2023 marked the launch of the ASN Seed Increase Initiative. Already, by mid-summer, our volunteer growers have seed increases on isolated populations of several key summer crop types (tomatoes, corn, beans, amaranth, quinoa and various Cucurbit species) well in hand. We’ will’ll provide further updates as summer turns to fall. Toward the end of the year, we hope to host a winter seed exchange allowing us to meet up and begin sharing the fruits of our seed-increase labors with one another
We have had much longer to prepare for seed increases throughout the winter season, however, and the opportunity it provides to focus increase efforts on seed crops which require a period of vernalization (a period of prolonged winter cold to induce flowering). The great majority of our mainstay Brassica crops (kales and cabbages and so forth) require vernalization to produce seed. The winter season therefore represents a crucial period in our larger efforts to secure a regenerative local food system.
We have already begun distributing seed for over-wintered crops to potential growers and we will also be raising transplants for growers, too. Already this year, we have learned that providing transplants ready-to-go, from our nursery in Cottage Grove, OR, is proving to be a very attractive option for growers.
For those of you curious in raising winter crops for eating or seed, here’s a calendar providing a simple introduction to timing on the broad but common array of crop types we raise through winter. Do any of these crops appeal to you as a seed increase project?
Crops we are currently seeking support for seed increases on, include field crops such as:
And a broad array of greenhouse crops including extensive diversity within the following:
Assorted Asian greens