Will at work tilling our main garden
Our homestead is a mile and a half from the road; a neighbor watches
Summer tilling the North garden pumpkin patches
I’m checking one of our isolated corn patches
We are perhaps the smallest “seed business” around! My husband and I are the whole “crew”; we don’t have interns or apprentices available. So we do it all from tilling to seed harvesting by hand. With that said, let me introduce ourselves. My husband, Will, and I have been homesteaders for over fifty years and have always been interested in saving open pollinated seeds as a continuation of our self-reliant lifestyle. Many of you will recognize me (Jackie Clay-Atkinson) from my articles in Backwoods Home Magazine and Self-Reliance, magazines supporting a self-reliant lifestyle, and my blog on the Backwoods Home website, HOMESTEADING WITH JACKIE CLAY. My husband and I have been especially interested in preserving heritage open pollinated seeds which have been around for a long, long time and are often in danger of becoming extinct as commercial hybrids continually take their place.
However, these hybrids often have been developed for commercial growing, having traits such as good shipping ability, ripening all at once or appearance on store shelves. They do not have the complex and wonderful flavors of old-time open pollinated varieties that have been around so long because of great traits. Some are Native American crops. Others were family favorites, brought to this country by immigrants from many different countries throughout the centuries.
All open pollinated crops are not old; some have been recently developed by seed savers and even hobby gardeners. But both heritage seeds and modern open pollinated varieties allow folks to save their own seeds, saving both lots of money and these great crops.
So we save seeds, by hand, from crops we’ve found to be not only tasty but usually beautiful and very productive. If they don’t taste good, they don’t get raised on our homestead. And living in Zone 3, we only choose very hardy varieties that will grow almost anywhere.
Be assured that any seeds you buy from us will produce well, filling your table and pantry with tasty food. We, ourselves, plant, harvest and collect the seeds from each crop. We DO NOT offer any treated or GMO seeds. We garden organically, with no use of chemicals although we have not become certified because of all the hoops involved.
We homestead and garden for the joy and intense sense of security it gives us and hope you enjoy the variety, production, taste and beauty of our crops which our seeds produce. Our homestead is right in the middle of the woods of Northern Minnesota, composing of an off-grid log home on 160 acres from which we’ve cleared several big garden spots, fenced with 6′ fence to keep out the abundant wildlife.
Please click on “seed catalog” in black bar at top to view what we have to offer this year! And I promise you there’s a lot more to look at for 2018. Thanks for coming. And a special thanks to our return customers as your loyalty and purchases support our homestead and let us accomplish much each year we wouldn’t be able to do without you. So a huge THANK YOU!!!