 58 years he didn't grow those beans. 58 years! Can you imagine?
Right now Joe's in the hospital again. We pray that Joe gets better so
he can spend another 50 years with Fan. We are grateful that Joe saved
those beans all these years so we could come along before he got sick
and help preserve them. And if all goes well maybe you can grow some of
Joe's beans one day.
Please thank Joe.
NATIVE SEED CONSERVANCY
|P.O. Box 451
Barrington, Massachusetts 01230