Restoring Our Seed




* Will Bonsall, curator of the Seed Savers Exchange collections for potatoes, peas and many minor crops, will contribute expertise in cultivating biennials in short-season climates, isolating cross-pollinating crops and conserving our genetic inheritance.

* Judy Dow, an Abenaki environmental educator will teach indigenous knowledge of how to restore native habitats to encourage healthy farms; to awaken meaning and purpose in the relationships of plants, insects, wildlife and people within the farm ecosystem.

* Dr. Mark Hutton, Maine cooperative extension, has 14 years industry experience in breeding for disease resistance, selection and seed production. Mark will assist in extension and monitoring of the research site at MOFGA.

Eli Kaufman, a research fellow with , co-coordinates Restoring Our Seed and teaches the Seed Stewards and Sustainable Schools program in New England, and in Jerusalem with

Jack Kertesz, an experienced seed grower and former farm manager at Johnny's, manages the MOFGA seed research and demonstration site.

 CR Lawn, of, is our project coordinator. He conducts extensive field trials to evaluate and reintroduce almost-forgotten open-pollinated heirlooms into commercial production. CR conducts workshops on the economics of seed production and building regional seed growers' networks.  

* Nicolas Lindholm, Director of the Maine Seed Saving Network, a non-profit seed-saving organization, is co-coordinating the web-manual.



 Frank Morton, plant breeder of extraordinary edible landscape and salad varieties, is an expert in the ecological dynamics of seed production. He will present workshops on whole farm cropping systems and habitats for diverse pollinators. His Wild Garden Seeds are available through:

The intent of Frank's work is '"Ecological crop improvement by and for farmers". To this end he develops varieties through trials and reselection with stress, pest, and disease pressure. Only the best strains make it to field production, and these get prime care in fertile organic soil to encourage large healthy seed.

 * Dr. John Navazio, plant breeder and educator for crop improvement in organic systems, has 12 years experience in breeding for disease resistance, nutrition and plant vigor and 20 years in organic agriculture, including 8 as a vegetable grower. John received a doctorate in plant breeding at the University of Wisconsin and worked as a plant breeder at Garden City Seeds in Montana and at the Alf Christianson Seed Co. in Washington before starting SEEDS in Iowa City, Iowa, his own company dedicated to farmer-breeder partnerships using traditional breeding techniques. John works with farmers to increase seedling vigor, horizontal resistance to diseases, and tolerance to heat, cold, and drought stress in bioregionally-adapted vegetable varieties.  

* Dr. Raoul Robinson, trainer with FAO and author of Return to Resistance, has pioneered farmer-based breeding for resistance to local pests and disease. Raoul will provide support to develop farmer-breeding programs in New England. See:,

* Matt Rulevich, the Mass coordinator for Restoring Our Seed, raises forty acres of certified organic crops of vegetables, hay, grains and sheep at the New England Small Farm Institute in Belchertown, MA . Matt's 2002 seed crops include: 'New York Early' onions, 'Vermont True Cranberry' pole bean, 'Shirofumi' soybeans, 'Black Jet' soybeans, 'Maple Glen' and 'Vinton 81' tofu soybeans, 'Sheba' hulless barley, winter rye, soft white winter wheat, oats, and 'Wapsee Valley' dent corn. Most crops are harvested with either of two John Deere model 40 combines. Crops are cleaned with either an old 'Vac-a-way' or 'Clipper 2B-special' fanning/screening seed mill.

*Jon Thurston and Neil Lash, are seed educators with the Medomak Valley High School Heritage Seed Project:

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