Cultivating the Co-op
On Friday November 4th we gathered at Purple Sage Farms in Middleton, ID who kindly hosted this year’s meeting! In the past we've held the meeting in the Summer, but in line with our producer-driven value, we surveyed growers in the late Spring to ask where and when they wanted to conduct this year’s meeting. The majority wanted to have it later in the year, at the time that they normally bring or ship the seeds for the coming season.
This annual gathering is important for a number of reasons. It provides our cooperative with a sense of community. It helps the employees develop deeper connection with the seed growers, and provides us hope, and inspiration for things to come. We come away from these with more gratitude for the growers each season. At the gathering we closed out the session with a circle-up, and expressed our feelings about the day in one word. Some growers expressed hope, some felt empowered, and there was an expressed sense of pride in the co-op overall.
It’s wonderful to be able to just see one another! Many attendees met for the first time in person. With the help of a grant the co-op was able to cover the cost of travel for growers making the trek from farther reaches of the Intermountain West, including Western Montana, Northern Idaho, and Utah. Growers from all over the valley navigated a snowy morning and joined us in Middleton.
Danny O’Malley presented the Operations and Wholesale report, and Reiley Carney provided the Financial Outcomes of the past year. Growers offered feedback, asked questions, and discussions were held that serve to inform our function in a cooperative fashion.
After snacks and an inspiring tour of the many epic operations of Purple Sage Farms, we had a meaningful discussion about some key plans for the coming year, inviting feedback about how we do crop selection and provide insight on the seeds that each grower cares for and cultivates. We also talked about knowledge sharing within the co-op, what we share with the seedy world of small scale seed farmers, and the importance of sharing knowledge to help seed growers from all around.
Many hands holding the seeds keeps them safer—a tenet we’ve grown with from the beginning of this seed cooperative.
Learn about our growers by visiting our Growers Page!