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$17,813 pledged of $35,000 goal
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By Sow True Seed
$17,813 pledged of $35,000 goal
backers

All or nothing. This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by .

About this project

Dear Friends,

Sow True Seed was founded in 2009 with the central mission of developing a regional seed system with open-pollinated vegetable, herb and flower seeds. We saw ominous threats to the security and health of our food systems and recognized that seeds were the root of the power. That is why we offer seeds that are always open-pollinated, untreated and GMO-Free.

Chris Smith, Sow True Seed Community Coordinator, teaching a class on seed saving.
Chris Smith, Sow True Seed Community Coordinator, teaching a class on seed saving.

 "Seed is not just the source of life. It is the very foundation of our being." ~Vandana Shiva

Cherokee Trail of Tears
Cherokee Trail of Tears

9 years later, we now steward and offer over 500 varieties of seeds - providing a kind of genetic bank to safeguard the biodiversity of our food supply, and especially those heirlooms indigenous to the Southeastern US. Every year we donate thousands of packets of seeds to hundreds of organizations with a food-based or educational mission. Last year the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association recognized us as Business of the Year. A large reason for this award was our energetic educational outreach, teaching free seed saving classes to hundreds of eager ears. 

2016 Award Recipient: Sow True Seed
2016 Award Recipient: Sow True Seed

“Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” ~HENRY DAVID THOREAU

Sow What?

In the past hundred years, 94% of our seed diversity has been lost. This infographic shows the number of commercially available seed varieties available in 1903 versus 1983... 

Infographic: Center for Food Safety
Infographic: Center for Food Safety

Janisse Ray, seed activist and author, writes:

"Our seeds are disappearing.

When seed varieties vanish from the marketplace, they evaporate not only from collective memory but also from the evolutionary story of the earth. Seeds are more like Bengal tigers than vinyl records, which can simply be remanufactured. Once gone, seeds cannot be resurrected. 

Goodbye, cool seeds. Goodbye, history of civilization. Goodbye, food. 

A seed makes itself. A seed doesn't need a geneticist or hybridist or publicist or matchmaker. But it needs help. Sometimes it needs a moth or a wasp or a gust of wind. Sometimes it needs a farm and it needs a farmer. It needs a garden and a gardener. 

It needs you."

At Sow True Seed, we want you to save your own seeds. We exist to support you in that en-devour. And while the system is changing and people are relearning, then Sow True Seed will save the seeds today so that we can all have a diverse tomorrow. We want diverse seeds grown by diverse people to create a robust and resilient food system.  

As Elliot Coleman said, "Small farmers are a threat to the consolidation of absolute power." 

At Sow True Seed we like to think we are too.

Infographic: How Seeds Became Privatized.
Infographic: How Seeds Became Privatized.

"Are we going to be able to save the diversity of food? In this David versus Goliath battle, do the bad guys win?" ~Janisse Ray

Our Seed Storage Facility

For those of you who have come to see us, you'll agree that Sow True Seed outgrew our little building on Church St. a good few years ago. Well, we're super excited to announce that the challenge to find a new place to call home is over. We are moving to a new, larger building just on the other side of Patton: 243 Haywood St, Asheville NC 28801.

A mega 1.1 mile move, but the new building is SO much better for achieving our seed preservation mission.
A mega 1.1 mile move, but the new building is SO much better for achieving our seed preservation mission.

The biggest reason for needing more space is our seeds. We currently have 545 varieties of seed available to buy with 150 varieties awaiting trialing and seed grow out! We take our seed quality very seriously, conducting external germination testing three times a year at a state run laboratory and we store our seeds in a climate (heat and humidity) controlled seed storage room. That room is currently a little on the small side...

Packing in lots of varieties in a small space!
Packing in lots of varieties in a small space!

