Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Seed rEvolution Now
Promoting and distributing high quality, open-pollinated, organically grown, public-domain vegetable seeds , and working with organizations and farmers to create a functional cooperative network of seed breeders, producers, and customers.

Proud seed farmer Rich Pecoraro of Abbondanza Seeds in Colorado shows off some of his high desert quality seed.

The Challenge

Today we are facing an unprecedented challenge to our very survival as the climate destabilizes. Farmers everywhere are scrambling to find crops that perform well under stressful conditions. At the same time, we have lost 90% of the crop varieties that were available just 80 years ago, as corporations have moved to commodify and monopolize all aspects of our food system.

To counter this dilemma, Seed rEvolution Now is working with skilled, certified organic seed growers and seed specialists to promote and provide open-pollinated (OP) top quality certified organic seed that farmers can save, select, and regrow if they so desire. This is our heritage and our birthright.

The Challenger

Steve Peters is a seed professional who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. With over 35 years of experience in organic farming and agricultural research, Steve has specialized for the past two decades in working with organically grown, open-pollinated seed. 

After a start as a market gardener in upstate New York, he returned to graduate school and obtained an MS in veg crops. He worked as a research scientist at the Rodale Institute Research Center in Pennsylvania for nine years. Next, for fifteen years, he built a remarkable inventory for Seeds of Change, creating a cadre of skilled seed growers in the process. 
Most recently he was the farm supervisor at the Native Seeds/SEARCH farm in southern Arizona. Upon moving to the San Francisco Bay Area for family reasons, he’s founded Seed rEvolution Now, in order to further the mission of providing the organic community with high quality public domain seed.

Contact Steve Peters:
T:   505-660-3933  E:

Seed rEvolution Now Services

Bridging the gap between seed customers,  plant breeders and seed producers, Seed Revolution Now provides the following services:

  • SRN offers certified organic OP seed in bulk quantities to farmers and retailers at competitive prices.
  • Provides detailed information on crop performance under varied conditions.
  • Contracts with seed farmers to satisfy specific custom seed requests.
  • Consults with market growers to assist in seed selection appropriate to their situation.
  • Conducts on-farm variety trials and disseminates findings to the organic farming community.
  • Teaches workshops and classes on seed saving.
  • Writes articles on seed sovereignty.
  • Networks with farmers and organizations to establish a national co-operative of organic OP seed breeders, growers and customers. 

Steve teams up with OSA crop scientist Jared Zystro to set up comparison trials on a leading organic farm in the Capay Valley of California. Field trials on organic farms are a critical stage in the development of improved strains. By growing a broad range of varieties including  growers’ current standard cultivars and several promising new strains,  informed decisions can be made. 

Meeting the needs of organic seed consumers

Organic market farmers face continuous and growing challenges to meet the desires of their customers. Seed Revolution Now offers help, matching seed customers with producers who can develop OP varieties that address market demands.

Traditional OP Breeding

We have been told that GMO technology is the only way we can possibly feed our burgeoning population. This is not true. Traditional breeding is fully capable of meeting our needs. OP breeding allows every generation of plants to respond to a changing environment, with each new selection leading to further adaptations. Key features of this dynamic approach include:
  • Developing “workhorse” varieties for a wide range of environments.
  • Developing varieties for specific climatic and soil conditions.
  • Selecting for durable, multi-gene disease and/or pest resistance.
  • Breeding for plant vigor and reliably high yields.
  • Selecting for distinctive consumer qualities such as outstanding flavor, unique color, and elevated nutritional content.
  • Invites the participation of seed customers in the improvement of varieties for their specific needs.
  • Allows farmers to save and select seed, if they so choose, for their own seed sovereignty.

 Seed Bred For Organic Conditions

All of the varieties offered by Seed Revolution Now are open-pollinated, public domain, and organically grown by skilled certified organic seed farmers. They are either tried and true heritage varieties or new improved selections with characteristics that are especially valuable for organic market gardeners. At times we may offer seeds that carry a royalty charge to compensate breeders for their work, but access to genetic material is never restricted. The following offerings are a representative sampling of available seed.  Contact Steve Peters for the most current seed listing.

Stella Blue Winter Squash

Dark orange flesh is exceptionally sweet and nutty on a high-yielding Hokkaido/Kabocha cross.  This Cucurbita maxima has light slate blue smooth skin. 95-105 days 

Discovered by Bill Reynolds at a local market in northern CA and selected for organic cultivation at his dryland farm in Humbolt County, Stella Blue is a reliable yielder, offering the market grower an excellent medium sized winter squash with a chestnut-like texture that appeals to discening clientele.

Scarlet Runner Bean

Originally from Mexico, and a favorite in the British Isles, this beautiful, long-producing climber is great eating as a snap bean, in the green shell stage, or as a dry bean. Brilliant red-orange flowers attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Excellent quick screen. 90-95 days to dry stage.

Lemon Cucumber

Unusual spherical fruit with thin tender skin and sweet/tart succulent flesh, this is a traditional  backyard favorite for fresh eating. A reliable yielder of 2-3" diameter juicy yellow cukes. Great market variety. 70-75 days

Shiraz Tall Top Beet

This delicious improved dual-purpose beet was developed for organic production, and shows significant resistance to rhizoctonia dry rot. As the name implies, the tops are especially tall and sturdy, and make a wonderful steamed green. It's the result of a five-year breeding collaboration between Organic Seed Alliance crop scientist Dr. John Navasio and organic seed farmers Randy Carey (OR) and Bill Reynolds (CA). 55-60 days

Dark Star Zucchini

Proven superior to hybrid varieties on large organic farms, this drought and frost resistant variety has a sturdy, open habit with 30% more leaf area, and a deep root systems, resulting in strong, healthy, easily harvested plants; a boon to the organic grower. Straight, faceted, glossy dark fruits of high lutein content.  Long harvest window from vigorous plants. 50-55 days

A collaboration between John Navazio, Steve Peters, and Bill Reynolds, perfected on Bill’s dryland farm in northern CA. Bill credits the remarkable qualities of this break-away variety to his dry farming technique.

                                                                                                        A dozen years later, Bill examines his                Dark Star grown in a trial at Full Belly Farm in California's Capay Valley, where it exhibits more vigor under disease stress than their standard hybrid variety. Continuing trials and selections in different environments lead to further crop improvements.

Dragon Carrot

With deep red-violet skin and yellow-orange interior, this is the best tasting purple carrot on the market, with a bit of spiciness. This is another excellent variety bred by John Navazio and selected by skilled Colorado seed farmer Rich Pecoraro. Strong tops for good bunching.  70-80 days

Contact Steve Peters for the most current seed listing and prices. Seed available in quantities from one ounce to ten pounds for most varieties.


1 comment:

  1. Seed revolution is really needed with this advancement of science and technology. This blog is really very useful to raise awareness about gardening. Thanks for it.