We work with 29 small-scale, family farmers to steward over 300 varieties of seeds, which with each generation of planting, selecting, and saving, are becoming more adapted to our unique place on earth.
In 2017, we increased our cooperative of Intermountain West growers from 17 to 29! We added excellent growers from Paradise & Salt Lake City, Utah as well as Pollack & Kuna, Idaho. Check out this handy dandy map that shows where we all are!
New This Year!
Check out our new emblem that will be seen on websites, farmer’s market booths, and in front of farmer’s field that will help you identify the 29 members of our grower’s cooperative. When you buy seeds from SRSC, your purchase is keeping money in our region while helping support small family farmers around the Intermountain West.
Seed Grower Bios
Casey O’Leary, EARTHLY DELIGHTS FARM
Casey O’Leary is a “seed freak” who runs Earthly Delights Farm in Boise, Idaho and is also the founder/operator of Snake River Seed Cooperative. Earthly Delights is a human-powered farm on a shared urban farm in northwest Boise specializing in locally-adapted seeds and offering an 18-week CSA veggie subscription service, as well as gardening classes and a season-long, curriculum-based internship program for those interested in learning about urban farming and seed saving.
Janie Burns, MEADOWLARK FARM
Janie Burns has been active in providing local food for local people since 1989 when she started selling organic vegetables at Boise’s first downtown farmers’ market. She is a charter vendor of the new Boise Farmers Market where she sells grass-fed lamb and pastured poultry raised on her 16-acre Meadowlark Farm south of Nampa. Over the past 23 years, she has raised a wide variety of crops and sold to restaurants, CSAs and to retail stores. Janie is presently the chair of the Treasure Valley Food Coalition, an organization promoting a vibrant local food economy and ending the “tyranny of the tasteless tomato”. Janie shares her excellent seed stock of Floriani Flint corn with us!
Lori Bevan, FIELD GOODS FARM
Lori Bevan operates a small-scale urban farm in southeast Boise: Field Goods Farm. Healthy, feel-good (field-good) nourishment and soil comes from cover cropping, local compost and LOVE. No synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides EVER. Along with her farmdog Poppy the chug (pug+chihuahua), they are dedicated to growing delicious, high-quality vegetables, herbs and fruit while improving the soil & environment. For seed production, she grows Peppers, Armenian Cucumbers, Dwarf Scotch Blue Curled Kale, Ruby Streaks Mustard, Cosmos, Black & Brown-Eyed Susans, Wild West Sunflowers, and a smattering of other flowers. She also introduced a rare variety of pink lady radish to our SRSC offerings.
Diane Jones, DRAGGIN’ WING HIGH DESERT NURSERY
A self-proclaimed “plant nut”, Diane is the owner/operator of Draggin’ Wing High Desert Nursery which produces a wide array of Idaho native and locally adapted water-thrifty plants for landscaping. Most plants are hardy perennials, along with a handful of colorful native annuals. She focuses on low-maintenance, low-water, pollinator-friendly landscape plants.
Helen Brookman, SEEDSTER
Helen is a Master Gardener and a founding member of the Common Wealth Seed Library (now the Snake River Seed Library) and has been a grower for SRSC ever since we started this wacky endeavor. She is an avid backyard gardener, some seasons growing in her own yard, her elderly neighbor’s, and two different community garden plots. Though small in scale, her impact on the co-op is huge. As a librarian, Helen has a penchant for researching rare varieties and then trialing them in one of her gardens. When she thinks something is promising, she’ll share it with us in the co-op. Over the years, Helen has grown a HUGE range of crops for us, from her Canyon County Fair Grand Prize-winning: Tuxana Sweet corn (pictured in the photo above) to Cocozelle Zucchini, Marketmore cucumbers, zinnias, tons of flowers and tomatoes, and so much more! She routinely offers seed saving classes through the public library system and through the Master Gardeners.
Dan Meyer, Tim McKinley, & Claire Opperman, MORNING OWL FARM
Morning Owl Farm is a sustainable and natural produce farm eight miles from the heart of Idaho’s capitol city. Established in 2004 and overlooking the Boise River on Hammer Flat, they incorporate the best practices in sustainable agriculture to provide CSA subscriptions and produce for local restaurants and other wholesale outlets. They do not use any synthetic sprays, fertilizers, or chemicals nor any genetically modified seeds or plant starts. Dan, Claire, and Tim grow Glass Gem Corn, Gold Medal & Black Cherry Tomatoes, Pintung Long Eggplant, Rainbow Lacinto Kale, and Thai Basil for seed.