The new seed storage facility that we are raising money for is going to be awesome:

  • Larger: bigger isn't always better, but in this case we are going to double our storage capacity of climate controlled seeds. That means more varieties of seed (great for seed diversity) and also more quantity of seed (great for the small to medium farmers who need larger quantities). 
  • More Efficient: this is efficiency of space because one learns all the things they did wrong the first time round, so the second time can be awesome! It is also efficiency of energy with newer humidification and cooling technology. We are creating a vestibule entrance (like an airlock on Star Trek), we'll have insulated wall materials professionally put together to make sure our seeds stay cold with no energy wasted.
  • Better Seed Preservation: a better facility means greater longevity for our seeds. This is really important when we take on rare or threatened varieties. Sometimes we become the sole steward of a seed and we take that role seriously. With this new facility we will never have to turn a seed away for lack of space.
A rare seed now available through Sow True Seed
A rare seed now available through Sow True Seed

A Realistic Budget

Here is a breakdown of what our new seed storage facility will cost:

  • $13,200 in industrial wall panels built to restaurant and brewery standards to efficiently and effectively keep the warm air out and the cold air in. 
  • $8,700 for an industrially framed cooling and dehumidifying unit, which will be higher quality and more efficient.
  • $4,350 in custom shelving. Switching from wooden to metal commercial grade shelving which will keep the room cooler with less energy and last longer. 
  • $3,800 for professional prep and installation fees as well as a licensed electrician for wiring and lighting. 
  • Plus permits, painting, particulars and a small margin for the unexpected! 

That's $35,000, which is only 3,500 people donating $10 each! So, please help us smash our goal with a diversified funding base. Remember every little helps. 

Some of our Rewards

  • $35 Gets you our awesome Seed = Food T-Shirt.
  • $50 You'll get an Heirloom Victory Garden Collection with 10 great varieties AND our Seed = Food T-Shirt
  • Whole Garden Collection plus T-Shirt for $250
  • Customized Seed Packets (multiple reward options depending on the size of your event/audience).
Full Cover Custom Seed Packets
Full Cover Custom Seed Packets

Thank you for watching and reading, and thank you for your support. 

Much love from the Sow True Seed Team

 

 

Risks and challenges

Sow True Seed has proven to be a community leader in seed saving and seed stewardship. We take this role very seriously and intend to be offering a wide range of open-pollinated seeds for a long time. This new seed storage facility will allow us to continue our mission and to expand into new varieties of seeds.

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  1. Make a pledge without a reward

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    eBook PLUS a Wildflower Seed Packet

    Over the last decade we have created a great collection of garden guides and seed saving notes for all our crop types. We'll share a private link to access this great resource PLUS a wildflower seed packet so you can start a pollinator patch of flowers!

    We want everyone to buy into this project and encourage a diverse donation base. Every donation really helps! Remember, only 3,500 people need to donate $10 for us to reach our goal.

    Support seed diversity AND the pollinators with a single $10 pledge!

    Includes:
    • Sow True Seed Bumper Sticker
    • Sincere thanks on dedicated Sow True Seed webpage.
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Favorite Six Seed Varieties

    We'll send you six of our favorite seed varieties in unique artist designed seed packets. This is the perfect gardener gift for yourself or a friend!

    Includes:
    • Planting Guide and Seed Saving eBook
    • Sow True Seed Bumper Sticker
    • Sincere thanks on dedicated Sow True Seed webpage.
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    Pledge $35 or more About $35

    Sow True Seed T-Shirt

    Our artist designed, Seed = Food, T-Shirt is available in olive and cream. Shout out our message that seeds equal food!

    Includes:
    • Planting Guide and Seed Saving eBook
    • Sow True Seed Bumper Sticker
    • Sincere thanks on dedicated Sow True Seed webpage.
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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Heirloom Garden Collection PLUS T-Shirt

    10 varieties collected in a reusable metal tin and including a planting guide. It’s time to discover what made these your Grandparents favorites! Includes packets of: Kentucky Wonder Bush Bean, Red Core Chantennay Carrot, Richmond Green Apple ORG Specialty Cucumber, Lacinato Kale, Black Seeded Simpson ORG Lettuce, Sweet Banana Pepper, Bloomsdale Long Standing Spinach, Cocozelle Zucchini Summer Squash, Cherokee Purple ORG Tomato, Georgia Rattlesnake Watermelon.

