The Seed Stewards
February 7, 2019 8:04 AM   Subscribe

Farmer Kristyn Leach is empowering people of color to preserve their own agricultural history.

On a sunny day in May, Kristyn Leach uncoiled a length of garden hose outside a greenhouse on her farm. With a baseball cap as her only shade, she hosed off several plastic seedling trays, which she planned to fill with a potting mix of her own making—part soil from the farm, part compost, and part rice hulls—before planting seeds for eggplants, soybeans, and long beans. Under the half-circle shelter of the greenhouse, seedlings in similar trays placed atop folding tables sprouted all around, their green leaves like tiny flags staking a claim on life.

posted by poffin boffin (5 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
 
Thanks for sharing this!
posted by crush at 9:16 AM on February 7


Thank you, poffin boffin. The story behind the Kitazawa Seed Company is also interesting. Heirloom stewardship ftw.
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:42 AM on February 7 [1 favorite]


Many of his customers had relocated due to land ownership changes.

this is surely the gentlest understatement I have ever seen.
posted by poffin boffin at 12:25 PM on February 7 [5 favorites]


This is so great- I use Kitazawa seeds in my garden!
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 1:27 PM on February 7


In Leach’s own trials thus far, Chinese broccoli did not perform well with less water, but eggplants did. “I watched half of our crops be really unhappy, like I was torturing these plants.” But she saved the seeds from the unhappy plants and planted them again, and then again. “A fairly short amount of time later, all of our eggplants are grown in that manner that that first set was subjected to. And now they’re just producing like normal.”
I wondered at first that she experimented with under watering half her crop (to see what did fine and what didn't surely you wouldn't need as much) but this is brilliant. She's seeing what she can adapt to California's amount of water.
posted by Margalo Epps at 8:21 PM on February 7 [1 favorite]


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