Become a Co-op Grower
Thank you for your interest in growing seeds with Snake River Seed Cooperative and for participating in the growing movement to put seeds back into the hands of small farmers and gardeners! We operate as a grower’s cooperative, which means that each farm involved grows the seed on their own farm, and sells the seed to the Cooperative, who then packs the seed into packets, and sells and distributes them under a common label. We strive to create a cooperative of farmers that share common values and core beliefs which are essential to creating a diversity of locally-adapted seeds for our bioregion. With that in mind, there are a few things you must know and consider before joining our Cooperative:
- Organic Farming Methods. While you are not required to have an organic certification, you must commit to practicing organic growing methods as detailed by the USDA's National Organic Program. Fields and gardens must be managed using organic methods for a minimum of one year prior to being assigned a seed crop. All herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, or fertilizers used in the field where seed crops are grown must be OMRI listed.
- Intermountain West Bioregion. We are committed to sourcing seeds from family farmers within the Intermountain West Bioregion so that our seeds become better adapted to our unique place on Earth. We define this region as all of Idaho, Eastern Washington, Eastern Oregon, Northern Nevada, Northern Utah, Western Wyoming, and Western Montana.
- Understand your Seed Crop. It is up to you to understand how to produce a good-quality seed crop. While we are here to help, we prefer that our growers research and understand their seed crops, including requirements for isolation distances, population sizes, rogueing, harvesting, cleaning and storing.
- Plant Population Requirements. We encourage everyone to save seeds, regardless of the size of your garden. To save seeds commercially, many plants need larger population sizes. This maintains genetic diversity and therefore prevents unwanted characteristics that come with genetic bottle-necking. Please review our list of plant population requirements prior to inquiring about becoming a grower so you know for certain you have the space needed for commercial seed saving. These numbers were gratefully obtained from the Organic Seed Alliance.
- Clean Seed Requirements. Snake River Seed Cooperative strives to pack clean seed, free of chaff, weed seeds, and other inert matter. Growers are required to return clean seed to the cooperative, and the cooperative reserves the right to not accept unclean seed.
- Cooperative Values. We operate our cooperative with five values influencing our decision making. Our five values are Seed Sovereignty, Producer Driven Economic Models, Anti-Racism, Sacred Relationship with the Earth, and Local Economies.
Again, thank you from the depths of our hearts for choosing to spend your time on such a worthwhile activity. We are now accepting inquiries for the 2023 growing season! If you are interested in joining our cooperative as a grower, please click here to fill out the form. We will do our best to respond in a timely manner. Inquiries placed in March-May might experience a longer delay in communication due to the seasonal nature of our business.