Don Tipping

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since Jan 22, 2014
Bio For Don Tipping

Don Tipping and his family have stewarded Seven Seeds Farm for the past 18 years on the north slope of Grayback Mountain in Williams, Oregon.  Here we produce fruits, vegetables, seeds, wool, eggs, and lamb.  The farm has been designed to function as a self-contained, life regenerating organism with waste products being recycled and feeding other elements of the system.  Lauded as one of the best examples of a small productive Biodynamic and Permaculture farms in the northwest, Seven Seeds helps to mentor new farmers through internships and workshops. Seven Seeds has produced certified organic vegetable, flower and herb seeds for over a dozen national scale seed companies before founding Siskiyou Seeds in 2007.  Don helped to found the Siskiyou Sustainable Cooperative which manages a 150 share CSA, commercial seed growing, an equipment co-op and internship curriculum among 12 cooperating farms.  He also co-founded the Family Farmers Seed Cooperative.  Siskiyou Seeds is a bioregional organic seed company operated from the home farm.

SW Oregon
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Recent posts by Don Tipping

This is an interesting discussion. Aerial roots on landrace corn with diverse genetics is common. We have at least a dozen strain of indigenous corn with this trait. Using the term Nitrogen fixing can be misleading. My colleague, and fellow plant breeder, Walter Goldstein of of the Mandaamin Institute in Wisconsin prefers the term “Nitrogen Efficient “ and has been doing large scale field trials with this trait crossed into modern field corns from the landrace Mexican strains. The mucus observations are correct, but little is understood about the precise mechanisms for transporting atmospheric Nitrogen into the soil in a meaningful way, although it’s thought to be an association with endophytic bacteria. It’s worth exploring Goldstein’s work in this regard.
I too admire the work of Joseph Lofthouse and think that much undiscovered benefit lie within growing diverse populations rather than uniform hybrid prima Donnas.
Check out the Mandaamin website.
7 months ago
Great thread and so many weeds to work through here.
I appreciate the input thusfar.

I have been an organic seed grower for 25 years and I have a small family farm based seed company in SW Oregon called Siskiyou Seeds

I have grown seed on contract for many other seed companies that carry organic seed (Johnnys, Seeds of Change, Fedco, Terratorial, High Mowing, etc...)
One thing most people don't know is that the vast majority of seed companies do NOT grow any seed whatsoever, despite their branding and imaging.  They are brokers that buy from the big multi-national giants and then give off this impression that their are Ma & Pa operations.  Sadly, lack of Transparency is the norm in the seed trade.  For instance - I was told by the seed buyer for Johnnys that that acquire about 70% of their seeds from China!!!

A number of small Family Farm based organic seed companies have emerged in recent years.  Siskiyou Seeds joins a cadre of farm based businesses that grow most of the seed, do some plant breeding and have a deep intimacy with the varieties that they carry that hasn't been around since the era of seedsmen of the early 1900s.  Companies such as Wild Garden Seeds, Siskiyou Seeds, Uprisings, Adaptive, Fruition, Hudson Valley, Grand Prismatic, All Good Things, Salt Spring Seeds, Meadowlark Hearth, Turtle Tree and others are the future of high quality Open Pollinated Seeds - Please support family owned businesses such as these.
In my opinion businesses such as Baker Creek are a dis-service to the craft of growing organic seeds as they are not transparent as to where they source their seed, it's not organic, have questionable ethical practices as to respecting indigenous cultures that share germplasm and their seed quality is shaky at times (from my personal experience in trying to grow their seeds).  

Just as the Farmer's Market and CSA movements helped to put a face on the food, we now are tasked with putting a face on the seed, supporting those committed to producing high quality, open pollinated organic seed.  Or better yet, save your own seeds!

For those that are interested in the later we offer a biennial workshop called the Seed Academy that is an on Farm, 5-day intensive in Seed Saving, Plant Breeding and Reproductive Biology in plants at our home farm, Seven Seeds Farm
Check it out here:
1 year ago