    PLUS our artist designed, Seed = Food, T-Shirt is available in olive and cream. Shout out our message that seeds equal food!

    Includes:
    • Planting Guide and Seed Saving eBook
    • Sow True Seed Bumper Sticker
    • Sincere thanks on dedicated webpage and in our eNews
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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Sponsor Our Seed Room Door!

    Get all the rewards at the $50 level PLUS send us your bumper sticker and we'll mount it on the door to the seed storage facility as a reminder of how awesome you are! No bumper sticker? No problem! We'll sign your name on the door in your own 4"x6" space.

    Photos of said door will be shared widely!

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Favorite 30 Seed Packets PLUS T-Shirt

    We'll pick out 30 of our favorite seed packets so you can plant an incredible garden and save all the seeds.

    PLUS

    Our artist designed, Seed = Food, T-Shirt is available in olive and cream. Shout out our message that seeds equal food!

    Includes:
    • Planting Guide and Seed Saving eBook
    • Sincere thanks on dedicated Sow True Seed webpage.
    • Sow True Seed Bumper Sticker
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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    100 Custom Packets

    We design and print custom seed packets for events and celebrations. This is a great reward for weddings or gifts for friends! It's fun and personal and a great way to share the seed love. We'll work with you to select the seeds, design, print and hand-pack the packet. This item can be redeemed anytime from Nov 17 to Nov 18, 4 week turnaround on orders.

    Includes:
    • Planting Guide and Seed Saving eBook
    • Sincere thanks on dedicated webpage and in our eNews
    • Sow True Seed Bumper Sticker
    • Seed equals Food Artist Designed T-Shirt
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    Pledge $350 or more About $350

    Starter Garden Set

    30 Staff Favorite Seed Packets, our Seed=Food T-Shirt, a Garden Journal, a set of mixed Wooden Plant Stakes, a copy of How to Grow More Vegetables by Jeavons and a bar of Asheville-made garden soap!

    That's a pretty exciting garden prospect :-)

    Includes:
    • Planting Guide and Seed Saving eBook
    • Sincere thanks on dedicated webpage and in our eNews
    • Sow True Seed Bumper Sticker
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    Pledge $750 or more About $750

    We'll Make You a Scarecrow!

    The Sow True Seed team will make you a full size scarecrow to mount in your garden. We promise it'll be awesome, made with love and care. We'll send it anywhere in America, all you'll need to do is stuff it with straw! We'll also send a Seed=Food T-Shirt and a Three Sisters Garden Collection so your scarecrow has something to guard!

    Includes:
    • Planting Guide and Seed Saving eBook
    • Sincere thanks on dedicated webpage and in our eNews
    • Sow True Seed Bumper Sticker
    • Seed equals Food Artist Designed T-Shirt
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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    1000 Custom Packets

    We design and print custom seed packets for events and celebrations. This is a great reward for business and event promotions. It's fun and personal and a great way to share the seed love. We'll work with you to select the seeds, design, print and hand-pack the packet. This item can be redeemed anytime from Nov 17 to Nov 18, 4 week turnaround on orders.

    Includes:
    • Planting Guide and Seed Saving eBook
    • Sincere thanks on dedicated webpage and in our eNews
    • Sow True Seed Bumper Sticker
    • Seed equals Food Artist Designed T-Shirt
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    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    The Three Year Garden Plan

    We have just two rewards available for the three year garden plan, we'll send you the following rewards over the next three years:

    Year One
    Our Homestead Garden Collection (40 Varieties of easy to grow and save seeds).
    Our Garden Journal so you can keep great notes.
    Our Seed=Food T-Shirt.
    Asparagus Crowns, Rhubarb Crown, 2x 12 Sweet Potato Slips and A Seed Garlic Sampler Pack.

    Year Two
    Our Seed Saving Kit
    40 Packets of our Staff Favorites.
    1lb Seed Potatoes, a Bunch of Onion Starts, 2x 12 Sweet Potato Slips and Egyptian Walking Onions.

