Environmental Planner turned
Food Activist and Farmer
I'm Farmer John. Not sure how I really got that name, it was somewhere between vegetable gardening and raising rare poultry I think. It was my dream to start this seed company. I suppose I should start from the beginning...
I was fortunate to have been born with “green” veins. My grandparents on Dad's side lived way back a dirt road in the piney woods of Texas. I remember going to visit them as a child was always a bit of an adventure, as they were literally over two rivers, a creek and way through the woods! I always remember my grandparents having a huge organic vegetable garden that made up a great deal of their diet. Seven kids sprang from this garden and their ability to feed their children from it.
I remember grandma teaching me the "secrets" to planting tomatoes, thumbing through her collection of vegetable seed catalogs and I always knew the best place to find fishing worms was in her rich compost pile.
I'm grateful to have been exposed to heirloom seed even this far back. Who knew looking at Grandma's vegetable seed catalogs, published by so many colorful vegetable seed companies would have such an effect on me. I wonder if Grandma would have ever guessed I would one day have my own heirloom seed company! Her and Grandpa's interest in growing veggies certainly had an impact in my life.
As a toddler, I followed my mother threw her beautiful gardens taking small steps and learning the basics of the gardening world. She and I would sit for hours on the back patio carefully potting vegetable seedlings. Anytime I showed an interest beyond her knowledge she took me to the library where I discovered a wonderful world of vegetable plant books at my finger tips.
I created my first large vegetable garden and 16’ greenhouse when I was 9 with the help of my supportive father. He brought home materials for that greenhouse over a period of 6 months before we finally had enough to build it. I just couldn’t get enough; in fact my greenhouse was the first place I went each day when I came home from school. It was the best classroom I could have had as a young boy. If I wasn't there; I was in my vegetable garden planting heirloom seeds the French neighbor shared with me from her native homeland. Each heirloom seed had a story of some far away place. I was a bit over zealous perhaps because that small plot of organic land in our backyard did over run my poor mother and neighbors with tomatoes, beans and squash for many years, but they never complained.
It seems I was surrounded by supportive people growing up. I even had a scout master that owned a nursery chain and donated hundreds of azaleas to my eagle scout project of beautifying our local church. Later; I became an environmental planner deepening my studies in native plants and learned to protect the green world around us from a political stand point. After 12 years of this I took out my 401K and opened a large retail nursery. I even started an on-line organic seed company when the “net” was just blossoming.
After this I started studying herbs and plant medicines. I traveled as far as Central America learning from shamans deep in the jungles, collecting seeds and ancestral secrets on how to grow them. Herbalism is what brought me to study here in California at the nation’s oldest and totally organic herbal school. Once here I met amazing folks with the same passions I had and began to realize that “talking to plants” wasn’t something unique to me! In fact I learned I was in the hot bed of such an area with Luther Burbank’s home and vegetable test fields just down the road!
Looking back I’m humbled to have had the love and support of so many people.
For the last two years I have been asking myself how I can give back to these people, all people and this planet that has nourished me for so long.
My answer is the Sustainable Seed Company. A Organic Seed Company offering over 1570 types of heirloom seeds to the world.
How did you end up in Covelo? I lived in the mountains north of town in 1977-1980. It's a beautiful place.
thats a great story, especially the fact that you started so early... you should have green sprouting out of your ears by now!
I discovered my love for a greenhouse and nursing plants just a year ago (and back then I was already 57 years young.)
Keep up the good work, I am growing a variety of you seed as we 'speak'.
And thank you for doing what you are doing.
I just saw your company featured on foodcrafters. You are so handsome.
Thanks .. great seeds last year close to 100% germination ratio.Charles
Thanks a million! What a quick response too, really do appreciate it. WeJenny
"We love your seed company! Thanks for providing the best seed!"Florida Urban Gardener
Thanks for what you do! Just made my first order with you!Tracy
Thanks. The marigold seeds i brought from you last year did very well and there is another fact I wanted to share with you, which is that the Kamut wheat did very well in my poorish soil that i did not fertilize for it!Rose
The pkg w/my order arrived. Thanks so much... I WILL be visiting your site again and again !Donna
Congratulations on your recent organic certification! ! ! A feat well done. I do have a few photos from veggies I grew from your seeds I'll get to you. My digital camera link to computer made its way to my daughters house by accident. Once it's...Tina
Just wanted to say a BIG THANK YOU for customizing my safety seed package and for all the wonderful info. IMary
I think your service is great, your selection is amazing, and your prices do not break the bank! So I am looking forward to doing business with you in the future.Marianna
I've heard good things about your company! THANK YOU!Cathy