Three Dogs Seed Farm was established in Fall 2020 by myself, Dani, and my husband Benny. For us, this farm is a dream realized. Benny and I have been involved with growing and seedkeeping in some form for about a decade. It had been our hope that some day we would be able to start a seed farm of our own –perhaps within the next decade. As the universe would have it, twenty acres of land a mile and a half from our home was put on the market last summer. I can remember riding my bike past the new “For Sale” signs and turning around to take a picture to send to Benny. At the time, I didn’t think we’d actually end up starting a seed farm now, but I also couldn’t believe that this opportunity had presented itself. We were both drawn to the land. We knew how great the soil was and we had some idea of who had lived there the past few years-- namely a couple cows in the spring, a handful of horses in the summer, and the visiting gyrfalcon that decided to claim one of the ash snags as their hunting post in spring 2017. This spot was so close to home, too – it was on our bike route. We could walk there! We decided to seal the deal. By the end of 2020, we were the proud new human caretakers of a future seed farm, which at that point resembled a field of grasses, goldenrod, and asters.
We began by planting nearly 400 cloves of heirloom garlic, twenty-five species of native plants, and a few dozen white pine and tamarack trees within days of closing on the farm in fall of 2020. We will plant 60-80 additional varieties of foods, medicinal plants, native plants and shrubs, and flowers in 2021.
We are focused on seeds because we believe seed sovereignty is crucial for food sovereignty. We aim to serve as a source for locally adapted and respectfully grown seeds. We also aim to provide seed stewardship education in our region and look forward to hosting on-farm seedkeeping meet-ups.
While we’re currently working to stay warm with the single digit high temperatures, we are so excited to share everything that we have in the works for 2021! I’ve been busy poring over our seeds, considering isolation distances and growing needs, planning plantings, sketching out field plans, and thinking about the potential for this growing season.
I’m excited. I’m excited to think about the incredible variety of beans that we’ll be planting and wondering how the squash and watermelons will do. I’m excited to see which insects and birds decide to visit. I’m anxiously waiting to see how our first-year growing efforts will be received by the soil, which has played home to perennial grasses for quite some time. Will we get much rain this year or have an extended droughty period? Will there be early frosts or an extended summer? Will we be able to come to some sort of agreement with the current animals that know the field and den up in the forest to the east? What seeds will I be able to offer up to our community a year from now? This is the dream realized.