    Year 3
    Our Sprouting in a Jar Starter KIt.
    40 packets of our new or interesting seed varieties.
    1lb seed potatoes, leek starts, onion starts, 1lb garlic and 1/2lb shallots.

    Includes:
    • Planting Guide and Seed Saving eBook
    • Sincere thanks on dedicated webpage and in our eNews
    • Sow True Seed Bumper Sticker
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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    A Weekend at Martha's Vineyard

    STS Founder Carol Koury will welcome you and a guest to stay with her for 2 nights at her house on Martha’s Vineyard. You will need to get yourself there, but once on site, all expenses will be covered as Carol shows you around the Island, feeds you, introduces you to local farmers and Island food celebrities, and makes sure you see the sights, including, weather permitting, sunset over the famous Gay Head Cliffs. Timing for this will need to be negotiated with Carol, with Spring and Fall being the best times to view the Island.

    Plus all the rewards of the $50 Level.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Whole Garden Collection PLUS T-Shirt

    Whether stocking up to prepare for a potential food crisis or looking for a convenient way to purchase seed, our Sow True Seed Readiness Collections offer the best quality, value, and variety. Contains the most vigorous, reliable and easy to re-save seeds we offer. Designed to be easy to transport and store, this collection contains 40 varieties of non-hybrid vegetable seeds packaged in sturdy, airtight, reusable heavy duty plastic buckets with watertight lid and silica packets. Includes a planting guide, and tips for seed saving. Most types of high quality vegetable seeds will maintain good germination up to 8 years when stored in a cool, dry location with steady temperatures.

    Bean, Bush Provider 1/2 lb
    Bean, Dry Black Turtle 1/2 lb
    Bean, Pole Kentucky Wonder 1/2 lb
    Beet Detroit Dark Red 1/2 oz
    Beet Chioggia 1/2 oz
    Broccoli Waltham 29 1/4 oz
    Brussels Sprouts Long Island Improved 1/4 oz
    Cabbage Red Acre 1/4 oz
    Carrot Red Core Chantennay 1/4 oz
    Carrot Danvers 126 1/4 oz
    Cauliflower Snowball Self-Blanching 1/4 oz
    Collards Georgia Southern 1/4 oz
    Corn, Dent Pencil Cobb 1/4 lb
    Corn, Sweet Golden Bantam 12-row Improved 1/4 lb
    Cucumber, Pickling Bush Pickle 1/4 oz
    Eggplant Long Purple 1 gr
    Kale Red Russian 1/4 oz
    Kohlrabi White Vienna 1/4 oz
    Lettuce Merveille 4 Seasons 1/8 oz
    Lettuce Red Salad Bowl 1/8 oz
    Melon Hearts of Gold 1/8 oz
    Mustard Greens Southern Giant Curled 1/4 oz
    Okra Emerald 1 oz
    Onion Red Creole 1/8 oz
    Onion, Bunching Long White Bunching 1/8 oz
    Peas, Shelling Wando 1/2 lb
    Peas, Snap Sugar Snap 1/2 lb
    Pepper, Hot Cayenne Long Red Thin 1/8 oz
    Pepper, Sweet Golden Cali Wonder 1/8 oz
    Pepper, Sweet Big Red 1/8 oz
    Radish French Breakfast 1 oz
    Spinach Bloomsdale Long Standing 1 oz
    Squash, Summer Black Beauty 1/2 oz
    Squash, Summer Golden Zucchini 1/2 oz
    Squash, Winter Table Queen Acorn 1/2 oz
    Squash, Winter Waltham Butternut 1/2 oz
    Swiss Chard Ruby Red (conv) 1/2 oz
    Tomato Roma 1 gr
    Tomato Paul Robeson 1 gr
    Watermelon Sugar Baby 1/2 oz
    Total 40 Varieties

    Includes:
    • Planting Guide and Seed Saving eBook
    • Sincere thanks on dedicated webpage and in our eNews
    • Sow True Seed Bumper Sticker
    • Seed equals Food Artist Designed T-Shirt
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    Reward no longer available 10 backers
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