The Sommer Family, PURPLE SAGE FARM
We grow a wide variety of culinary and medicinal herbs, specialty greens, specialty vegetables, and grass-fed lamb. We have been Certified Organic for 30 years and our farm is just North of Middleton, Idaho. We sell our produce to wholesale distributors, restaurants, grocery stores, at the Boise Farmers Market and online.
Purple Sage Farms is a family owned and operated organic farm, one of the oldest food-producing farms in the Treasure Valley, they grow fresh herbs, greens, and specialty produce in greenhouses. Started in 1988 in Middleton by Tim and Tamara to return to their farming roots and raise their kids on the land, they grow fresh herbs, greens, and specialty produce in greenhouses. Now those “kids”, Mike, Arlie & Kelby – the next generation – have taken over!
They were trailblazers in organic growing practices and helped to establish Idaho’s state organic certification. They are dedicated to contributing seed to Snake River Seed Cooperative because they believe that a huge part of being sustainable is being self-reliant by growing your own seed, or growing seed for your local community which keeps genes and dollars here where they can do the most good.
They grow seed for: Culinary Sage, Bloomsdale Spinach, Lemon Balm, Cilantro, Visnaga, Siberian Kale, Rue, Cress, Bronze Fennel, Dragon Carrot, Goldenrod, & Chrysanthemum.
Anaka Mines, TWISP RIVER SEED
Twisp River Seed is a 1 acre farm which has been producing vegetable, herb, and flower seed since 2013. Located 3 miles up Twisp River from the tiny town of Twisp, WA, all seed produced is sold wholesale to seed retailers around the region and the country. They specialize in seed crops that thrive in the semi-arid inland Northwest, but like to experiment and maintain a diverse cropping system and also maintain a few plant breeding projects on the side.
This year she grew a wide variety of crops for seed: Bee Balm, Yellowstone & Scarlet Nantes Carrots, Fava Beans, Butterfly Milkweed, California Mix & Hungarian Blue Poppies, Misato Rose Radish, Culinary Sage, Soybean, & Costata Romanesco Zucchini.
Kelly Kingsland & Russell Poe, AFFINITY FARMS
Established in 2002 on the northern edge of Moscow, Kelly and Russells farm is Certified Naturally Green (CNG) since 2007 and they adhere to organic farming practices. They operate a CSA, sell veggies at the Moscow Farmers Market, as well supplying local restaurants and the Moscow Food Coop; and are excited about the new endeavor of growing seeds for Snake River Seeds!
This year they grew for seed: Black Cherry, Moscow, Latah, Snow White Cherry, Sungold TOMATOES; Black Beauty, Cocozelle, Costata Romanesca, & Dark Star ZUCCHINIS; and Yellow Crookneck SQUASH.
Find them on the web here: https://certified.naturallygrown.org/producers/1417
James Loomis, GREEN TEAM FARM
Salt Lake CIty, Utah
The Green Team Farm is a 1.5 acre urban farm serving to simultaneously revitalize a blighted block of the city while serving as a job training and rehabilitation program for 8 women currently facing homelessness. The farm also serves as a demonstration site for forward thinking approaches to human powered agriculture, permaculture, and renewable energy systems.
Marty Camberlango & Katie Painter, CITY GARDENS
Garden City, Idaho
Danny, Lexy, and Finola Bee O’Malley and James and Leslee Reed, ONSEN FARM
Onsen, which means “healing hot springs” in Japanese has the good fortune to have a unique resource of 130 degree geothermal artesian water which enables them to grow produce all winter in 5 high tunnel greenhouses. They have a winter CSA, sell online through Idaho’s Bounty, and supply a number of restaurants and boutique grocers, bsides growing seeds for SRSC. They grow both organically in the soil and with aquaponics. Onsen Farm‘s mission/vision is to create a model of a permaculture based way of living using sustainable and ethical practices in raising healthy food for vibrant people. This year, Onsen grew Waltham Butternut Squash, Cocozelle Zucchini, and Nasturtium seeds for us!
We have the distinct pleasure of working with John “JC” Caccia in a number of ways. He grows a couple of seed crops for the Co-op, including the rare Smooth German Kale, which is an annual kale, superb for seed saving in places where it’s difficult to get kale to overwinter (It is normally a biennial and must go through a winter to set seed). However, John’s work in the seed movement extends far beyond his seed gardening, where he specializes in garlic adapted to the Wood River Valley. John also coordinates the Wood River Seed Library in Ketchum, and works with the Rocky Mountain Seed Alliance, which is our seedy bioregional umbrella organization. Those guys do such great work all over the mountain West networking, educating, and connecting seed stewards (including us!), and John has worked with them since their inception. I’ll also throw it out there that in addition to being an incredible human, John is also a talented silversmith, and his Mountain Angels jewelry includes some beautiful seed beads!
