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What is Sustainable?

Just what is Sustainable Agriculture and how does that apply to the seed we grow?

Years ago we coined the term in the seed industry and now many others have followed suit.  That is a good thing!  However, this is what it means to us...

Bee Friendly Farming

We were one of the charter members of PARTNERS FOR SUSTAINABLE POLLINATION and the only seed company to join this groundbreaking movement.

Pursuing collaborative approaches between farmers, growers, beekeepers and scientists to develop ways to improve health of honey bees in pollination services and support native pollinators.

Sustainable Seed Co. not only supports this effort, but we keep over 24 hives on our farms. We also run a bee rescue service. Protecting bees from being exterminated.

No other heirloom seed company in the world is doing this!

 

No Chemical Fertilizers

We NEVER use chemical fertilizers! Why? We do not believe many of the elements used in chemical fertilizers are sustainable. In fact, many are disappearing quickly across the planet such as potassium and phosphorus which come from mines. That means once they are used up there are no more. This is not sustainable. We also believe in studies that show chemical fertilizers kill the beneficial micro flora/fauna that make up the soil and are symbiotically linked to plant health/nutrition.

What do we do?

We first plant cover crops which enrich the soil as green manure through nitrogen fixation. They also fix phosphorous as well through nutrient mobilization. We then allow the sheep to graze on this area feeding the sheep, who in return leave their manure in the field to further enrich the soil. We even use left over sheep wool and hoof trimmings to mulch the plants. When an animal passes away be it a chicken or a sheep, that animal is returned to that same soil further feeding it and closing the sustainable circle of life.

 

NO Pesticides or Herbicides!

We NEVER use harmful pesticides on the farm. We don't want to breath or eat it. We don't want it destroying our wild pollinators or the honey bees we use to help pollinate our seed crops. We have learned that when the "good" bugs are kept in balance with the "bad" bugs we do just fine. We don't fight mother nature. We have learned to farm in harmony with her and that means sometimes planting extra crops. That means using what natural means we have available to us as well. Like the chickens who pick off the bugs as they go through the fields or the ducks/geese as they weed the rows.

Saving Precious Water

Over 70% of the crops we currently grow are grown with 0% supplemental water. Meaning once they are planted we never water them again. This is called Dry Farming and his been done for centuries. We are blessed here to be so close to the Pacific Coast and every night the fog creeps in spreading her blanket of moisture all over the fields. When we do use water, we use drip lines that water only the plants themselves saving every valuable drop. Unlike field flooding or sprinkler system that waste thousands of gallons. We incorporate permaculture designs in our fields catching natural rainfalls and storing that water deep in the soil. We enrich the soil through the use of bio matter in the form of green manures. This rich matter soaks up moisture like a sponge slowly releasing it back to plants.

 

Re-purposing Local Waste Products

Sustainable Seed Company along with Equator Coffee have joined forces to reuse what would be a waste product. Equator Coffee realized they had a lot of coffee chaff left over from the roasting process that would be going to landfills. They also had a great deal of wonderful burlap bags that could be reused. Equator is a woman owned, organic and eco friendly company concerned about the footprint they make on the earth. So it was only natural that they would team up with Sustainable Seed Company to re-purpose these materiel's. Sustainable Seed Company reuses these valuable resource back into our organic farm. See below video...

 


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