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Stories, Seeds & Infographics

New ways of telling stories in the 21st Century by Petra Page-Mann There are so many ways to tell a story. Over tea, reading a book, at the theater, or in the Small Farm Quarterly. In the 21st Century, ‘infographics’ are a fresh way of telling your story. And just in the nick of time.  The attention span of American … Read More

New Heirloom Vegetables for the Finger Lakes

Visionary collaborations are creating new varieties to thrive in the Finger Lakes — which ones will become heirlooms for future generations? by Petra Page-Mann Although they materialize everyday before our eyes, new books are written by people who spend countless hours and often years writing them. The plants that feed us daily also are created … Read More

Habanada: The Unmasked Habanero

by Petra Page-Mann We are surrounded by brilliant innovations, some old and some new. Electricity, weaving, combustion, language: each one began as an unthinkable notion. Each had passionate people who believed it could be done who tried, failed and tried again. The dedication of countless visionaries surrounds us. Agriculture itself is such an innovation, one … Read More

Seed, Story & Citizen: An Interview with Scott Chaskey

By Petra Page-Mann Scott Chaskey has been well described as a working farmer, poet, and spiritual father of the community farming movement. Twenty five years ago he began Quail Hill Farm, one of the original CSAs in the country, as an innovative stewardship project with the Peconic Land Trust on Long Island. Currently serving 250 CSA … Read More

Cultivating the Heirlooms of Tomorrow

Whether you plant seeds or not! By Petra Page-Mann Do you breed new vegetable varieties? Do you save seed? Do you wear clothes and eat food? If you answered ‘yes’ to any of these questions, you impact our food system at the seed level profoundly. Every day we make decisions that influence what seeds will … Read More

Four Easy Seeds to Save This Season

By Petra Page-Mann Why save seed? You’ll have seed better suited to your farm or garden than any you could buy.  You’ll  learn tons about plants, food and yourself in the process.  Growing, saving and sharing seed is as profound as it is fun! A century ago, to be a gardener was to be a seed … Read More

Seeds, Chefs, and Sustainable Agriculture

What sows local food? Seeds! By Petra Page-Mann Most of the seed sown in the Northeast is grown in arid climates, often thousands of miles away.  However, a burgeoning awareness that local food starts with local seed has come to the table, with passionate voices joining the conversation. “Food is life,” says Scott Signori, head … Read More

Fruition Seeds: A Model for Collaborative, Regional Seed Development

By Petra Page-Mann With over thirty years of combined agricultural experience, Matthew Goldfarb and Petra Page-Mann co-founded Fruition Seeds in 2012 to improve and develop our regional genetic resources. Currently growing over sixty seed crops on three acres in the heart of the Finger Lakes of New York, they are dedicated to organic, open-pollinated and … Read More

The Case for Regional Seed

By Petra Page-Mann  There is so much in a seed. Each seed tells the story of its entire life history, millions of years in the making.  A few seeds, in a single generation, may travel the globe.  Most will stay within their watershed and most likely, their microclimate.  In this way, seeds become profoundly adapted to … Read More

From Seed to Shining Seed

by Petra Page-Mann Welcome to our new feature column on the topic of seeds! As local and organic become mainstream, the seed sowing our food has largely been left out of the conversation. Why does seed matter? In no way small or simple, each seed (open-pollinated, hybrid, GMO) sows a story much larger and more … Read More