Idaho Falls, Idaho
Reiley Jade, FLOWERS WITH RYE
Flowers with Rye grows cut flowers and flowers for seed in Boise, Idaho. One of the main values of the farm is sustainability, which is often disregarded in the flower seed industry. Reiley Ney, the woman behind the farm, believes that local flowers and local seeds are just as important as local food. Her favorite part about growing flowers for seed is watching the flowers develop through the multiple phases of their life cycle.
FIDDLERS GREEN FARM
Fiddler’s Green Farm is a small, diverse, Certified Organic farm located in the Dry Creek Valley just outside of Boise, Idaho. We grow a wide array of vegetables and cut flowers for local markets. We believe in building community through people’s connection with food. You can find our products at The Boise Farmers Market, the Boise Co-op, and several Boise restaurants.
Joseph Lofthouse, LOFTHOUSE LANDRACE SEEDS
Joseph Lofthouse farms in Paradise, Utah and along with beekeeping and growing produce for the farmers market, he is also a seedsman of the highest caliber. He is gracious enough to grow several pure varieties for the Snake River Seed Co-op, but more importantly, he’s keeping it interesting through his own LOFTHOUSE LANDRACE SEEDS project. If you ever need the straight skinny on the most important thing we as seed savers can be doing for the future of agriculture, it’s good to spend a little time with someone like Joseph. While in so much of the seed world the focus is on “maintaining uniformity and varietal purity,” Joseph takes the opposite approach, allowing varieties to cross wildly in his field to create robust and diverse land races that provide greater resilience, variety, and delight than a standard, uniform variety.
Kelsey Jae Nunez
IDAHO BOTANICAL GARDENS
Dusty Perkins and students, COLLEGE OF WESTERN IDAHO – BIOLOGY CLUB
The College of Western Native Plant Display is a living exhibition that showcases many plants of the Intermountain West and Rocky Mountains. The primary purpose of the display is to educate the public about the remarkable plants that have adapted to the unique climate conditions of this region. The display further serves as a demonstration of how native plants can be used to create attractive, low-maintenance and water-wise landscaping that enhances natural biodiversity. The garden is home to events that include the CWI Native plant sale (mid-April), Native plant and seed cleaning workshops (Fall) and routine service learning events.
Thumbs Heath, PEACEFUL PURPLE PRODUCE PEOPLE
Thumbs’ bio: Peaceful Purple Produce People is an unofficial nonprofit disorganization.
Casey’s addition to Thumbs’ bio: Thumbs Heath has been stewarding and breeding seeds in and around the Gospel Hump Wilderness in central Idaho for over 30 years. He was a phD candidate in plant breeding at UC Davis when he made the decision to step away from the often money-driven modern plant breeding apparatus and instead focus his breeding efforts for the public good. He specializes in garlic, amaranth, and heritage grains, as well as in purple crop varieties. He hypothesizes that the purple color in plants makes them more drought-tolerant, heat-tolerant, and cold-tolerant, and he has painstakingly collected and selected dozens of purple cultivars of crops ranging from kale to corn to carrots, and so many others. Thumbs is one of Idaho’s living treasures–his seed work is unparalleled and while he doesn’t go in for modern conveniences like phones, computers, or money, we’re glad to help him bridge that gap. We are humbled and honored to be able to partner with him to bring hundreds of his seed varieties, selected for small-scale subsistence level agriculture, to the community on his behalf.
Angus Hughes, BLUEBIRD FOREST GARDEN
Angus has been gardening one way or another most of his life and is now living on a five acre forest with a large garden and orchard that produces most of his fresh food needs. He has an interest in native food crops as well as perennial crops and year-round harvest. http://www.village4health.org/bluebird-forest-garden/
James Duxbury, B&B Farms
Implementing natural process farming methods which includes berries, roots ,veggies and wine grapes on over 5 acres In Kuna Idaho.
I’m a hobby grower. Enjoy contributing how I’m able. I support, and acknoledge the importance of having a network and source for bio regionally produced seeds. Respect, admire, and am thankful for all the work that S.R.S.C. puts forth to provide us with such a valuable resource.
Dana Rassmussen, FELLOWSHIP FARM
Big Timber, Montana
Dave is the breeder of Painted Mountain Corn, which he bred by selecting and breeding from dozens of strains of flour corns for over 40 years in the mountains of Montana. It is the earliest maturing flour corn in North America. We’re honored to share this variety straight from the source!